Staff of The Free Press presented Glenn and Tania Wallman a cheque for over $7

The story behind the Glenn and Tania Wallman benefit

This week's Face of the Valley examines the story behind the Glenn and Tania Wallman benefit dinner, held on Dec. 12.

This week, I want to recognize all the people that pitched in to help us raise $7380 for Glenn and Tania Wallman!

I have known Glenn and Tania for about 10 years, and I remember when Tania lost her son Michael when he was 25. My youngest son, at that time was about the same age, and I recall thinking that there could not be anything worse. That was until, months later she was diagnosed with leukemia.  This she fought through, and I told Tania, “You are one of the strongest ladies I know.”

Fast forward four years, and I was stunned when I heard of Glenn’s illness, and ultimate loss of his leg. It was in early November, Andrea, the publisher of The Free Press, and I had a conversation regarding Christmas, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could really make a difference in someone’s life. At this time, we had no one on our radar, but we knew we wanted to do something.

It was on November 10th that, in a passing conversation with Tania, I could see the stress she was under, and it became clear that this was the family we were meant to help.  Things moved quickly from there.  Before I could even mention anything to Tania and Glenn, I had to determine what was possible. I contacted Bev Mandel at the Legion in Fernie, and asked if the Ladies Auxiliary would be willing to do the cooking if we put on a benefit. As it happened, they were meeting that night, and immediately after the meeting, Bev called and said, “we’re in, and the Legion will donate the hall!”  The next step was to confirm with my colleagues that they were on board. Without hesitation, they all said yes, and Andrea committed the staff resources required.

Now came the tough part, would Tania and Glenn agree to us sharing their story?  After considerable convincing, they reluctantly agreed, bolstered by the knowledge that the Legion would benefit also.

Many steps followed, Char at the Fernie Printing Company did not hesitate when asked to donate and print posters and tickets, Ann at Ann’s Independent Grocer and the United Food and Commercial Workers jumped at the chance to cover the cost of the food.  The Relief Committee did not hesitate when asked to donate their time to play for the event.  It was amazing!

Next, we canvassed the businesses in the valley for donations for the silent auction. So many business owners came forward to offer their support, we were overwhelmed!  The donations started coming in, and tickets were flying out the door. We received phone calls from as far away as Las Vegas inquiring ‘what could they do to help?’

One of the things that struck me was how many people did not know Tania and Glenn. This was odd because with all the tragedy that had struck this couple, I thought everyone would know. It doesn’t work that way. Tania and Glenn are humble people, they are helpers, the first to be there if someone needs them, not the type to talk of themselves.

When this realization struck me, I knew we had made the right choice as to which family to reach out to. The other thing that resonated with me was the magnitude of the generosity from so many people in our valley that also did not know Glenn and Tania.

To all of you who showed your support for the Wallmans, whether you knew them, or not, this column is for you. You are truly amazing, we thank you all, and you are this week’s “face of the valley!”

 

Just Posted

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over pollution from Elk Valley mines

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

Wildlife conservation groups in the Elk Valley are encouraging individuals to be… Continue reading

Sushi, sake and silk kimono

“The Kimono of Ichimaru” opening night at Fernie Museum attracts sellout crowd

Mexico-bound Tour Divide riders complete first day, pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody, 6 months since release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Elk Valley Bulls RFC reclaim Kootenay Cup

Elk Valley beats Cranbrook 7-5 to win Kootenay Cup; team off to provincials in September

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read