SaskTel employees, families donate to PA organizations

$11,000 donated across the city

Michael Vancoughnett stands with a cheque and 11 letters that will go out to organizations across the city (Submitted photo)

A total of 11 local organizations will be receiving a cheque in the mail shortly from SaskTel employees and their families.

The SaskTel Pioneers is comprised of current and former SaskTel employees and their families. There are various clubs throughout the province, including one in Prince Albert. The groups get their revenue from payroll deductions, recycling batteries and selling old furniture to employees, said regional sales manager, Michael Vancoughnett.

Typically the Prince Albert club would purchase and deliver around 30 gifts to residents in Herb Basset Home, but couldn’t this year given COVID-19 restrictions.

“Even if we did get access we’d probably be very careful on how we went about things so we decided let’s just keep things super simple this year and keep everybody safe and we’ll do everything virtually…we’re taking a cautious approach and making sure that we’re not putting our employees or anybody that we’re giving money to in jeopardy.”

This year Herb Basset Home will receive a donation of $1,000. Ten other organizations will get the same amount too.

The following organizations will also be receiving cheques in the mail: Firebird North Sistema Music Project, Harley’s House, Mont St. Joseph, Our House, PA Métis Women’s Association, Pineview Terrace, Prince Albert Safe Shelter for Women, Prince Albert SPCA, The Salvation Army, and YWCA Prince Albert.

Vancoughnett said some of the organizations have been supported by the Pioneers in the past but some are new.

“We thought let’s kind of think outside the box and just come up with a couple different organizations that we can support and it would kind of be a surprise for Christmas so some of these organizations likely don’t know that there’s going to be a cheque coming.”

Donna Brooks, CEO of YWCA Prince Albert said the donations to YWCA and Our House are wonderful.

“Every extra cent helps,” she said.

Our House is a program that runs a deficit every year and donations help lessen that deficit, according to Brooks.

“(Donations) allows us to buy the food we need, and put the different things in place for our clients,” she added.

Major Pamela Stanger, who is responsible for the Salvation Army in Prince Albert was also glad to hear about the donation.

“We are so happy to partner with others in our community to help those who turn to us for help,” Stanger said.

Vancoughnett said that money has been piling up in the Pioneer bank account since March since they haven’t been funding activities, so the group decided they’d donate a bit more than usual.

The Pioneers also donated 426 teddy bears for the Prince Albert Raiders annual Teddy Bear toss game that wasn’t able to go forward this month due to the delayed start of the 2020-2021 Western Hockey League season.

Teddy bears were delivered this week to two Prince Albert schools for Christmas hampers, Parkland Ambulance, Mobile Crisis Outreach, Prince Albert Grand Council Parade, and the women’s shelter.

They also donated supplies like Q-tips, vaseline and toques wrapped in baby blankets to Family Futures Prince Albert to give to new moms. Eighteen bundles were donated in total.