Fonthill, Ontario — Members of southern Ontario’s aftermarket community are preparing to unleash their inner viking this weekend as Treschak Enterprises gears up to host the third annual Axes Up for the Fonthill Legion fundraiser.
With more than 200 people expected to attend, and a record 50-strong roster of competitive and amateur axe throwers set to square off Saturday, operations manager of automotive aftermarket supplier Treschak Enterprises, Jamie Treschak expects this year’s fundraiser to be their most successful to date.
“We’re planning for a really great community-supported day,” said Treschak, over the phone with Collision Repair on Thursday.
“We’re on target this year to raise $15,000 for the legion’s meals-on-wheels program, which has now reached upwards of 25,000 meals delivered to the community.”
Not only does the fundraiser provide a welcome break from the standard industry golf tournament affair; it plays directly into one of Treschak’s more unique passions.
“Not only do I work in the automotive industry, but I’m an avid axe thrower. In my previous life, I worked in stunts. I still teach actors how to fight with an assortment of theatrical weapons. This sort of stuff has always been in my wheelhouse,” he said.
The inspiration for the fundraiser first spawned from the work Treschak and his friends from the axe throwing league witnessed being done at their local legion branch.
“What we had learned is that the Fonthill legion had given out almost 10,000 meals free of charge in 2020, to anybody who couldn’t go out and get their own groceries, or were stuck quarantining or had lost their jobs and didn’t have the money to feed themselves,” he said.
When the trio became aware of a potential disruption to the legion’s meals-on-wheels program, they leapt at the chance to give back to the organization that had done so much for the Fonthill community.
“One day, me and my two buddies were at the Fonthill legion and it turned out that the hood had broken in their kitchen. It was a $10,000 fix,” said Treschak.
“They were providing meals to our community directly, so we figured we could do something about this.”
In its inaugural year, the Axes Up fundraiser managed to raise $9,000 to cover part of the cost of the legion’s new hood.
“By the next year, the legion had given out 18,000 meals, free of charge—so we ran the tournament again and raised $10,000,” said Treschak.
Beyond veterans affected by the pandemic, these free meals also went to other veterans in need.
“We make meals for some of the homeless vets, put them up in hotels.” said Toni McKelvie, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 613.
“When the pandemic hit, Jamie approached me about doing something to raise money. He’s serious about vets.”
This year’s event is sponsored by Sobeys and local craft brewery Kame and Kettle Beer Works, who have donated a keg from which all proceeds will be donated to the legion’s meals-on-wheels program, as well as various other veteran-focused community outreach programs.
Attendees will have the chance to enter to win door prizes, such as a Toronto Maple Leafs Muskoka chair valued at $350 and membership to an axe throwing league, as well as participate in a 50/50 draw.
The 2022 Axes Up for the Fonthill Legion fundraiser will kick off at noon on Saturday in the legion’s parking lot.
Those who cannot attend the event are still invited to donate online.