Karl Jensen (left) of the Kelson Group maintenance team and Delair Court building managers Victoria and Ken Hatton display the 537 pounds of food that residents collected in a recent food drive. (Submitted photo)

Karl Jensen (left) of the Kelson Group maintenance team and Delair Court building managers Victoria and Ken Hatton display the 537 pounds of food that residents collected in a recent food drive. (Submitted photo)

Victims of Abbotsford apartment fire collect 537 pounds of food

Delair Court residents participate in fifth annual Kelson Group food drive

Victims of a massive fire that occurred in February at an Abbotsford apartment building collected 537 pounds of food during a recent food drive held by the owners.

Kelson Group held its fifth annual food drive on June 17 at apartment buildings it owns in 10 cities in B.C. and Alberta.

The residents of Delair Court were among those who participated. Many of them lost their homes on Feb. 14 when a fire broke out at about 1 a.m., resulting in damage to 57 units.

Residents of a second building in the complex, with 45 units, were also impacted, with the loss of power and flood damage to the parkade.

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But during the recent food drive, the residents more than doubled the 225 pounds of non-perishable items they collected in 2020.

Kelly Fawcett, vice-president of maintenance and construction for Kelson Group, applauded the generosity.

“(This) was simply outstanding for a group of residents who, earlier this year, had gone through so much,” he said.

Building manager Victoria Hatton said she is proud of the residents, who wanted to give back for the help and assistance they received after the fire.

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“Being in a disaster pulled everyone together. Some of our residents from the burned building have moved over to the other building as apartments have become available and, because everyone from both buildings got to meet everyone for the first time, I believe the total impact was the reason for the massive increase in donations. Everyone just wanted to give back for everything they received,” she said.

In keeping with tradition, Kelson Group will donate one dollar for every pound of food collected, which means the company will write a cheque for $6,150 and then further match a $1,000 anonymous donation.

In total, $8,150 and 6,150 pounds of food will be distributed to food banks throughout B.C. and Alberta.

“Our team applauds all of our residents, and notably those from Abbotsford, who stepped up this year to work together to do so much good for others,” said Fawcett. “It’s a remarkable outcome from a community with heart.”

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