animal auxiliary

Vernon’s Animal Auxiliary Thrift Store wins Fox charity van wrap competition – Vernon News

The second year of Fox Plumbing Heating Cooling Electrical’s ‘Wrap a Van for a Cause’ community promotion saw more entries in the first week than the entire charitable campaign last year.

On Thursday, Fox announced this year’s winner – Vernon’s Animal Auxiliary Thrift Store.

Fox has had one of its service vans wrapped with auxiliary signage that will stay on the vehicle for a full year.

As well, company owner Ted Fox said 5% of the year’s sales generated from that vehicle will be donated to the auxiliary.

The thrift store‘s Gina Barzan said she was “shocked” to learn of the win.

“I didn’t even know we had been nominated,” she said.

“This is amazing … for the exposure we will receive.”

The animal auxiliary helps humans as well as pets and livestock in times of need, from weekly meals for seniors to helping with veterinary bills, and evacuating livestock during wildfires.

Barzan said the organization’s profile has risen since recent large fires in the Southern Interior and a move to bigger premises in downtown Vernon.

“People know who we are now, and this will help,” she said.

Fox said the charity program has been “a crushing success … we couldn’t keep track of the vote count.”

More than 12,000 votes came in during just the first week.

“The biggest thing we can offer is exposure,” he said, noting the company’s fleet travels all over the Okanagan.

“It’s a rolling billboard.”

Last year’s winner, North Okanagan Community Chaplaincy, collected a donation of $3,500 and will have its wrap on a Fox van for an additional year, as that vehicle was off the road with mechanical issues for a couple of months.

Spokesperson Chuck Harper said the donation and exposure is “a huge help.”

The chaplaincy

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Vernon thrift store wraps first place in van contest

Gena Barzan was shocked to find she had won a contest from a Vernon electrical company.

Barzan is a director for the Animal Auxiliary Thrift Store in Vernon, the 2023 winner of Fox Plumbing Heating Cooling Electrical’s Wrap A Van for a Cause. Fox wraps one of its service vans with a charity or non-profit organization’s logo for the entire 2023 calendar year, with five per cent of revenue generated by that van going directly to the charity selected for the entire year.

Animal Auxiliary Thrift Store is the 2023 chosen one, and Barzan, managing director Dale Christie, and five of the store’s nine volunteers were on hand at Fox Thursday morning, Feb. 16, to collect the van.

“This is a big deal for us, a huge deal,” said Barzan. “This is going to go to the disaster fund. The five per cent this van will generate will go into a fund to help support during disasters – floods, fires, whatever, we won’t have to make an immediate plea like we did in the last wildfire (White Rock Lake, 2021).

“It went absolutely nuts. There was no contingency, but the local communities came together and we put together tons of animal feed and cages. You name it, we had it, ready to go within three hours.”

Figuring out which charity or non-profit will be the benefactor is the best part of the promotion, said company owner Ted Fox, who announced the winner. Nominations from the public began Oct. 31 with up to 32 nominated organizations being accepted. The field was set and a tournament-style bracket was built for head-to-head voting.

Voting kicked on Nov. 28 through Fox’s social media platforms.

“It was a crushing success this year,” said Fox, decked out in a Fox Plumbing Heating Cooling Electrical hockey sweater

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