By Mabell, Dave on December 7, 2017.
Twelve years ago, his neighbour died suddenly – leaving a southern Alberta family without a bread-winner and a father.
Don Schan remembers it well.
“His death just broke my heart,” the Picture Butte farmer and businessman says.
So he decided to find a way to help the grieving family. He and a partner each agreed to sell a calf, with the proceeds helping the young daughter with her school books and fees.
That became the birth of the “Calf for Kids” project. Over its first year, Schan says, a total of 18 boys and girls were helped. Many more have followed.
On Friday, he and Calf for Kids board secretary Ty Cross will welcome area residents to their annual fundraising event at the Picture Butte auction mart. A “AAA” Angus calf will be up for sale, along with a list of merchandise and services donated by Lethbridge-area businesses and individuals.
Bidding will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the auction ring, about a half-mile north of town on Highway 25. Coffee and snacks will be available.
Schan says the program continues to be supported by local people who know and care.
“It’s mainly local people,” in Picture Butte and Lethbridge.
But he hopes to spread the word, so more families learn that it’s there. And more people will step forward with support.
“It gives the bereaving family one less thing to worry about,” he says.
“It provides hope for the future at a time when hope is most needed.”
The Calf for Kids bursaries are designed to help with tuition and school supplies, up to Grade 12, where the loss of a parent or primary caregiver may put education in jeopardy
“There may be lots of people who don’t know about the organization and what (we) do,” Schan says. “Funds are desperately needed to help more families.”
Families who find themselves in that situation may contact the program at calfforkids.ca.
Those who are able to help may call Cross at 403-795-4816 or make a donation at the Meyers Norris Penny accounting office in Lethbridge.
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