More than 200 people showed up to Cartwright’s Pub Saturday night for a fundraising event to help the Tremblay family.
Zach Tremblay is an 11-year-old boy with chronic kidney disease in need of a kidney transplant.
The money will help the family with the many expenses related to travelling to Vancouver for Zach’s appointments and a required three month stay after he receives his transplant.
By all accounts, the event was a huge success. The tremendous turnout, corporate, business and personal donations, city council and council candidate support and community response were an encouragement to the family.
“It was really successful. We were very pleased, thankful and humbled. It was a huge community effort. It was amazing and it was a lot of fun,” said Zach’s mom Jana Spender
When Zach was born he was diagnosed with renal hypoplasia dysplasia, a condition where the kidneys are undersized and misshaped. His condition has recently deteriorated and he is going through the process to start dialysis.
He will be undergoing peritoneal dialysis at home each night. Zach is currently on the live donor list and once he starts dialysis will also be placed on the deceased donor list.
“I want to encourage everyone to reconsider organ donation, it is a lifesaving tool,” said Spender.
The family wants to raise awareness about the need for organ donation, not just for Zach, but for all the children and adults out there on waiting lists.
Organizer Heather Anderson reported that the event raised over $10,000. The sponsor list includes more than 60 businesses and individuals that contributed. A large portion of the funds came through the silent auction.
“I think it is important to recognize the community businesses that supported it. That was a pretty huge chunk of our fundraising,” said Anderson.
She also expressed her feelings about the evening, “It was very successful. It met all my expectations. The people that attended the event were extremely happy with the actual event. It shows how our community can come together and do something positive for a family in need.”
One highlight of the night was the opportunity to throw a pie in the face of a city councillor or council candidate. Deb McIntosh, Florio Vassilakakis, Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff, Dan Rye, Kevin Chernoff, Kere MacGregor, Bruno Tassone and Dave Grantham all went home much messier than they arrived.
“We just can’t thank everybody enough. To say thank you in light of what has been done for us, it hardly seems enough,” said Spender.
If you missed the fundraiser and would like to contribute, there are several options still available. You can make a donation to a bank account set up at the Castlegar CIBC, donate online through www.fundrazr.com “Help Zach get a new kidney” or by contacting Anderson at (250) 304-3435.