Stettler Community Hall was packed to capacity on Friday night, June 19, as people from the community turned up, some with tickets already bought, some yet to buy at the doors, but all there to show solidarity and support for Kira and her family.
Close family friend Dean Lovell, with the help of friends and family, ensured that Keep Kira Smiling Comedy Night proceeded smoothly. The fundraiser featured a spaghetti supper, followed by a show of comedians, an auction and dance. Proceeds from the event will go to Kira Richardson Trust to help with her medical and other related expenses.
The evening was one of great happiness as guests celebrated Kira’s life. The evening started with a game, which was soon followed by Lovell’s accounting of Kira’s stories that the family had shared. He said of KIra, “She is sunshine wrapped up in a bow,” and added that the stories reflected “how tough this little girl actually is.”
Kira’s grandparents, Fred and Maple Richardson were among guests and felt relieved that they could go back to Nova Scotia knowing Kira is loved and supported by such a great community like Stettler.
Among some of the things that have been unique to Kira’s journey is how long her beads of courage are. At the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Kira was assigned a child life specialist, who calms patients through treatment and other procedures. Kira was assigned Cindy, and they connected right away. One of the things Cindy had to manage as Kira’s child life specialist was her ‘beads of courage’ program, which assigns beads to patients as a way to keeping track of everything they go through on their journey. Each colour represents a different type of event. For instance, grey colour implies dressing changes and Kira has 12 of those. Kira has a total of 286 beads of courage measuring 11 feet. She is about half way through her chemo treatments.
As the evening rolled on, people recalled stories of Kira, doubled up with laughter at the comedians, and participated in the auction.