Co-op jersey day scores for food bank

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A group of Co-op members and employees are all smiles as Alex Sammurtok, front from left, and Noah Tiktak present a cheque for $2,824 on behalf of Kissarvik Co-op's jersey day initiative to Derek Fredlund and Jessie Baxter of the Ikurraq Food Bank (Deacon's Cupboard) in Rankin Inlet on April 5, 2019. Darrell Greer/NNSL photo
A group of Co-op members and employees are all smiles as Alex Sammurtok, front from left, and Noah Tiktak present a cheque for $2,824 on behalf of Kissarvik Co-op’s jersey day initiative to Derek Fredlund and Jessie Baxter of the Ikurraq Food Bank (Deacon’s Cupboard) in Rankin Inlet on April 5, 2019. Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

A new spin on a more relaxed work environment – aimed at a community’s passion – ended up providing a financial boost to the Ikurraq Food Bank (Deacon’s Cupboard) in Rankin Inlet this past week.
Siniktarvik Hotel manager David Bond came up with the idea of a weekly jersey day for employees of the local Arctic Co-op enterprises who were willing to pay a loonie for the right to strut the team colours of their favourite NHL team each Friday.
Kissarvik Co-op retail store manager and assistant general manager Glenn Woodford liked what he heard from Bond enough to oversee jersey day throughout the entire NHL 2018-2019 regular schedule.
Bond said a lot of companies have casual Fridays, so he figured the Co-op could put a twist on it to create hockey camaraderie and friendly bantering between local fans, especially those of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.
He said he was confident the idea would work in Rankin, with hockey being so popular with much of the community.
“I’ve never seen a jersey day done like this before, but, much the same as my cooking – I take country food and put a twist on it – I threw a jersey day on top of a casual Friday,” laughed Bond.
“It seemed like a really good idea because a lot of people in Rankin are sports-orientated and they’re incredibly passionate about their teams.”
Bond said he hopes jersey day goes on to become an annual event.
He said it feels good to see people having fun and an important community operation like the food bank reaping a financial benefit from his idea.
“I hope we can entice other companies to get involved with jersey day in the coming year and have it grow a bit.
“I appreciate Glenn (Woodfood) supporting my idea, and he was such a big help in keeping it going.”
Jersey day was successful enough for Woodford to invite local board president Noah Tiktak to present a ceremonial cheque in the amount of $2,824 to the food bank last Friday.
He said the initiative began modestly enough at the start of the NHL schedule, but slowly picked up steam as the season wore on.
“Any staff member who wanted to participate in this initiative could wear a jersey over their uniform at work on Friday, but, to do so, they had to pay a dollar,” said Woodford.
“The dollars were collected at our Kissarvik Co-op office and we kept them in a savings account during the NHL season.”
Woodford said there were some staff members who only felt so-so about jersey day, but others were really enthusiastic about it.
He said it was, more or less, the same staff members who looked forward to wearing their jerseys every week.
“We’re guided by seven principles within the Co-op system as an organization and one of them is concern for community, and supporting the food bank through jersey day is one more way we can demonstrate that concern for our community here in Rankin.
So we’re going to continue jersey day until the Stanley Cup is presented – I’ll be proudly wearing my Go Habs Go jersey throughout the playoffs – and we’ve decided we’d like to continue on with the endeavour again in the coming year.”