Myrna Anderson, a member of the team which organized and ran the April 6 Pulling Together fund raiser on behalf of the Froats family, was finding it hard to find the words to express her emotions.
“The whole event was just beyond real,” she said. “Isn’t it wonderful? We can safely say, at this point, that we have passed the $40,000 mark, and that we will publish our final figures in the paper within a couple of weeks. From the smallest to the biggest donations, everything counted in the end.
Isn’t it absolutely amazing what people can do when we all ‘pull together.’”
The goal of organizers was to raise funds to help the Froats family, Mark, Lisa, Brody and Brett, who are facing some very difficult challenges in the months which lie ahead.
The Pulling Together campaign began before Christmas, and culminated in a gala, Saturday, April 6, 2013, at the Matilda Hall in Dixons Corners, with hundreds of people coming out from South Dundas and surrounding communities to take part in the many activities.
The organizing team, made up of Myna Anderson, Mike Deighton, David Lapier, David Wells, Ruth and Paul Robertson, Keith and Linda Robinson, Gayle Hart, Loretta and Mike Anderson, Jim and Vivian Martin and Tracey Veinotte, was delighted with the support shown by volunteers and the public for the fund raiser.
The Golden Gears Car Club ran a car rally on Saturday, and a sponsorship campaign: president Henry Swank presented a cheque for $4,600 to the committee.
The Morrisburg and District Lions, and the Lions of Winchester, Chesterville and Finch handled activities throughout the day for the crowds of visitors. The Iroquois-Matilda Lions arranged for and looked after the hall.
The roast beef dinner (which completely sold out) was catered by Hart’s Special Occasions.
There were seven local bands performing throughout the afternoon and evening, with Elvis impersonator Paul Warren and his band, Mystery Train, entertaining after dinner.
People danced the rest of the night away to the music of Ridin’ Shotgun.
A full list of those donating their time, talents, funds and fund raising efforts for the gala will be published later.
The silent and live auctions were popular and important factors in the fund raiser.
Melissa Fisher, a flight attendant with West Jet, brought a special donation for the auction, from the airline, of two round trip tickets to wherever West Jet flies. “West Jet’s generosity is a major calling card for our event,” Myrna Anderson said.
West Jet has a community investment program, Fisher explained, and if an event is trying to raise funds, it can submit a proposal to the West Jet board. The company was pleased to help support the Pulling Together campaign.
South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds said that the “volunteers who put on this fund raiser should be highly commended. There was great participation from our entire community to support a family facing real difficulties. There is such a strong sense of community in this area.”
The Froats family was thrilled and truly overwhelmed to hear how much had been raised at the event, Anderson reported.
“Everything on Saturday went like clockwork,” she said. “We had no issues. We had great volunteers, and a wonderful crowd. It was a very happy day.”