By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Anyone who has passed through the doors of the Morinville Home Hardware store on a Friday this summer has likely encountered the tempting aroma of barbequed goodies being offered right outside the door. Burgers and dogs, bread and bacon wrapped shrimp have all been on the lunchtime menu at the popular hardware and auto parts store. But the weekly barbecue served a twofold purpose – demonstrating the store’s new line of wood fired barbecues and raising some money for local causes.
Last Friday, Home Hardware / Bumper-to-Bumper presented $2,000 to support the Midstream Support Society’s Santa Store and the Knights of Columbus’ annual Christmas Hamper program.
Home Hardware Manager Mike Porlier said the idea for the fund raiser began last fall when the company took on the Traeger wood pellet barbecue line at the annual Home Hardware fall market.
“Being something new to the area, we figured the best way to introduce it would be to do demonstrations with it, show what it could do – the versatility of the unit,” Porlier said. We started doing that and decided it would be nice to incorporate some type of organization that could benefit from it. We decided to go with the Santa Store and Christmas Hampers.”
Throughout the spring, summer and now into the fall, Home Hardware staff demonstrated the units, weather permitting, offering free samples of foods not commonly found on a barbecue but able to be cooked on the wood fuelled units. Each week they also cooked up traditional barbecue fare of hamburgers and hotdogs, offering them to customers for a donation to the two local charities.
The initiative and customer generosity has resulted in $2,000 being raised for two of what Porlier believes to be truly worthy local causes.
“I really, really have a thing with somebody not having something under the tree at Christmas,” he said. It’s a soft spot for us and we figured everybody deserves to have something there. I think those two organizations do a lot of good in the area. It is in the area so we are giving back to our community.”
Porlier said the barbecues will continue in aid of the two charities as long as the weather is good.