RSS Interact Club donates big to West Kootenay Friends of Refugees

By Contributor
June 19th, 2013

WKFoR received a $5k donation from  student members of the RSS 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. It will go a long way to helping us achieve our goals. Hopefully many of these students will be meet the four Burmese kids coming to Rossland, and help them settle into their new life here.”

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 our community  is a wonderful opportunity for our local 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.

West Kootenay Friends of Refugees 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 $2,000.00 – 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 success of this event was made possible by the superb efforts of our volunteers, the team at the Steamshovel, and, of course, all our supporters.”

The next fundraising event will be an elegant piano concert on October 10, 2013. Watch for details and ticket information in the fall.

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



Back Row L-R: Joseph French, Colby Zanier, Denomie Fisher, Madeline Fisher, Jonas Houlden, (Interact President), Marley Lemieux, Hannah Klemmensen, Rachael Roussin, Susan Shaw, Kate Mahoney (WKFoR members)
Front Row: Michelle Laurie, Alesha Hall, Marilyn Nelson (Interact advisor, teacher and WKFoR volunteer), Lucy Beck, Hannah Kroeker, Kathy Moore, (WKFoR chair).

Interact’s missing club members: Maggie Chan, Bianca D’Appolonioa, Julia Keller, Sierra Methson, Meghan Heximer, Julia Keller, Tristan Neufeld, Keegan Fry, Annie Cameron, Britta, Brogan Pastro, Alex Reed, Alysha and Jose Robonson-Wallis, Samantha Flemming, Mackenzie Ropas, Irena Rorie, and Delaney Bowman.

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