By Katelyn Dingman and Sarah Kucharski
Free Press Staff
The Smiles for Shyanne Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction fundraiser proved to be a success, raising $24,241 as a result of both the dinner and the auction.
“It was a great turn out, it was sold out,” event organizer Chris Inglis said. “It’s just huge, and in one night.”
Inglis said he was blown away by the amount raised for Shyanne Osmond — a 6-year-old Fernie girl currently residing in Burlington, Ontario in order to undergo several invasive surgeries for an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
Organizers Chris Inglis and Stephanie Rogers thanked all the volunteers and sponsors that contributed to the event, including big prize sponsors like Fernie Wilderness Adventures, who donated a Catskiing trip, and WestJet, who donated a two-person return plane ride.
“The event couldn’t have been pulled off without everybody’s contributions,” Inglis said.
Rogers seconded this notion and said, “The congratulations should go out to the community. We are just two people who started this by asking for help and it isn’t us who came through, it’s the community.”
Following the Saturday evening fundraiser, Rogers was still receiving funds and donations, including sizeable donations of $5,000 from the Canadian Legacy Project and $1,000 from the Kootenay Powerboat Association putting a to-date total at just over $30,000.
Rogers described her conversation with the Osmond family in light of the fundraising success as “short” as words quickly fell away to tears.
“I was so happy to be able to deliver that news,” said Rogers. “Terry and Amber [Osmond] are overwhelmed and it makes all of us so proud to realize that we live in such a wonderful community.”
“We are truly grateful that Shyanne has the support of so many,” said Shyanne’s father Terry. “Without all the support we wouldn’t know how we’d do this.”
Shyanne has already undergone the most vital part of her surgery — the removal of her AVM — but more surgeries including orthodontic work, and healing time will follow.
The Osmonds are also expecting to move into a rental home in Burlington at the beginning of February.