THUNDER BAY – It is with great pleasure that Katie Ischkin and Johnny DeBakker celebrate the success of the 7th Annual Ischkinakker Shaker. The Ischkinakker Shaker started 7 years ago when both Katie and John who attended Lakehead University at the time decided to organize an event to bring all of their friends who were studying out of town together during Christmas season. The first year, the event raised just over $1,500 but now, the event has higher fundraising goals with the 7th Annual Ischkinakker Shaker held on December 23rd, 2009 bringing in over $15,000 for the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay.
Katie and Johnny chose the Alzheimer Society because of personal reasons tied closely to Katie. Katie lost her grandfather (papa) in August 2009 who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and throughout her family’s journey realized the important role the Alzheimer Society plays in helping families cope with this terrible disease. Katie’s papa loved to be around his friends and family and never missed an opportunity to celebrate therefore the 7th Annual Ischkinakker Shaker was dedicated to papa and was a huge success with reaching the aggressive fundraising goal of $15,000 which has gone to the Alzheimer Society to continue the great work they do with local families.
“Both Johnny and I are very lucky to have people in our lives that support us in everything that we do, therefore the Ischkinakker Shaker is our opportunity to give back. The Ischkinakker Shaker has become a huge success because of the people of Thunder Bay; without them this would not all be possible and so we offer our heartfelt thanks,” states Ischkin.
Katie and Johnny have pledged to keep the Ischkinakker Shaker funds local giving to Thunder Bay based groups and organizations in need. Looking forward the 8th Annual Ischkinakker Shaker will be held on December 23rd, 2010 at the CLE Colesium with all funds going to the Justice Ronald B Lester Memorial Youth Foundation.
The Justice Ronald B. Lester Memorial Youth Foundation dedicates itself to creating opportunities for young people from the city of Thunder Bay who, as a result of economic limitations, may not otherwise be able to attend College or University. Because of the increasing cost of education and the economic hardship many people in Thunder Bay currently face, helping young people further their educational pursuits and realize their highest potential has never been more important.
Katie and Johnny chose the foundation because they personally know several people who have received one of its bursaries, thereby making post-secondary education financially possible. In addition to being a close friend of the de Bakker family, the late Justice Lester also coached Johnny in hockey for several seasons.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Justice Ronald B. Lester Memorial Youth Foundation. Foundation President Susan Lester is moved by the generosity of Katie and Johnny: “To be chosen as this year’s recipient is overwhelming. The Ischkinakker Shakker is one of Thunder Bay’s largest charity events and we couldn’t be happier about the selection.”