Lake Cowichan community rallies support to return the favour

Helping the Newmans: fundraiser organized to help the family as Charlie Newman battles back from devastating accident

Charlie Newman

Charlie Newman

If any community knows a thing or two about stepping up when folks are in need, it’s Lake Cowichan.

And, as many residents know, it’s often long-time citizens Anne and Dick Newman at the forefront.

This time, however, instead of giving it’s the Newman family on the receiving end.

Anne and Dick’s son, Charlie Newman, remains in hospital following an ugly accident on Highway 18 Sept. 18 that killed another man.

“Charlie is still in critical but stable condition in ICU at Victoria General Hospital under heavy sedation,” Anne said. “He has made some progress but still has months of hospital time. He is fighting the fight of his life and with the love and support of his friends and family we believe he will make it.”

The community is rallying to come up with funds to help Charlie’s family get through his road to recovery.

“One of the biggest reasons we’re doing this for them, is they’ve always been the biggest help to the community and now it’s their turn to receive,” said organizer and family friend Darlene Pohn.

“When you mention Dick and Anne, they are so well-known in the community you don’t even have to say their last name. Everyone knows them.”

Pohn and Laurie Johnson are currently pounding the pavement selling tickets and collecting auction items for a beef dip and beverage fundraiser at the Cowichan Lake Centennial Hall on Saturday, Oct. 19 that the Lake Cowichan Fire Department — Dick is the former longtime fire chief — is hosting, along with family and friends. The event will feature live music by Jan Matthews in Overdrive, a silent auction and 50/50 draw.

All the money raised will go towards Charlie’s family.

“He won’t be at work for a long time, and his wife won’t be working for awhile,” said Pohn. “He’s hanging in there, but it’s a very long road ahead.”

The fundraising shindig will start at 4 p.m. with dinner served from 5 to 7 p.m.

Organizers are looking for cash donations, silent auction items, or ticket sales.

Tickets to the event are $20 and can be purchased from Pohn or Johnson, IRLY Home Centre, Cowichan Lake Community Services and the Gazette office. Johnson can be reached at 250-749-6612 or Pohn at 250-709-0564.

“The more the merrier, we’re printing tons of tickets,” said Pohn. “We’re not sure how many people to expect but there will be a ton of food. It’s going to be the fundraiser of the year.”