The 120 chairs set out proved to be inadequate at a fundraising dinner for Suzanne Mazereeuw and her family last Saturday; table after table was added until the numbers reached into the region of 180 attendees.

The EV Free Church was the venue for a fundraising dinner, bake sale and silent auction organized in honour of paramedics Suzanne Mazereeuw and her husband Jonathan and their family. Suzanne was recently diagnosed with cancer and was sent to Vancouver hospital for surgery. Jonathan continues to be at her bedside in far away Vancouver while Grandma Mazereeuw and the couple’s four daughters send their love and prayers from McBride. Our community once again proved the richness of its bond and care for its citizens; it rallied to the cause and raised substantial funds to help with the out of pocket costs for accommodation and travel expenses so that Jonathan can provide bedside support for Suzanne.

The event was sponsored by the paramedic team from McBride, and benefitted from LDM Contractors who gifted the majority of the food for the dinner. The paramedic team were all there in uniform showing their support for their teammates Suzanne and Jonathan.

Additional help was provided by local police, fire, and rescue members. A large group of citizens donated crafts, paintings, baking and miscellaneous other items for the Silent Auction and bake sale allowing all the funds raised during the evening to go to help the family. A wheelbarrow loaded with pennies gathered from throughout the community prior to the event added to the total raised.

MC and Paramedic Unit Chief Rodger Peterson along with Chamber of Commerce President Dannielle Allan both spoke about the generosity from the community, the donations received from so many in support of this couple and their gratitude for all the help so richly and generously given. After dinner Grandma Mazereeuw spoke to the crowd and extended her personal thanks and those of Suzanne and Jonathan’s four daughters, who stood with Grandma as she spoke. There were many wet eyes around the room as everyone privately recognized the commitment made over an extended time by this family, and gave thanks for our ability and willingness to give back in this their time of need.

Chris Parker