A Fernie couple is in the process of creating a brand new fundraising organisation to help out local families dealing with cancer. Chris and Shelley Moulton are the founders of Friends for Friends, a not-for profit society that will raise funds to go towards cancer patients, and their families, living in Fernie.
“We just want to help people that have family members going through cancer treatment,” explained Chris Moulton. “The families incur so many expenses above and beyond their every day lives that helping them out, even with the smallest amount financially, is what we want to do”
It was the couple’s own personal situation that inspired the idea for the foundation. Chris’ wife Shelley was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, and after seven years of remission is once again dealing with the disease. After applying and not receiving financial assistance from the Canadian Cancer Society, the Moulton’s began to think about other families who may be going through similar situations.
“We just though that if a small, young family whose husband works at the mine, and God forbid him, or his kids or wife gets sick, they’ve got to travel back and forth to Calgary, Kelowna, Vancouver, and although they make say $90,000 a year, their bills don’t stop coming,” said Moulton.
After acting as long-time volunteers with the Canadian Cancer Society’s fundraiser Relay for Life, Chris and Shelley decided it was time to form their own organisation to make sure the money they raised stayed local. “We took huge pride with Relay for Life, but our frustration was that we’d raised thousands of dollars over the last seven years, and how much is actually coming back?” Moulton remarked. “We understand that they can’t give to everybody, so we’re trying to fill the gaps that are left, because people here need it.”
He added, “Whether it’s $300, $500, $1,500, every little bit helps. We know that because we’ve lived it.”
Friends for Friends has already made their first donation to a Fernie family. Still in the beginning stages, they’ve also brought on three directors, Val Luznar-Purdy, Shari Palmer, and Jeri Mitchell, to help decide which locals they will be donating to. “It’s not about Shelly and Chris deciding who gets [the money], we wanted a group decision,” said Moulton. “We’ve had three wonderful people that have stepped up to join us, and we’ll probably get two more as we move forward.”
The foundation will be working on a few small fundraisers over the winter, and are planning a larger event for the spring to introduce themselves to the community. Anyone wishing to volunteer or get involved with Friends for Friends can email firstname.lastname@example.org.