Canadian Red Cross North Island Emergency Response Team member Derrick Harvey explains to the women of the Bowser Ladies Auxiliary how the money will be used to help Fort McMurray. In the front row is Central Vancouver Island zone commander Judi Davis

After the Fort McMurray fires: Bowser ladies lead Legion effort

The Bowser Legion Ladies Auxiliary challenged auxiliaries throughout the province to donate to the Red Cross efforts

After hearing about the fires in Fort McMurray, the women of the Bowser Legion Ladies Auxiliary decided to put a challenge out province-wide.

Bowser Ladies Auxiliary (LA) president Kathleen Wagstaff said they challenged the LAs throughout the province to donate $500 to the Canadian Red Cross for the people in Fort McMurray.

“We just decided to put a challenge out there and see what happens and this is what happened. I’m just thrilled,” Wagstaff said of the $8,600 raised by Ladies Auxiliaries throughout the province.

Central Vancouver Island zone commander Judi Davis said Wagstaff contacted her shortly after the fires broke out in Alberta in May.

“Kathleen had sent me an email about challenging the valley and then she said, ‘Do you think we could do it province wide?’ and I sent the letter to command for the mass address list,” Davis said.

Davis said the challenge was for the LAs to “meet or beat” the Bowser LAs total of $500.

“A lot of them can do the $500, but a lot of them can’t. They did what they could,” Davis said. “The LAs are starting to hurt, to lose more and more all the time.”

Members of the North Island Emergency Response Team for the Canadian Red Cross were on hand at the Bowser Legion on Wednesday

Nov. 16) for the cheque presentation, and Derrick Harvey of the Canadian Red Cross said that as of about three weeks ago more than $320 million had been raised for Fort McMurray.

“All of that money will be spent in Fort McMurray, it won’t be spent anywhere else,” Harvey said. “If you specify where you would like your funds to go, that’s exactly where it goes.”

Of the millions raised, Harvey said about 70 per cent has been spent.

He also said while the money goes toward helping families directly, some of it will also go to replace infrastructure such as children’s playgrounds or housing.

Harvey said the Red Cross offices will remain open in Fort McMurray for another two or three years.

“We carry on until, basically, our job is done,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Iconic white raven returns to Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Photographer John Domovich: ‘It blew me away when I first observed it’

Parksville’s Summer by the Sea event starts June 30

‘We are looking forward to providing a vibrant market’

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Parcel stolen from front porch, Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect

Unidentified woman allegedly stole package containing $400 smart watch

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read