Mandee Beaulieu, Williams Lake artist and Still North Design Co. sales associate, holds up one of three Australian wildlife prints she has created and is selling to raise money for Australia. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake artist uses talents drawing wildlife to aid Australia’s fire fight

Mandee Beaulieu has created koala, western pygmy possum and kangaroo prints

A Cariboo woman has created wildlife prints for sale as a fundraiser for fire-ravaged Australia.

Mandee Beaulieu, a sales associate at Still North Design in Williams Lake, has created koala, western pygmy possum and a kangaroo prints.

Two days ago she woke up with the idea, went and bought some art supplies that morning and stayed up until midnight painting them.

“I posted them on Facebook right before I went to bed and the next day I woke up and saw the post had reached 13,000 people.”

She had sold close to $2,000 worth by Thursday morning.

Still North Design Co. has also launched a T-shirt fundraiser with 100 per cent profits to be donated to Australia.

Read more: Williams Lake businesswoman launches T-shirt fundraiser for fire-ravaged Australia

Beaulieu has never been to Australia, but has firefighter friends who have fought there, and knows Australian firefighters came to help with the 2017 wildfires in the Cariboo Chilcotin.

During the 2017 wildfires in the Cariboo Chilcotin she wasn’t able to help out as she had just had a new baby, so feels that this is her way to give back.

In 2016 she did an art fundraiser for people in Fort McMurray who were impacted by the fires there.

Sheila Kosolofski was in the store purchasing the koala print Thursday morning and praised Beaulieu for her efforts.

“I believe we are all here to help each other, and this is an amazing way to give back,” Kosolofski said, as she held back the tears.

“People came over here from Australia and helped us. For Mandee to put her love, passion and talent into this is amazing, not everybody does that anymore. It is pretty spectacular.”

Kosolofski said she thinks the efforts will far exceed anyone’s expectations.

“It warms the heart in a world where I think sometimes people are drawn to the negative side of stories. This gives us a positive side. This is what’s happened and what do we do now to move forward?”

The prints are $25 each and Beaulieu can accept cash or e-transfers.

Read more: Big Lake fundraising to assist Australian community devastated by fires

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