The date is fast approaching for the benefit dinner-auction in support of Bayfield family the Ehlers, as they try to raise funds to purchase a wheelchair accessible van to accommodate dad Chris, who has been living with multiple sclerosis (MS) since 2002.
MS has impacted Chris’ ability to get around in traditional vehicles, severely limiting and restricting him from enjoying recreational and social opportunities, including special family events, outside the home. The family has located a used wheelchair accessible van and has put a deposit down on it, but needs financial assistance to complete the transaction and improve, significantly, Chris’ quality of life.
“He can barely do a transfer to or from a vehicle,” Chris’ wife Laura Lee wrote in an email to the Casket.
“He has had a few falls in trying to do so, so we are fundraising for a wheelchair accessible van to get a little quality of life back to him. It would make his life, and mine, so much easier and Chris could get out to more places and not have to worry about falling.”
Laura Lee also noted how active Chris was prior to MS.
“Chris was very athletic; and he has more than 100 trophies here from seven, eight different sports,” she wrote. “Ask anyone; they will tell you stories about his athleticism. He is very proud of these accomplishments and so are we.”
The dinner is taking place Saturday, June 1, at the East Coast Credit Union Social Enterprise Centre on St. Ninian Street, home of Antigonish Royal Canadian Legion Branch 59.
Because it’s a catered event, a roast beef dinner by Mary Grace, the $25 tickets need to be purchased by May 25 and can be found at the Petro-Canada station in Monastery, MacDonalds’ Convenience store in St. Andrews, Brosha’s Short Stoppe in Lower South River, or at Hawthorne Convenience as well as Antigonish Physiotherapy in Antigonish.
To purchase online, one can contact Laura Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with the dinner, the event includes a silent and live auction emceed by Miles Tompkins, a 50-50 draw, a cash bar (so it’s a 19 and over event) and entertainment provided by Ty Wallace as well as the MacLeod Dancers.
Special day in Goshen
Also in conjunction with the fundraising effort is a day at Big Hymies in Goshen where the business has generously offered to donate all of their sales, at their Goshen location, to the accessible wheelchair campaign.
It will take place Saturday, June 29, a day which has traditional been a very busy one for Big Hymies.
“We are forever grateful,” Laura Lee said, noting they originally just asked the business for a donation, connected to the dinner-auction, and were offered the day proceeds from June 29.
“We are forever grateful,” she said.