FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The second meeting of the Fort St. John chapter of 100 Women Who Care was a big success as 101 ladies came out to the Lido Theatre last night.
Members of the audience had a tough vote on which of the three presenting charities was most deserving of the group’s donation. The Fort St. John Firefighters Charitable Society, Fort St. John and area Seniors Foundation, and the North Peace SPCA all made their case to the group of women.
Joined by 22 other members of the local fire department, Firefighters Charitable Society President Adam Winn said that during its first year operating, the firefighters charity has helped 22 families with medical travel expenses. His voice wavering with emotion several times, Winn told the group of women about four families that had benefitted from the funding, including the family of 4 year-old Natalie Small, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma last December and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at BC Children’s Hospital.
Speaking for the Seniors Foundation, Roxanne Chmelyk told the audience about the work her organization does for local seniors to improve their quality of life. Chmelyk said the organization currently runs a Meals on Wheels program, as well as its Better at Home program which provides light housekeeping and personal care items for seniors who wish to remain at home. The organization is funded through government grants and fundraisers.
Last but not least, North Peace SPCA Branch Manager Candace Buchamer told the audience about the large number of animals that the shelter helps, saying it costs over $300,000 per year to run the shelter. Buchamer also got emotional while telling the story of Grover, a mixed-breed dog that was abandoned by the Beatton River and was so emaciated when he was brought into the SPCA that his skin had become necrotic and was sloughing off. Grover has since recovered, and made an appearance onstage during Buchamer’s presentation.
When all was said and done, it was the firefighters who ended up walking away with the big cheque for $10,100. Winn said that his organization will use the funds to continue to support North Peace residents that need to travel out of the Peace Region for medical treatments and emergencies.
The 100 Women Who Care will be hosting their third meeting on September 11th.