Fundraiser for those affected by Fifth Street fire

All that remains of this Fifth Street Morrisburg building that was once home to two businesses and the tenants of three upstairs apartments. (The Leader/file photo)

MORRISBURG – For Ethel and Bill Britton, this is a case of “paying it forward.” Five years ago, the Brittons lost their barn in a fire. The building was not insured.

Friends and neighbours rallied within days to help the Britton family out, holding a fundraising event that eventually brought in $20,000. “This community was simply wonderful to us,” said Ethel Britton. “It meant so much to us.”

When they learned that a fire had swept through a business and residential block on Fifth Street in Morrisburg the night of December 28, 2019, and destroyed all the possessions (including Christmas gifts) of three local families, they immediately decided to take action. They wanted to pay forward the kindness and generosity they had once received in a time of trouble.

On February 29, 2020, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., the Brittons are spearheading a fundraising event at the Morrisburg Legion to help out the victims of the fire. The couple have friends working with them to plan the event including Kim Lalonde and her husband, Ronnie, and Debbie Thurler.

“The Morrisburg Pentecostal Church has, we believe, already stepped in to collect clothes and furniture for the families,” Ethel said.

She and Bill hope to raise funds for the families.

They are planning to hold a silent auction and an indoor yard sale on the 29th. There will also be a hot chili dinner available during the day.

“The Morrisburg Lions have already offered to supply sandwiches and cheeses and pickles or possibly a barbecue for our event, with a donation jar, so that is wonderful.”

She hopes to approach local businesses for donations for the silent auction, and invites anyone else who might have either auction or indoor yard sale items to donate to get in touch with her. It may be possible to arrange for items to be picked up.

“We just ask people not to give us any cash until the actual day of the fundraiser,” Ethel said. They will, however, be set up to accept cash donations on the 29th.

“The response from our community has already been very positive,” Ethel said. “I am just so thankful for the care that people here show. I am hoping to send these families home with much needed funds.”

The Brittons invite anyone who would be interested in donating to the silent auction and the yard sale, or in volunteering to help with the chili dinner or other jobs, to get in touch with them at 613-543-9062 and help pay it forward for these neighbours in need.

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