CARP – It was a huge day for West Carleton Disaster Relief (WCDR) bean counters today (Nov. 2).
The volunteer disaster relief organization took in nearly $200,000 in cash and in-kind services in two huge donations.
On Oct. 13, Carp Fair administration and board members held a day of fundraising starting with an afternoon of Drive-In Bingo, an evening at a country dance and a live, silent and online auction. Staff have finally counted every nickel and today made a donation to WCDR in the amount of $96,227.52.
“I was shocked to see that number,” WCDR co-chair Greg Patacairk said immediately after the amount was revealed at the Carp Agricultural Society office. “I’m totally humbled by that. That is worth hugs (which he then gave out). It will help immensely with rebuilding our community. Our community is suffering. Thank you so much.”
The Carp Fair, which closed down for the day following the tornado, wanted to help immediately.
“When we had to shut down the fair, lots of people were asking us how they could help us,” Carp Fair President of Agriculture Chad Findlay said. “How selfish of us to think about the fair when our community needed help. In usual Carp Fair fashion, we immediately started organizing a fundraiser.”
President of Homecrafts Lisa Belton picks up the story.
“As fast as we said we were going to do it, we had people calling us and asking how we can help,” she said. “At the auction, we had people bidding more than $1,000 for a bottle of maple syrup. We have an amazing community.”
“This is thanks to our sponsors, vendors, volunteers and patrons,” Findlay added.
Patacairk, speaking on behalf of WCDR and the affected community, had more words to add.
“It almost makes me speechless,” he said. “It’s amazing what our community can do. It makes you truly proud to be a member of the community to see how quickly people can come together and raise that much money.”
Brookstreet donates $100,000 in gift certificates
That very same day, Patacairk received a bag full of Brookstreet Hotel envelopes. Each envelope was filled with a large gift certificate from the Kanata North-based four-diamond hotel.
Brookstreet is donating a $1,000 gift certificate, for use in any way the recipient wishes at the hotel, to each displaced West Carleton family. The generous West Carleton neighbour is also giving a $300 gift certificate to anyone else “affected by the tornado in a significant way,” Patacairk said.
Patacairk says that works out to about a $100,000 donation from the hotel.
“We have been working on this the last few days,” Patacairk said. “It is incredibly generous.”
WCDR recently announced they had fundraised more than $75,000 (not including today’s announcements) for disaster relief. Even with the huge cash and service infusion, the community still has a long way to go.
“There’s so many ways this will help people,” Patacairk said. “This is going to be an immense help. It will go to use very, very quickly. But this is not going to go away tomorrow. We’re going to be here in the spring doing the same thing. In six weeks this money will be gone and we will be looking for where our next funding will be coming from.”