500 Christmas trees have been turned into $500 bursaries.
The Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation chipped Christmas trees for a donation over a two-day fundraiser Jan. 4 and 5 raising more than $4,600 in cash for distribution to Oak Bay schools including Oak Bay High, Monterey middle and Willows elementary.
“It has been a community event in Oak bay for a long time,” said OBFCF executive director Gregory Swan. “It feels good with continued support from all the community members. … It is very encouraging to receive those donations.”
While the foundation is still finalizing numbers, he expects $2,500 to go to Oak Bay High school to be divided into $500 bursaries and $1,000 each to Monterey and Willows schools for whatever they need.
“(For) firefighters their biggest thing is a want to help people. It is one of the many traditions of the fire service to help the community they serve,” Swan said. “There is no problem getting them to come out on their own time to support community in this way and any way we can.”
More than 20 firefighters volunteered more than 60 hours for the cause, Schnitzer Steel donated the bins and trucking service, and Ellice Recycling chipped the trees.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support firefighters provide. (This) helps kids realize their potential and further their education,” said OBHS scholarship advisor Scott Alexander. “A lot of these kids are not expecting the support and are very surprised and grateful.”