Penny Drive founder Nichole Stock presents a cheque for over $4

Penny Drive founder Nichole Stock presents a cheque for over $4

20th Annual Nichole Stock Penny Drive raises $7,265 for sick kids

This year's Nichole Stock Penny Drive was a resounding success, raising $7,265 for the Variety Club Show of Hearts Telethon.

This year’s Nichole Stock Penny Drive was a resounding success, raising $7,265 for the Variety Club Show of Hearts Telethon.

This, despite it being the first year the Lake Cowichan Seniors’ Centre has taken over the administration end of the fund-raising effort.

“The learning curve was steep – we now know we have to contact Variety in October – but we got them,” Seniors’ Centre manager Bruce Bunting said.

Lining things up more clearly and in advance with the charity, and the local Island Savings Credit Union, will help things move more smoothly next year, Bunting said, and create fewer hiccups in the fund-raiser’s organization.

“But, we want to go year-round. We’ll roll them up and put them away,” Bunting encouraged. “We pick up all year ’round – just give us a call.”

Cans will continue to be placed in businesses throughout the Cowichan Lake area year-round, accepting loose change for the Nichole Stock Penny Drive effort.

If anyone would like a jar for their business, for their jar to be emptied, or for other fund-raising questions, Bunting encouarges people to give him a call at the Seniors’ Centre, at 749-6121, before 3 p.m. during week-days.

This was the 20th annual Nichole Stock Penny Drive; the namesake of local youngster Nichole Stock, who started the penny drive in 1991. Stock died in September of 1999, from complications after undergoing heart surgery, just shy of her eighteenth birthday.

The penny drive has continued in her absence, with the latest stewards of the fund-raising effort being the Seniors’ Centre.

As per Nichole’s wishes, the local funds raised will go toward the Sunshine Coach program through the Variety Children’s Charity.

The Sunshine Coaches consist of over 530 specially-equpped vans throughout BC that are donated to various children’s organizations throughout the province to help transport children in comfort and safety to places of education, recreation, and therapy.

In a note Nichole’s mother and brother, Lori and Travis Stock, sent to the Gazette, the two thank the community for their efforts, and for the Seniors’ Centre for taking over the fund-raiser’s administration end of things.

“Thanks to everyone for still supporting Nichole’s dream. Thanks for the great job, and keeping Nichole’s memory alive,” they wrote.

For more on the charity local pennies go towards, go to the internet website, at www.variety.bc.ca.

Another one of Nichole Stock’s namesakes, the Nichole Stock Community Service Award, will continue again this year, with the recipient to be named during the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce’s February 24 Annual General Meeting at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena’s curling lounge. The event will begin with a dinner at 6:30 p.m., at a cost of $16.50 per member.

During the event, the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award will also be named. Call 749-3244 for more information.