West Kootenay Friends of Refugees (WKFoR) received a $5,000 donation from student members of the Rossland Secondary School Interact club, who have spent the year working hard to raise funds.
“We are amazed and so appreciative of the $5,000 donation coming from RSS Interact students,” said Kathy Moore from WKFoR.
“They showed unswerving dedication to this cause, and remarkable fundraising skills and strategies. We are extremely impressed at their hard work.”
Moore hoped many of the RSS students would meet the four Burmese kids coming to Rossland, and help them settle into their new life.
The RSS students, ranging in age from 12-17 years old worked all year to help raise funds and awareness about the two Burmese refugee families who will soon be calling Rossland home.
The students sold home baked snacks at many community events, organized a soup kitchen at RSS, hosted the Taste of Interact event where they made and served all of their favorite dishes to an appreciative audience.
In addition, they held a golf tournament and assisted at Rotary events throughout the year.
Sponsoring these refugee families to the community is a wonderful opportunity for young people to learn more about some of the difficult social issues in the world, as well as to hear about other very different cultures.
Burger and beer fundraiser sizzles
The West Kootenay Friends of Refugees, who are sponsoring two Burmese refugee families to live in Rossland, held a very successful “Burger and Beer” fundraiser at Rossland’s Flying Steamshovel.
“We sold over 90 tickets, raised money from the raffle and 50/50 draw and received numerous donations,” said Katherine Mahoney, WKFoR organizer. “We raised about $2,000—with great effort from the team and fabulous participation from all of the people who came out.”
Supporters were entertained by The Barefoot Toubadours, Andrew Bennett and Peter “Buzz” Reed on fiddle and guitar and mandolin. They were followed by blues rockers John Lee’s Hooker.
The prize draws, held between sets, were well received with cheers and laughter from all. WKFoR appreciated the prizes donated by BLOWUP, Gericks, Nature’s Den, Powderhound and Out of the Cellar.
The Holiday Bucket grand prize, put together by Rachael Roussin and Kate Harrison Whiteside, full of fun travel items, included donations from Main Stage Gallery and Powderhound.
“We are so grateful for the community backing we continue to receive,” said WKFoR chair Kathy Moore.
“We need it to sponsor our families, and will continue to raise funds so we can provide the Mi and Noon families with housing, food and assistance during their first year in Rossland.”
The next fundraising event will be an elegant piano concert on Oct.10.
WKFOR is just waiting for word from the Canadian government to say the refugee families are on their way to Rossland.
Their applications were submitted close to 24 months ago but they have not yet had their immigration interviews with Canadian authorities. To date, the West Kootenay Friends of Refugees group has raised almost $30,000 for their support.
- For more information or to make a donation, please visit wkfor.wordpress.com.