By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Residents of Lethbridge County and Picture Butte have come together to raise an astounding $162,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) after a local family received support from the charity following the premature birth of their daughter Savana.
Savana’s premature arrival meant she was born 15 weeks early, and as a result, required medical treatment in Calgary. This left her parents, Jacqueline and Craig Sosick, wondering where they would stay to ensure they were close to Savana as she underwent treatment.
RMHC Alberta provides temporary housing to nearly 1,200 families each year needing a “home away from home” while their children undergo vital and lifesaving medical treatments at hospitals across the province. In an effort to keep families close by for the duration of the medical treatments, families often experience reduced stress and isolation as they navigate the challenges of supporting their child during their treatment, as they are able to spend less time travelling potentially long distances. Additionally, the RMHC eases the financial burden for families by providing a home base in the city their child is staying in.
Earlier this summer, the Sosick family organized a fundraising event at Putsy’s Manure Hauling Ltd., to show their appreciation for the charity and give back to an organization which touches countless lives during difficult and stressful times.
RMHC’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Suzanne Pescod said, “Families often want to give back after staying at RMHC Alberta. We are very fortunate to have past families pay it forward by fundraising for RMHC Alberta in whatever ways they feel comfortable. The Sosick family, their friends, and their neighbours are an incredible example of bringing a community together to give back.” Although the sentiment to give back is common, Pescod added, “It is not typical to see a fundraiser raise so much money, especially a first-time fundraiser, which is a real testament to the community of Picture Butte.”
Craig Sosick, who also organized the fundraising event said, “The fundraiser we hosted was beyond anything we ever imagined. We ended up with over 40 auction items donated and raised over $132,000 just in the live auction, and the 50/50 winners donated their winnings back to RMHC Alberta.”
Denise Kinghorn, chief development officer for RMHC Alberta, praised the community’s efforts and said she was “inspired” by the incredible show of support within the small rural community.
“To hear about how the community of Picture Butte rallied with the family and came together through this gathering is truly heartwarming. I am moved by the love and generosity of the Sosick family, their friends, and their neighbours.”