‘Rain, shine, no matter what… he always gets it done’

Dedicated Free Press carrier hasn’t missed a day’s delivery in nearly 10 years on the job


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Today, when Mike Storozuk delivered the newspaper, he was in it.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/04/2022 (407 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Today, when Mike Storozuk delivered the newspaper, he was in it.

For nearly a decade, the 50-year-old carrier has made sure the 85 subscribers on his route in Selkirk get their daily edition of the Free Press.

Storozuk, who lives with an intellectual disability, hasn’t missed a day throughout his career, said Charlie Dodd, who manages the community’s Free Press carriers.

KELLY COOK PHOTO Free Press newspaper carrier Mike Storozuk didn’t let the snow stop him from completing his route. Storozuk has delivered papers in Selkirk for nearly a decade and never missed a day.

In addition to being his boss, Dodd is a friend and caretaker to Storozuk, someone he says is hard-working and reliable.

“Rain, shine, no matter what, he’s out there,” Dodd said. “He may not finish on time, but he always gets it done.”

Storozuk’s dedication to the job was on full display during Thursday morning’s miserable weather when Selkirk resident Kelly Cook spotted him completing his route.

Storozuk is a well-known fixture in the community, so when Cook saw him pushing his bike over snow-covered roads, he snapped a photo, hoping to garner some recognition for his hard work.

“He rides that bike around town, and he rides it with his little cart, no matter what time of day or weather with his papers in the back, singing as he comes down the street,” Cook said. “I think it’s wonderful.”

Storozuk is one of the hundreds of Free Press carriers who headed out into Thursday’s ferocious wind, sleet and snow to complete their routes.

On Wednesday and Thursday, all papers made it to subscribers in the Winnipeg region, but road closures prevented deliveries in some areas, including Portage la Prairie, Brandon, the Interlake, Minnedosa and Dauphin, said Al Guenther, who manages the newspaper’s rural circulation department.

The Free Press circulation team managed to deliver roughly half of the papers destined for rural communities near Winnipeg, including Selkirk, St. Andrews, Lorette and LaSalle, he said.

“I continually get surprised and impressed by a lot of our contractors,” Guenther said. “These guys are going out in the worst of the weather, and it’s pitch-dark… if the highways open, they are going out.”

Nobody knows this better than Fred Heinrichs, who has been delivering papers to areas northeast of Winnipeg for 31 years.

Heinrichs, who lives near Lorette, recounts early winter mornings digging a path through the snow to make it to his delivery vehicle. He has found himself stuck on rural roads waiting for a tow truck on more than one occasion.

“Not many people would do what (we) do,” he said. “Most of my customers do understand (when there are delays), but a couple of them don’t.”

A little empathy goes a long way, he added.

On Wednesday and Thursday, numerous readers reached out to Free Press publisher Bob Cox to express their gratitude to the paper carriers who braved the storm.

“This was the worst delivery challenge we have had this year,” Cox wrote in an email statement. “The storm hindered our deliveries, but did not stop them completely.”

Subscribers who did not get their papers on time will receive missed copies along with their next delivery.

“We will catch up by Saturday. It’s no fun to get a newspaper that is old, but we deliver them, in any event,” Cox said.

The Free Press employs an email alert system to notify readers about delays and provide a link to the paper’s e-edition.

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