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    Categories: Volunteers

Martinis and garage sales, all for charity

MS fundraising

Local realtor Jay Herrick used to work in a restaurant and knows about the inescapable popularity of wings and beer. That’s why when he started brainstorming ways that he could boost his abilities to raise money to help end multiple sclerosis, the answer hit him like a bolt of lightning.

On Thursday evening, he was the guest bartender at the local Earls restaurant on St. Albert Trail. All of his tips went straight towards Herrick’s Heroes, his team that will be participating in Sunday’s Enerflex Walk to End MS. This is the fourth time out for he and his family. He and his brother Dan, have wives and kids and the busy lives that family and work entail, just like everybody. At one point, they figured that they had to do more.

“You get so caught up in your own life. We realized we really were doing nothing to give back,” he explained. When he thought of the things that affected him the most, he only had to look as far as his own personal history.

Herrick’s mother endured the debilitating degenerative nervous system disease for his entire life, being diagnosed the year before he was born. She first used a cane to walk, then a walker. He was 11 when his mother first required a wheelchair to get around.

“My brother and I were just having a cocktail one night and we said, ‘You know what? We need to do something that is a legacy that we can leave behind for our kids to teach them about being charitable and giving back to something,'” he continued.

“After seeing first hand how devastating MS is, we decided that we wanted to be part of the solution that will help bring an end to this disease.”

In addition to allowing Herrick to serve up pints and piña coladas, the restaurant also put a percentage of gift card sales to the cause. Restaurant manager Gareth Smith donated two Chef’s Dinners for six that Herrick auctioned off during the course of the evening.

This will be the 12th year that the event will be held in the city. Last year saw approximately 400 people raise more than $136,000 locally for the MS Society. By Thursday morning, Herrick’s Heroes were sitting at almost $1,300, a far cry from their goal of $5,000. Team Horner, featuring newly re-elected MLA Doug Horner, was in the lead at almost $13,000.

For more information or to make an online donation, visit www.mssociety.ca.

Garage sale for SAIF

Spring usually heralds the onset of garage sale season and one local real estate agency is trying to make the most of it. Royal LePage will be setting up its own sale in two weeks as part of a chain-wide movement called the National Garage Sale for Shelter to help break the cycle of family violence.

Locally, proceeds will go to help St. Albert Stop Abuse in Families, the organization that provides counselling services as well as education sessions in an effort to reduce domestic abuse in all of its many forms.

Shirley Williams is the realtor in charge of the event in the city. She hopes that people dig deep into their pocketbooks and come out for some great deals in support of a great cause. Before that, she hopes that they complete their spring-cleaning and offer up their quality used items too.

The garage sale will take place at the Royal LePage office at 506a St. Albert Road from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., May 12. In addition to all of the second hand goods, there will be some auction items as well, including a ride-along in Air One, the Edmonton Police Service’s surveillance helicopter.

She explained that this is a great way to reach out to the people of the city to help its own friends and neighbours.

“It’s to help break the cycle of violence and restore hope for families in our community. It’s to help provide safe housing and safe havens for families who are suffering abuse.”

If you are interested in donating any used item, no matter how large or small, call Williams at 780-458-5595. Mattresses and large televisions are the only items not accepted. Arrangements can be made for pick up as well. More than $12 million has been raised nationally through the event’s four-year history.

For more information on the cause, visit www.royallepage.ca/shelter. To learn about SAIF or to access its services, call 780-460-2195 or visit www.stopabuse.ca.

Donate, don’t dump

The people at Lo-Se-Ca are once again dealing with unwanted and illegal dumping of used items. On Thursday morning, someone left behind a bedbug-infested mattress that will likely cost the non-profit organization hundreds of dollars to remove because it must be treated and sealed first before waste removal will take it.

Warehouse manager Sharon Baker admits it’s a perpetual frustration.

“I’ve been phoning around and most people won’t even touch it because they’re not insured for it.”

For members of the public who are clearing out their houses, the City of St. Albert is once again hosting its Take It or Leave It event on Sat., June 2 in the parking lot at Servus Place. Everyone is encouraged to bring down his or her unwanted household items for trade at that time. Only tires, toilets, building materials, propane tanks, barbecues and mattresses will not be accepted.

The event is free and donations for the food bank will also be collected.

Call public works at 780-459-1557 or visit www.stalbert.ca for more information.

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.