THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Community Foundation launched the Thunder Bay Good Neighbour Fund on Friday, July 12th, 2019 to support evacuees from neighbouring Pikangikum First Nation during their stay in the Thunder Bay area and to support the broader emergency response to the forest fires that have had a devastating effect on the community.
The Steering Committee for the Thunder Bay Good Neighbour Fund announced today that it will disburse the full fund to St. John Ambulance based on the recommendation and proposal put forth by the CEO of Independent First Nations Alliance and the Chief of Pikangikum First Nation. “St. John Ambulance has gone above and beyond in their support of our evacuees both at the Valhalla Inn and the Airlane Hotel, both of which are operated by the IFNA crisis response team,” shared Matthew Hoppe, CEO of the Independent First Nations Alliance.
“Working side by side we learned that they were in need of another ambulance as they only had one remaining working unit from the three they were accustomed to. Due to their heroic efforts and compassion during our time together, we felt that directing the raised funds to St. John Ambulance to purchase a used ambulance was the least we could do.” “They have had medical first responders volunteering to support the community throughout this event and supporting our community members. We are proud to support them now and feel this is our chance to give back,” commented Chief Amanda Sainnawap from Pikangkum First Nation. “We want to acknowledge and support their work, as they have supported us with nothing but professionalism, valour and dedication. We know they need an additional mobile unit as they are only operating on one vehicle. The Good Neighbour Fund has the ability to alleviate some of the burdens of having a large number of evacuees present within the city of Thunder Bay.”
The Thunder Bay Good Neighbour Fund was made possible by donations from Thunder Bay Broom and Chemical Ltd., Uride Thunder Bay, the Toronto Community Foundation, Happy Time
Tour and Travel, as well as many individual donations. The Steering Committee for the Good Neighbour Fund is comprised of the Chief of Pikangikum First Nation, Amanda Sainnawap, the CEO of the Independent First Nations Alliance, Matthew Hoppe, a representative from Nishnawbe Aski Nation, the City of Thunder Bay Manager of Indigenous Relations and Inclusion, Regina Mandamin, Matthew Lesnick from St. John Ambulance and Brent Massaro from Thunder Bay Broom and Chemical Ltd. To date, the fund has raised almost $13,000. This money will be donated in its entirety to St. John Ambulance in Thunder Bay.