Friends and family of Sid Blackwell of Nimpo Lake have opened their hearts and their wallets to support Sid after he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer this winter.
He is currently in Phoenix, Arizona receiving specialized chemotherapy treatments at the Patrick Abraham Healing Foundation, where he is half way through a six-week regime. So far the community has raised $45,000 of the $65,000 necessary for the treatment. The community of Anahim and Nimpo Lake put on a benefit potluck dinner and auction on March 17 in Anahim Lake Community Hall, and raised $17,915.32.
Organizer Donna Wickenheiser said she hasn’t seen that many people in the hall for a long time.
“We had 200 people through the door,” she said, adding the food was delicious as everyone brought their favourite dishes. Cam Moxon was the auctioneer and the spotters were Tara Hatch and Nestor Malinsky.
Wickenheiser said the auction alone raised more than $15,000 and several businesses donated their profits from that day.
Several weeks ago Nick Hawes, the owner of Lake District Air Services in Vanderhoof, Sid’s employer, started an on-line fundraising campaign, which has so far generated $23,425. “We are getting closer to our goal,” Hawes says. “But we are $20,000 short of the $65,000 we will need.”
Warren Bean, a partner in Wilderness Rim Resort at Nimpo, has spearheaded another fundraising effort south of the border, so American donors can receive charitable tax status on their donations. Sid and his wife Cora have both been bush pilots since the 1980s. In recent years they have operated the Lakes District Air Service float base at Nimpo Lake. Sid and Cora have one son, Angelo, who turns 11 this year. Anyone wishing to contribute to Sid Blackwell can do so online by visiting http://www.gofundme.com/fdf6o?utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Emails, or by calling Hawes at 250-692-3229.