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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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