Denham Ford’s 6th Annual Hometown for Hunger Event Raises over $10,000 for EKC Endowment Fund, Benefiting Local Salvation Army Food Programs

Cranbrook, BC (August 11, 2021) – Denham Ford’s 6th annual Hometown for Hunger event raised a record-breaking $10,000 to support the Cranbrook Salvation Army’s local food programs!

“In addition to our great food vendors and live entertainment from Maddisun, this year, we added the dunk tank, which was a huge success,” said Denham Ford’s Steve Zsillei, event organizer. “Thank you to everyone who donated to this year’s event, including a special shout-out to the Cranbrook firefighters for filling the dunk tank, Culligan for donating the bags of ice to keep the tank at a ‘refreshing’ temperature, and Sandor Rentals for their on-going support, providing the dunk tank, tables, and chairs.”

The proceeds from this event will be permanently invested in the East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) Endowment Fund, which is held by the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR). This fund provides a grant, every year, forever, to support Salvation Army food programs in Cranbrook.

Each year, the local Salvation Army provides approximately 24,000 school lunches and 13,000 community meals, and COVID-19 has significantly increased the need in the community.

East Kootenay Community Credit Union is honoured to have established this endowment fund, and we deeply appreciate Hometown for Hunger’s on-going contributions,” stated Jean-Ann Debreceni, EKC Board Chair. “A few years ago, our fund’s annual grant to the Cranbrook Salvation Army’s food programs was around $500, and we’re now granting over $2,500, thanks to the amazing generosity of our community,” Debreceni added.

For the August 9th event, Denham Ford and East Kootenay Community Credit Union each generously matched donations up to $1,000.

 Numerous local businesses donated to the event, including KD Electric, Silverado Construction, Bad Ventures, A. C. Dyck Financial ServicesHigh “R” Expectations, Freightliner, Jason Wheeldon Personal Real Estate Corporations, and Trimline Cranbrook.

Rene Kowalchuk, Denham Ford GM, stated, “Denham Ford believes in supporting our community over the long-term. By growing this endowment fund, we’re helping to provide dependable, on-going funding to our local Salvation Army food programs. We would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s event so successful!”

CFKR welcomes donations to this fund throughout the year. Online donations can be made via this link:

Mr. Mike’s, Mama’s Dumplings, Scooper Duper, Wicked Weenies, and Domino’s Pizza provided delicious food throughout the event, while attendees enjoyed watching the antics from the dunk tank.

The ten inaugural dunk tank volunteers are all busy community volunteers and leaders, including representatives from Denham Ford, East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC), Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR), Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary, and local businesses:

  • Rene Kowalchuk: Denham Ford (B.C.) Ltd. GM
  • Trevor Zak: Owner of Fitness INC
  • Lisa Barnes: Max’s Place Owner, CFKR Board Vice-Chair, Shred Sisters Coach and cyclist extraordinaire
  • Michele Bates: CFKR Board Chair, Regional District of East Kootenay staff member
  • Lynnette Wray: CFKR Executive Director, EKC Board Member, Cranbrook Sunrise Rotarian
  • Don Erichsen: Cranbrook RCMP, Cranbrook Sunrise Rotarian
  • Jose Galdamez: EKC Board Member, Ktunaxa Nation staff member
  • George Freitag: Elizabeth Lake Lodge Owner, EKC Board Member
  • Ken Lo: EKC COO, Former CFKR board member, Cranbrook Sunrise Rotarian

Notable additions to the dunk tank included Kootenay East MLA, Tom Shypitka, and Denham Ford’s Steve Zsillei, just to name a few.

Lynnette Wray, Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies Executive Director, shared her sincere appreciation: “Our heartfelt thanks to Denham Ford and B-104/The Drive for developing this into one of the fun, charitable events we look forward to in our community. Special thanks to Maddisun for providing such great live music and Kelly from The Painted Frog for sharing her amazing face painting skills. Thank you to all the donors, our brave dunk tank volunteers, and our wonderful food vendors.”



Established in 2003 as a federally incorporated not-for-profit and a CRA-registered charity, the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and employs one staff person. CFKR holds a total of approximately $3.5 million in 41 permanently invested funds. Since its first community grants in 2004, the Community Foundation has shared over $500,000 with local projects and programs in our communities.

To join the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies in building this permanent “nest egg” for our community, please visit our website (, like/follow/share our Facebook page (, and contact Lynnette Wray, Executive Director, by phone (250-426-1119) or email ([email protected]).