Gracie Lou Brulotte is fundraising for a new and improved set of wheels. (Photo Contributed)

Gracie Lou Brulotte is fundraising for a new and improved set of wheels. (Photo Contributed)

Fernie rallies to fundraise for Gracie Lou’s new wheelchair

The community has come together to donate over $5,000 to the campaign since Oct. 5

Elk Valley residents have joined forces to raise funds for Fernie local, Gracie Lou Brulotte, who is in the market for a new wheelchair. The campaign, which began on Oct. 5, is already one-third of the way to reaching its $15,000 goal.

Brulotte, the founder of the Gracie Lou Foundation, an organization dedicated to removing barriers to social inclusion for those with disabilities, requires a new wheelchair due to a condition called Arthrogryposis.

“My wheelchair is my legs, without it I do not function on any level,” said Brulotte.

“To most people their legs would be considered priceless. They are a necessity for living. My “legs” have a cost, and the cost is generally so high that it often restricts people like me from being able to have the full life they deserve.”

According to Brulotte, disabled persons in BC cannot exceed $1,000 in monthly earnings or else they risk losing benefits for items such as wheelchairs. With Brulotte’s desired wheelchair worth up to $38,000, and the government covering roughly half the expenses, she is calling upon her community for help.

With the donations, Brulette hopes to purchase a Permobil wheelchair, a chair able to vastly improve the quality of life of users through features that will aid her in therapeutic aspects and reduce the amount of physical exertion needed to operate the chair.

“The chair will be able to handle the tougher terrain that Fernie is known for, which will help me to remain active and participate in outdoor activities,” said Brulotte, who added that the Permobil’s Bluetooth capabilities would also allow her to operate various pieces of technology via her chair.

“For example, I’d be able to control my computer and phone through the wheelchair. Because I am so active in the community, managing two local non-profits…. as well as being employed, this feature will be a huge game changer for me.”

Anyone looking to donate to Brulotte’s campaign can do so online via her GoFundMe page, or by filling up with debit at Fernie Cardlock who is donating four cents per litre.

Brulotte will also be hosting a Canadian tuxedo-themed live music night and silent auction fundraiser on Dec. 4 at the Grand Central Hotel. The event, which will be both live and streamed online, will feature Fernie musicians, auction items donated by local artisans, and all-you-can-eat Indian cuisine. Tickets for the socially distant event are $50, and include meal and entry. Anyone interested in donating to the silent auction can contact Brulotte via

“I am truly grateful I have a wonderful community willing to support me to achieve the best quality of life possible, as I know many others are not so lucky,” said Brulotte.

“Words are not enough to say how thankful I am for everyone who has donated thus far, especially with the tough times we are facing right now.”

For updates, visit Brulotte’s Facebook page, Wheels for Gracie Lou.

READ MORE: New society to spearhead ramp building project in Fernie

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

File Photo
Missing hunter found dead in South Country

A hunter was reported as overdue on Nov. 29, and was found deceased on Nov. 30 following an RCMP and SAR operation

Incumbent MLA Tom Shypitka is contesting Kootenay East for the BC Liberals. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Shypitka named opposition critic for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

The Kootenay East MLA has held the energy and mines portfolio since 2017

file photo of fernie alpine resort sign (Scott Tibballs/The Free Press)
FAR delays opening day by five days

The resort’s tentative opening has been pushed to Dec. 10

A photo of PrudHomme’s vehicle. (Photo Contributed)
Fernie SAR on lookout for missing man

Gabriel PrudHomme was last seen Friday, when those close to him believe he went hunting

Seven Deers carved Shinning Raven Woman out of Labradorite harvested from the Canadian Shield. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Sculpture by Indigenous artist to be erected in Grand Forks

Civic leaders have rallied behind the project by Grand Forks’ David Seven Deers

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Most Read