During their annual end of year campaign in November and December, ONroute locations raised a whopping $116,734. Funds were presented the morning of 9 February to Support Our Troops, the chosen charity for the third year running.
“It is with profound gratitude that we support those who have served and continue to serve,” said Stacy Firth, Director of Commercial Partnerships and Customer Experience with ONroute.
Col Jonathan Michaud, Commander CFB Borden and Military Personnel Generation Training Group (MPGTG) and Base Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Wilcox attended the cheque presentation at the Barrie ONroute to personally thank those involved for the impact of their support on military families within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) community.
Of the total raised, $7,300 has already benefited 33 Borden families through the Holiday Hamper Program.
For Col Michaud, that the fundraiser was so successful in the midst of widespread economic challenges highlights the incredible generosity of the townships surrounding Borden. The Barrie ONroute location alone raised approximately $20,000.
“It just reinforces my appreciation for the fact that we live in a community that is very supportive of the military,” said Col Michaud. “Take my word, this will have a huge impact on families.”
ONroute employees recognized for going above and beyond to support military families
Long-time ONroute employee, Marie Sunderalingum, loves to give back.
“I took cups and went to each table, asking for at least five cents, ten cents,” she said. “One customer gave me forty dollars. Forty!”
Little by little, those donations of loose change added up. So much that the mother of three began competing with herself to see if she could beat her own records. She was so successful that her managers started encouraging her to raise a certain amount in one day. No matter where the bar was set, Marie would surpass it. If they challenged her to raise $200, she would raise $500. On her biggest fundraising day, she single-handedly raised $800.
She also competed with her coworkers to boost the fundraising total, as well as her husband, who works at another ONroute location, to see who could raise the most. From a military family herself, the Springwater resident has experienced firsthand the support that has made a difference in her own life and is deeply compassionate for the needs of others in the same position.
“I feel so blessed to help people this way,” said Marie.
Along with two other ONroute employees, Marie was recognized for their efforts towards the campaign at the Barrie location. They were presented a rare Military Family Coin from Military Family Services, which only gives out four or five each year.
Col Michaud also presented each one with a Commander’s Coin in recognition of their impact on military families at Borden through this campaign, to serve as a reminder that their contributions are making a difference.
Operating within the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Serivces (CFMWS), Support Our Troops helps meet the unique needs and challenges of the CAF community as a result of military service.
By: Emily Nakeff, Editor
Main image: (Left to right) Stacy Firth (Director, Commercial Partnerships and Customer Experience), Joanne Delaney Cronk (Borden MFRC Board Chair Person), Todd Stride (Director, Military Family Services), Tammy Gordon (General Manager of Barrie and Innisfil ONroute plazas), Sugi Pratheepananth (Brand Manager), Marie Sunderalingum (Shift Supervisor), Col J. Michaud (CFB Borden Base Commander) Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Wilcox (CFB Borden Base Chief)