Deni Bezeau will be handing out almost $30,000 to many local youth groups, sports teams and others from the sales of donated items through his store, Deni’s Dynamite Deals during an event which will feature bands and other activities, set for Sunday, April 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Deni Bezeau will be handing out almost $30,000 to many local youth groups, sports teams and others from the sales of donated items through his store, Deni’s Dynamite Deals during an event which will feature bands and other activities, set for Sunday, April 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dynamite program having an explosive effect on Ladysmith non-profit programs

South Nanaimo thrift store offering helping hand to many in Nanaimo-Ladysmith area

Giving back is something that Deni Bezeau believes we should all do.

The 67-year-old south-end Nanaimo resident believes very strongly in the mid-Island area where he grew up.

Bezeau has an economic model unique to Vancouver Island and perhaps beyond. He converted what was a house for people suffering from substance abuse into a thrift store. The public is encouraged to donate clean, used items such as sports gear, tools and other household items to be re-sold to benefit non-profit groups in the area, including many in Ladysmith.

“I’ve got to do something,” Bezeau said. “I’ve had such an incredible life here playing all types of sports, I really want to try and make it happen for others.”

Bezeau runs Deni’s Dynamite Deals without any paid staff. Dave Sutton, helps out daily for free and enjoys seeing the outcome of his work when others receive a donation.

Deni’s has been making donations averaging $6,000 per month. In August, he donated a record $9,000. To date, beneficiaries include Ladysmith Secondary School’s golf program, the VIU hockey club, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island, the Child Development Centre, various athletic programs, and the Cross-Roads Pregnancy Centre. Bezeau has also sponsored individual children to play youth sports, and provided free gear to youth in need so they can follow their passion.

Often when a customer doesn’t have enough funds, he lowers the price, or eliminates it altogether.

“We don’t charge tax on used merchandise, we absorb the taxes ourselves,” he said.

Many new Canadian families, particularly the Syrian community, arriving with little to no resources have furnished their homes with items at low or no cost from his store. He has taken a particular interest in helping recovering substance abusers. In 2021 he helped more than 70 youth participate in sports or summer camps.

Deni will be holding a big event sale on Sunday April 10, at Deni’s Dynamite Deals on the corner of Bruce Avenue and Seventh Street in Nanaimo, across the street from John Barsby School. Ladysmith Secondary School reps will be in attendance, as well as people from Cedar Secondary and Cedar Elementary schools, as he presents cheques to many different organizations.

His April event is expected to be a home-run, with more than $25,000 handed out.

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