On Saturday, May 11, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., M&M Meat Shops in Castlegar will join other stores in the franchise for the 25th anniversary of M&M Meat Shops Charity BBQ Day benefiting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC).
“M&M bills this as the largest single-day barbecue in Canada and we’re sort of famous for them here in town,” said David Grantham, owner of the local M&M Meat Shop franchise located at 635 Columbia Avenue in Castlegar.
The fundraising goal for all the stores this year is $1.3 million. The charity barbecue has grown into CCFC’s largest annual fundraising activity by any single supporter, with more than $23.1 million for medical research being raised over the past 24 years.
Supporters will receive a hamburger or hot dog, a drink and a bag of chips for a minimum donation of $3. All proceeds raised will go directly to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis research.
“There’s a ton of people in this community with Crohn’s and Colitis,” said Grantham. “It’s different with everybody, for some people it’s very serious and for others it’s easily manageable.”
Grantham said his store has averaged about $2,000 in donations every year.
Those visiting the Castlegar store since April 5 will have noticed that the walls and windows are filling up with penguins.
Those donating $2 to $3 get to sign their names to the penguin posters and help create a visible display of the community support. They are also eligible for a chance to win some great M&M prizes induing gift cards.
For $5, supporters will also receive a coupon book worth more than $50 in M&M Meat Shops products. Grantham said the $5 donations have been so steady he has ordered more coupon books to keep up with demand.
Barb Wachek was in shopping on Monday, April 22, and signed a paper penguin after providing a donation. Wachek said she has long supported the fundraiser and has a nephew with the disease.
Canada has among the highest reported prevalence of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — two similar yet distinct conditions also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — in the world, according to a media release from M&M Meat Shops.
There are more than 233,000 Canadians suffering from IBD and the incidences have been rising, particularly since 2001, and significantly so in children under the age of 10.
“We are extremely grateful to those who support M&M Meat Shops Charity BBQ Day,” said CCFC CEO, Dr. Kevin Glasgow in the release. “Our 25-year-partnership with M&M Meat Shops has made an enormous difference in our effort to find a cure for IBD and improve the lives of children and adults affected by these chronic diseases. These donations, combined with the hard work of thousands of volunteers, raise a significant portion of our annual research funds in just one day.”