You can finally go head over heels for North Shore Rescue.
St. Thomas Aquinas student Camden Hussey is hoping to raise $5,000 for the all-volunteer search and rescue organization with the profits from selling toques through six local breweries. The initiative comes less than a year after the Grade 11 student donated $2,300 to NSR through sales of his North Shore Rescue-branded socks.
Having saturated the sock market in 2019, the toques seemed like a useful and relatively inexpensive item, Hussey explains during a break between classes at STA. The thick, acrylic toques emblazoned with an NSR Supporter crest designed by Hussey are selling for $25 at Black Kettle Brewing, Beere Brewing Company, House of Funk Brewing, North Point Brewing, Streetcar Brewing and Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers.
“There’s the perfect crowd at breweries, kind of an outdoor crowd,” Hussey explains. “I thought that a lot of the people who would be in there would know quite a bit about North Shore Rescue.”
That’s true in Deep Cove, where the brewery previously created a golden ale called Shredder as a tribute to the late NSR team leader Tim Jones. All proceeds from Shredder – its name referenced Jones’ habit of addressing unsafe manoeuvres in a post-rescue shredding session – went to the Tim Jones Legacy Fund.
Upon receiving Hussey’s NSR toques, Deep Cove Brewing immediately took their own toques out of the display.
“There’s no competition,” explains Matt Eberhardt, operations manager for the brewery.
Given people’s brief attention spans, it’s easy to overlook the vital, grueling work of NSR volunteers, he notes.
“It’s really good that every so often we’re able to put something back in [people’s] faces,” Eberhardt says. “When they’re able to see a piece of merchandise that kind of represents what the North Shore is about, it’s really good for them to remember all the hard work these guys put in.”
With snow in the forecast and the tendency of many backcountry adventurers to take one risk too many, it’s important to remember the people who come to their aid, he notes.
“This time of year all the contributions that are required for North Shore Rescue are of utmost importance,” he says.
When he was in Grade 2 a family member got lost in the forest and was saved by NSR.
“It could be anyone . . . It could be you it could be someone you know,” he says.
Supporting rescue volunteers is simple, he concludes.
“It’s the right thing to do.”