Gnome fundraiser for ‘Relay’ running

Heather Latter

A local “Relay for Life” team has orchestrated a new fundraising scheme that residents in town just might find themselves a part of.
Called “You’ve Been Gnomed,” the fundraiser sees a garden gnome moved from yard to yard—only by paying a removal fee.
“The way it works is you make a donation, and depending on how much you donate determines what happens next,” explained Kerry Vandendriessche, a member of the “Snow White and the Survivors” team.
“To get it removed from your property, it is a $5 donation and then to direct where it goes next, it’s a minimum of $10—and there is a no return clause in there, so they can’t send it back to you,” she noted.
Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $20 or more.
“It’s been bobbing around town,” Vandendriessche said, noting the gnome already has shown up at several homes—and even a few businesses.
She said there is information included about the gnome, whose name is “Gerome,” and how to contact the team for removal.
“It’s just something a little different that we haven’t seen in town yet,” she reasoned, adding they got the idea from a list of possible fundraiser ideas.
And so far people are having a lot of fun with it, deciding where the gnome will go next, said Vandendriessche.
“He’s not the ugliest thing, but he does look a little weird,” she chuckled.
Vandendriessche said there’s been a quick turnover, with the gnome being on someone’s lot for as little as five minutes.
She added those who have “been gnomed” can offer a donation by cash or cheque, and that U.S. currency also is accepted.
This year’s “Relay” tagline is “Cancer touches everyone’s lives,” so the team is hoping the “gnome” fundraiser also will reach everyone, or at least as many as possible.
Vandendriessche can be reached at for more information about the fundraiser.
The team also will be holding a fundraising barbecue at Safeway on Saturday, May 26 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
In related news, 16 teams currently are registered online for the local “Relay for Life,” which will be held June 15-16 at Fort Frances High School.
“We’re rocking this year,” enthused organizing committee member Anneda Chabot.
Last year’s event saw 16 teams participate, but she noted several teams signed up at the last minute.
“We’re doing pretty good. I think we’re going to make 20 this year,” she remarked.
Teams can register online at or by contacting Chabot (270-6263).
Teams are required to obtain pledges and are encourage to do extra fundraising.
“I’m so proud of people this year,” Chabot said, citing the amount presently raised by online teams sits at $3,140.
“They are taking the fundraising aspect and just going for it,” she added.
“It’s going to be a great event.”
The Canadian Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” is an overnight, non-competitive relay that celebrates cancer survivors and pays tribute to passed loved ones while fighting back in the hope of finding a cure for this terrible disease.
It involves teams of about 10 people, consisting of those representing corporations, communities, families, and friends, who take turns walking, running, or strolling around a track.