Jeremy Schmid is thrilled to have won the $6,500 designer ring donated by Woodland Jewellers for this year’s hospital ring raffle.
“It won’t even fit on my pinky finger, but we will absolutely keep it,” Jeremy says.
“You don’t win something like that very often.”
Jeremy and his fiancé, Sierra Williams, happily bought the $100-a-plate tickets to attend the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust’s Masquerade Ball in November and were there for the draw.
Sierra says she was visiting with a friend when they heard Jeremy’s name called and were so thrilled that they started jumping around screaming, and Jeremy immediately gave the ring to her.
“I love it,” Sierra says. “It is absolutely beautiful. I am wearing it to all of the special occasions I can think of.”
The one-of-a-kind ring features a .31 carat Canadian diamond surrounded by chocolate and white diamonds in an 18 karat yellow and 18 karat white palladium gold setting.
Sierra says she and Jeremy are not particularly lucky people.
“The most we’ve won before was $50 in a poker (horse) ride so this is really special.”
Jeremy is a millwright at West Fraser Plywood and Sierra is an X-ray technician at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.
They are both happy to support the annual fundraising galas held to raise funds to buy equipment for Cariboo Memorial Hospital.
This year’s Masquerade Ball raised approximately $60,000, of which $12,000 was raised by the Woodland Jewellers annual ring raffle.
“We think it is a really neat event and a wonderful evening out for a small town,” Jeremy says, adding that they also usually bid on some of the auction items at the galas.
In addition to being a worthy cause, Sierra says: “It’s is a chance to get dressed up and go out.”
Ironically Jeremy is a good friend of Woodland Jeweller’s jeweller Geoff Bourdon and had been working secretly with Geoff this past year to design a special engagement ring for Sierra.
He had talked with Sierra in passing about what she might like in a ring if they ever decided to get engaged.
The first priority was that the diamond had to be in a low profile setting so that the ring wouldn’t scratch a patient or snag on their clothes.
Like the ring Geoff designed for the hospital raffle, Sierra’s engagement ring was also made in a stirrup shape so that it wouldn’t slip around on her finger.
Once the engagement ring was completed Jeremy hid it for a few months until he felt the time was right to present it to Sierra.
Cindy Watt at Woodland Jewellers says the staff knew about the engagement ring and kept looking at Sierra’s hand whenever she came into the store to see if Jeremy had popped the question yet.
“It is so hard to keep a secret when you know something like this is coming up,” Cindy says.
Jeremy says he and Sierra like to camp at Bluff Lake and hike to the top of Pioneer Trail so he thought that would be a special place to ask Sierra to marry him. He took the proverbial leap this summer at the top of that mountain.
“The reason I knew it was time is because it wasn’t a question in my mind anymore,” Jeremy says. “It was the next logical step.”
While she might have suspected Jeremy was planning to ask her to marry him she had no idea when or where it might happen.
“I was very surprised,” Sierra says. “It is such an overwhelming experience when someone is kneeling in front of you and pouring their heart out to you. It is very exciting.”
Their wedding is set for July 16, 2016.
This year funds raised by the hospital gala will go toward the purchase of a portable ultrasound machine for the hospital that will cost approximately $125,000 with all the bells and whistles, says Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust director Rick Nelson.