Alberni District Secondary School vice-principal Carl Poole, left and Melody Burton from the ADSS Breakfast Club accept a $2,000 donation from Port Alberni Toy Run members Susan and Tom Wall, David Wiwchar and Robin Klatt on Oct. 28, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Alberni District Secondary School vice-principal Carl Poole, left and Melody Burton from the ADSS Breakfast Club accept a $2,000 donation from Port Alberni Toy Run members Susan and Tom Wall, David Wiwchar and Robin Klatt on Oct. 28, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Port Alberni Toy Run helps fund high school breakfast club

Feeding youth in the Alberni Valley remains key to annual Toy Run

The Port Alberni Toy Run continued its tradition of helping to feed the Alberni Valley’s youth with a major donation at the end of October.

Members of the annual motorcycle run’s executive visited Alberni District Secondary School on Oct. 28 with a donation of $2,000 for the ADSS Breakfast Club.

“They’ve been supporting the breakfast club for the past 12 or 14 years,” said coordinator Melody Burton.

“The ADSS Breakfast Club is one of our largest recipients every year,” said Toy Run chair David Wiwchar.

The breakfast club is needed more than ever, Burton said, yet the coronavirus pandemic has created more challenges than ever for volunteers. “Because of COVID-19 restrictions we’re trying to find unique ways of getting food to students. School EAs (educational assistants) have helped delivering,” she said.

Burton makes sandwich lunches for students, and although the grab-and-go boxes of apples and other items have had to be pulled from the ADSS office and classrooms, pre-packaged granola bars and yogurt are delivered to classrooms for teachers to distribute on request.

The ADSS Breakfast Club also supports Eighth Avenue Learning Centre, she added.

“Over half of our classes now have Mel’s supplies in there,” ADSS vice-principal Carl Poole said.

The breakfast club donation came primarily from sales of Toy Run teddy bears—many of them wearing small masks to reflect the kind of year 2020 has been. Toy Run volunteer Robin Klatt said she sewed more than 1,000 of the masks. Bears are still available at Buy-Low Foods and Camille’s Hair Studio, and the Toy Run hopes to continue sales of teddy bears for 2021.

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