From left: Laurie Johnson

From left: Laurie Johnson

Dollars breathe new life into rescue boat fundraising

Monday, Nov. 5, the Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department had surprise visitors at their weekly meeting.

On Monday, Nov. 5, the Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department had surprise visitors at their weekly meeting.

Laurie Johnson, Val Sangster and John Hieta made an unannounced visit to the meeting, and they brought a big cheque with them for the group.

Laurie explained that a fund that had been set up to buy special medical vests for John Hieta and Jaimon Rabey, two local boys who had been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.

Fundraising for the vests was a combined effort by both our local community as well as the entire Cowichan Valley. They  purchased the two required vests and realized that the fundraising had been so successful that there was still money remaining in the account.

Over time, Johnson and Sangster had given money to children that have been sick, with most of the money donated to the Cystic Fibrosis fund that has been set up at Island Savings Credit Union in Lake Cowichan. This fund is run entirely on Country Grocer till tapes and helps reimburse expenses for parents of children with Cystic Fibrosis. Over the course of a few years, they have given this fund $5,800, leaving a balance of $5,000 in their account.

When the two read an article in the Lake Cowichan Gazette about how the LCVFD was raising money for a river rescue boat, they knew where the remaining money in the account should be donated..

As Johnson explains, “More than this community raised this money, the Cowichan Valley and beyond helped,

“We had people from Nanaimo, Victoria, Cowichan Bay, Mill Bay, Duncan and Chemainus donate,” says Johnson.

“It was unbelievable the donations and support from the Cowichan valley we received. By donating to the rescue boat, it gives back both to our community and the entire Cowichan Valley and even tourists, so everyone will benefit in the end.” she added.

Both Johnson and Sangster had bitter sweet feelings about closing the account, but were happy in knowing that everyone will benefit from where the monies will go.