Pass the Flag Across Canada to pass through Sudbury on Saturday

A series of Jeeps gather for the Canada jeep show earlier this summer. Corey Michasiw’s Willy model leads the pack. Corey Michasiw/For The Sudbury Star

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If you swoon for jeeps, you may want to find your way to the Tim Hortons shop at Algonquin Square (near East Side Mario’s) on Saturday morning for the Pass the Flag Canadian jeep challenge.

Pass the Flag Across Canada aims to bring together the jeep community while benefiting local food banks. It was founded in Kelowna, BC, by first-time jeep owner Steve Steele. He wanted to learn more about his new jeep and to connect with other like-minded adventurers in the Okanagan Valley. A year later, his idea has given way to a cross-country relay in which one flag is being passed from jeep club to jeep club, from BC to Newfoundland.

The flag was dipped in the Pacific Ocean on Vancouver Island and is heading to the East Coast. It passes through Sudbury Saturday morning from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“It’s a way to give back to the community with the jeep flag being passed down from jeep club to jeep club until it reaches out east, and it’s also a way to give to our local food banks,” Cathy Wherley of the Nickel City Jeep Club said Wednesday. “Hopefully it will be dipped in the ocean when it reaches the East Coast.”

Wherley and her husband will receive the flag at Tim Hortons from Sault Ste. Marie and then a convoy will be driving to Barrie to pass the torch, as it were. Corey Michasiw, another member of the local club, will be carrying a thin blue line flag on his jeep, a tribute to fallen police officers. There should be a good gathering of jeeps at Tim Hortons during the handover.

Any money Wherley collects will be donated to the Sudbury Food Bank. If you are interested in donating cash or non-perishable food items, take a drive to Algonquin Square Saturday morning or get in touch with the Nickel City Jeep Club on Facebook.

“The jeep community is quite unique,” Wherley said. “The jeep developed this really wonderful, cult-like following. I would be hard-pressed to tell you that if you were driving a Jeep Wrangler and you were pulled over to the side of the road with the hood up, you wouldn’t have one guy stop and ask you if you were OK. It’s just the way it is. Jeep people take care of jeep people. It’s a brotherhood or sisterhood.”

Twitter: @marykkeown

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