Collective kindness helping family, supporting animals

Second annual Tin for the Critter Bin campaign to run throughout October


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It captured the hearts and minds of many community members last year.

Now, Sue Zuk-Boyer is hoping the recently re-launched fundraising drive in honour of her son will once again help numerous animals across the province.

Tin for the Critter Bin is being supported by several pets stores in Manitoba, and also has the support of a number of individuals with RCMP connections.

In October 2019, Zuk-Boyer’s son Ethan — who was passionate about animals — was killed in a collision on the south perimeter near Brady Road. He was 19.

Throughout October, Zuk-Boyer, her husband Dana and son Reid are again spearheading the campaign, when visitors to two southeast Winnipeg Pet Valu locations — in St. Boniface at 27 Marion St. and in Southdale at 35 Lakewood Blvd. — as well as Fluffy’s Pet Grocery in Teulon and Quarry Pets in Stonewall, are graciously invited to make donations of cat and dog food. Financial donations are also gratefully accepted.

The St. Boniface and Southdale Pet Valu locations are owned by Tracey Johnson. Jill Gillespie owns Fluffy’s Pet Grocery and Nicole Nagy owns Quarry Pets.

Speaking on the eve of the start of the second annual Tin for the Critter Bin, Zuk-Boyer said her family is incredibly grateful for the support the campaign received last year and the collective kindness that was shown by the community.

“Last year went really, really well,” Zuk-Boyer said. “We were overwhelmed, even speechless, at times. We couldn’t believe how much stuff was donated.”

Like last year, Zuk-Boyer’s family will be collecting and dropping off food to other local pet rescues throughout the month.

She said the campaign has a dual purpose, as it not only supports Manitoba’s animals, but also helps her Balmoral-based family, which continues to work through its grief less than three years after Ethan’s death.

“It helps our family and it helps keep Ethan’s memory alive, but it also helps all of these animals in need, especially after COVID-19, when lots of people were getting rid of their animals,” Zuk-Boyer said.

“As I say, we’ve been overwhelmed as we’ve so much support, especially as October is a bad month for us. We’re overjoyed that so many others love animals as much as us. The campaign is a lot of work, but it’s well worth it.”

Other dedicated campaign supporters include Const. Shaylin Fenton — a former member of Headingley RCMP Traffic Services who was the first police officer on-scene of Ethan’s collision — and RCMP D-Division in Winnipeg.

The names of anyone donating will be entered into a prize draw that will be drawn at the end of October.

Visit the Pet Valu Marion or Pet Valu Southdale Facebook pages for more information.

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at or call him at 204-697-7111.

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