The Stettler community has once again rallied behind a worthwhile cause, coming together to show their generous spirit as they raised more than $30,000 on Saturday, Feb. 11 for Jordan Church’s fundraiser at the Stettler Community Hall.
Hosted by the executive director of Heartland Youth Centre (HYC), Winnie Bissett, the event was a Valentine’s Day Dance with a midnight lunch donated by Brenda’s Country Catering and live music by Wheel House and DJ Dirt Road Music.
“We had a fantastic turnout and raised approximately $31,000,” Bissett said.
Longtime family friends and a volunteer at HYC, Jordan Church’s life changed completely one fine day when she realized she was unable to move and was in severe pain.
“Nearing the end of my Grade 10 year, my life began to change,” Church said. “I was taken to the doctor because the toes on my left foot had curled.”
That was just the beginning of the long road that Church and her family was led on, in their quest to find the right diagnosis.
After numerous doctor appointments and consultations, it was discovered that Church had contracted the Lyme disease, a condition not easily curable, and her only hope would be to take a chance on treatment provided in Mexico, “frightfully expensive” but “worth the try.”
“I met with Jordan’s family last fall and offered to organize a community event to help them cover some of the treatment costs, so my goal was to raise a minimum of $5,000, and I figured if things went well we could raise $10,000, so triple that amount is just awesome,” Bissett said in disbelief.
Putting together an evening of such a grand scale, Bissett went about planning and organizing it through social media and word of mouth.
“Auction items came in from everywhere, however, one thing I had told the family from the start is that I would not solicit any items myself as I did not want my involvement to affect the Youth Centre’s Awesome Auction,” Bissett added. “My friend Sara created a Facebook event page, and through word of mouth and social media we put the word out that we were accepting silent auction items. We ended up with 72 items!”
Auction items varied from pies, buns and bread to quilts and paintings, Oilers tickets, BBQ set and pressure washer, it was a medley of everything the community could think of.
“I would like to recognize what an awesome community we live in and thank them; the dollars raised have been incredible and will help the Church family but I think even more important for Jordan and their family was to see the community support in the room that night,” Bissett said. “I think this was an excellent send off and morale booster for Jordan, who is now in Mexico to start the treatment.”