REGINA, Sask. — The Brandt Group of Companies and the John Deere Foundation have combined to contribute $150,000 to the Canadian Red Cross disaster relief fund to assist in efforts to meet the immediate needs of the people in northern Alberta affected by last week's devastating wildfire.

"We felt that it was critically important for us to move quickly," says Brandt President, Shaun Semple. "Brandt and John Deere have always shared a strong long-term commitment to the communities that we serve. This donation is just one of the ways in which we plan to work together to assist victims of the Fort McMurray fire, including many of our own employees, to return to their community and rebuild their lives."

As the worst of the fire danger in the immediate area has now passed, government and disaster relief agencies are looking to the public for additional support in meeting the needs of the shattered community.

"It is thanks to amazing partnerships and contributions like this that the immediate and long-term needs of those affected by this traumatic event will be met," said Cindy Fuchs, vice-president of the Canadian Red Cross in Saskatchewan. "The generous support of the Brandt Group of Companies and the John Deere Foundation is greatly appreciated."

The majority of funds collected by the Red Cross will be distributed directly to affected Fort McMurray and area residents, putting timely, tangible support into the hands of those who need it most.