Supporting Our Communities Fundraising Opportunities

Posted December 19, 2018 

Nutrien Ag Solutions works in partnership with local organizations to strengthen and grow our rural communities. Proud to be part of the communities we live and work in, we offer two fundraising opportunities throughout the year for not-for-profit community teams, clubs, schools and other organizations.

From October to April Nutrien Ag Solutions offers Bear Tracks ice melter, which provides a safe and efficient way to melt ice and compacted snow on sidewalks and driveways. It’s a useful product for both residential and commercial areas to ensure that traffic areas are kept ice free and safe for pedestrians.

Tim Bischke, location manager for Nutrien Solutions based in Didsbury, AB, said since early fall his team has produced app. 24,000 16 kg pails of ice melter. “This is more than double what we did all last winter,” he said.

More than 4,400 of those pails have been sent to the Fort Saskatchewan, AB retail. Assistant manager Kyla Lafreniere leads the fundraising program at the retail.

“When this fundraising opportunity was first introduced a few years ago, my manager at the time suggested we offer it to the Fort Saskatchewan Ukrainian Dance club since my daughter was involved and they’re a non-profit group,” said Lafreniere.   

“During the first couple years, sales basically included selling to the immediate families involved in Ukrainian Dance. It was last year, with all the buy and sell sites in the area, that this fundraiser exploded for the Ukrainian Dance group. People buying the Bear Tracks have embraced it since it’s a product they will use and at the same time supports a local group,” she said. 

Sylvia Sawada, President of the Fort Saskatchewan Ukrainian Dance group, said last year their club sold over 1,500 pails and made just over $11,000 in profit. “With this money, we were able to purchase new and better fitting costumes for the children in our club (costumes cost app. $500 per dancer). The age dynamics have changed over the past couple years and there is an influx of three to five-year olds and we needed costumes to fit these new members. Dance practice space rental continues to increase and some of this fundraising money was used to help offset this cost as well,” she said.

Ukrainian dance is one of the more economical forms of creative movement in Fort Saskatchewan and to make our club more appealing, we want to keep our fees down and by fundraising, we have done just that, said Sawada. “Huge thank you to Nutrien Ag Solutions for continuing to produce and provide Bear Tracks ice melt to help our club and all clubs in our area to succeed.”

Bear Tracks has grabbed the attention of other not-for-profit groups in the surrounding area. There are now 13 groups pulling product from our retail, said Lafreniere, including dance groups, hockey teams, ringette teams and a Christian school raising money for kids to travel to Vancouver to work with the homeless. The money raised by the hockey and ringette teams make it easier and more affordable to travel and play in tournaments further from home. Representatives of each group deal directly with Lafreniere at the retail and have commented on how the ice melt “sells itself” during the freeze/melt weather in the winter.

“I am so amazed and pleased that so many area child-based groups can maximize on this fundraiser. Listening to my conversations when I'm speaking with ‘ice melt people,’ my co-workers know how excited and passionate I can get when delivering my spiel. I truly believe in this product because I use it and can honestly deliver my speech from the heart,” she said.

Nutrien Ag Solutions has offered the Bear Tracks fundraiser for four years and Bischke anticipates similar growth next year once the message gets out beyond Nutrien. “I believe one of the best things about this program is it allows the kids themselves to actively participate in fundraising opportunities rather than their parents doing it or even going out seeking donations,” he said.  


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