Tbaytel for Good

Recipients of this year’s Tbaytel for Good campaign celebrate at the Dew Drop Inn on Thursday.

The Dew Drop Inn kitchen will be feeling the heat this long weekend as temperatures are expected to hover around 30 C.

That’s why a new ventilation system for the kitchen is needed and now, with the help of a $5,000 Tbaytel for Good Community Fund grant, the Thunder Bay soup kitchen will be able to keep its volunteers cool.

“We’re going to get the best ventilation we possibly can because of this project,” said Michael Quibell, executive director of the Dew Drop Inn, adding they serve about 300 meals a day.

“It’s a small kitchen,” he said. “It’s a busy kitchen. It gets really hot in there.”

The Dew Drop Inn was one of six recipients of a Tbaytel for Good Community Fund grant on Thursday.

The second $5,000 recipient was the Gillies Volunteer Fire Association. The money will allow them to purchase a sea-can shipping container for live-burn training, said association president Corey Santorelli.

“Things nowadays are costly,” he said. “We don’t operate on a very big budget. We’re all volunteers. This will alleviate the costs and the time it takes to send people away to do the training. There is a lot of training involved in becoming a volunteer firefighter.”

The two winners of the $1,500 grants were Codeabotkids and St. Ignatius High School.

Codeabotkids is a group of Thunder Bay engineers who want to see coding and robotics in classrooms.

St. Ignatius will use their grant to promote the drama department throughout the school.

StandUp4CleanUp and the Red Lake Family Entertainment Series were awarded $500 grants.

Tbaytel for Good Community Fund co-ordinator Laura Foulds said the campaign is a way for the telecommunications company to provide support to the communities it serves.

“When you’re a community leader and are a bigger company or a well-known company in Thunder Bay and also regionally, we want to hear from people who are at the ground level, working at the grassroots sort of level,” she said. “We don’t always know what’s going on. You can’t be everywhere all the time. This allows us to form partnerships and relationships with people who really are the backbones of their communities.”

The finalists for the Tbaytel for Good awards are selected by a judging committee and then voting opens to the public. Foulds said they received a record number of votes this year at more than 800,000.

(Originally published June 29, 2019 in The Chronicle-Journal print edition)

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