Carol Enns would have been proud.
The Kootenay Carol’s Children’s Festival and benefit concert drew hundreds of people out into the crisp Saturday air, chasing away the rain and some cloud, long enough for the community to gather and express their gratitude for one of their own.
The eight-hour event in the Rossland Arena parking lot and Nickleplate Park was staged to raise money for Enns—injured in a head-on collision in late June in Washington—and the Family Relief Fund.
The call went out and the community responded, with well over one dozen vendors—including a display and sale of Enns’art—numerous children’s games, crafts, a raffle, prizes and a full slate of entertainment on the stage.
With Enns now transferred to a hospital in Abbotsford, her spirits are still high on her long road to rehabilitation, said Sam Troy. Troy’s son Zac, 9, had spoken to Enns that morning and she was in “fabulous” spirits.
“She sounds just like Carol,” said Troy. “She was very enthusiastic that this was happening but was disappointed she couldn’t be here. But she was here in spirit.”
Troy said Enns’ sight will not return but her mobility is coming back. She is on course to being able to walk one kilometre, the bar she needs to reach before she will be given a guide dog.
Although a dog is already ready for her, Enns will need some training with the dog. Right now she is still wheel chair dependent.
Eagles president Chris Markling has known Enns since he arrived in Rossland 10 years ago, and he immediately saw the need she had and he, along with the rest of the service club, stepped up.
“In a small community like this you find that the only people that help each other is each other,” he said.
In Abbotsford Enns has a network of family in the area so she is well taken care of, despite being so far away from Rossland.
The festival raised $,500. Prior to the festival the community had raised over $10,000 for the effort to help offset the costs incurred by Enns’ hospital stay in the U.S., and for her primary group of support—daughter Hannah, son Corby and boyfriend Chuck Fuller—to travel to be at her side while she fights her battle to heal.
Enns’ life was changed forever in a head-on collision with an alleged drunk driver near Kettle Falls, WA on June 29.
She spent over two weeks in intensive care at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA. She was transferred to Vancouver General Hospital where she continued her fight to heal and her fight to live, and underwent two more surgeries.
Enns’ injuries were extensive: shattered femurs, both knee caps blown out, both ankles shattered, both shoulders broken, a broken sternum, broken ribs, ruptured spleen, surgery on her liver and her hips were fractured.
But the hardest blow of all for the former ski patroler at Red Mountain—and an avid outdoorswoman—was the news she had been blinded by the crash.