Help support families in need

The soul of a community rests in how it seeks to assist those who are most vulnerable.
Several years ago, it became obvious to a group of citizens that there was no system available to help a family in need. Patricia Reid required a liver transplant and the burden of expenses was heavy on the family.
Led by Linda Hamilton, Georges Blanc, and many others, the “Community Chest” came into being. An annual dinner was created, with the proceeds going to the “Community Chest.”
Volunteers from the local Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, Legion Ladies Auxiliary, and Knights of Columbus, along with the staff of La Place Rendez-Vous and its suppliers, created a wonderful meal.
Local artisans donated auction prizes.
The “Community Chest” was born.
The “Spirit of Christmas” then came on board, with proceeds from that annual event going to the “Community Chest.”
The “Community Chest” holds many fundraising events throughout the year. It has grown and now annually doles out between $50,000 and $60,000 to families across the district who have to travel to Toronto or elsewhere for medical treatment.
The assistance is provided without fanfare, and annually a report is made to the community letting residents know how the assistance was provided.
This coming Friday night, another community celebration is taking place for the “Community Chest.” It is to help another family (which wishes to remain anonymous) facing daunting financial costs for medical treatments.
A different group of volunteers has risen to the challenge of helping friends and family. Three bands—“The Mud Lake City Boys,” “Centre-Line,” and “Phoenix Project”—will play in the Memorial Sports Centre auditorium here in Fort Frances.
Ross’ Camp, Grassy Narrows Lodge, Camp Narrows Lodge, Hanson’s King Island Lodge, and KaBeeLo Lodge have donated fishing packages that are being auctioned off. Out-of-area people can bid on these trips by going to www.fishingtripauction.com. The auction ends at 11:30 p.m. (CDT) on Friday.
Other silent auctions and draws are planned for Friday night, with all proceeds going to the “Community Chest.”
The “Community Chest” acts quickly. The turnaround to help a family can be less than a day.
The “Chest” also is extremely proactive—often seeking out families and letting them know of the support network that has been created in the district within days of a diagnosis.
Volunteers work behind the scenes, knowing that being part of the community means helping someone or a family in need. The volunteers receive no remuneration other than knowing that families have benefited from their work.
Tickets for Friday night’s benefit social cost only $15. And even if you can’t attend, I encourage you to buy one and help support families in need.

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