By Lethbridge Herald on May 7, 2016.
Pancake breakfast shows unity with northern neighbours
For The Herald
As wildfires in Northern Alberta continue to burn, the community of Lethbridge united Saturday to help alleviate some of the pains and struggles of Fort McMurray residents displaced by the fire.
The Lethbridge Fire Department, Alberta Motor Association and Lethbridge Police Service and Corrections hosted a pancake breakfast and accept donations for the victims of the Fort McMurray fires.
With only a few days to organize the fundraiser, LPS Inspector Jason Dobirstein realized they had to get the people of Fort McMurray the relief they needed as soon as possible.
â€œIt has to happen right now because thatâ€™s when they need the money and of course, we canâ€™t plan for these things,â€ said Dobirstein.
â€œThe fire department has stepped up; the police and corrections joined in.â€
In addition, Dobirstein knew the community has been looking to help the less fortunate in Fort McMurray in any way they can and he saw the fundraiser as an opening for them to pitch in.
â€œEach and every one of us wants to do something so anything that comes up itâ€™s like OK, perfect, thereâ€™s our opportunity,â€ said Dobirstein. â€œItâ€™s an opportunity for them to come, help out and do what they can.â€
From a sense of civic duty as an Albertan and a civil servant, Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder volunteered at the fundraiser to unite with Albertans in support for fire victims.
â€œWith the fire taking place in Fort Mac and the devastation thatâ€™s been a result of it, itâ€™s really important for Albertans to come together and for me to be a part of that,â€ said Harder.
Witnessing the devastation first hand by assisting in the evacuation of Fort McMurray, paramedic Jesse Emerson is amazed to see the unity among Albertans time and time again.
â€œItâ€™s nothing new. Every time thereâ€™s a disaster or a large response is needed, be it the floods or the fires, anything, everybodyâ€™s got each otherâ€™s backs,â€ said Emerson.
â€œItâ€™s fabulous. All the money being donated here is obviously going to a good cause.â€
The amount of people from the community who attended the fundraiser had Harder echoing Emersonâ€™s thoughts and swelling with Alberta pride.
â€œIf you look at the turn out from today, this is incredible and Iâ€™m really proud of Albertans and the way theyâ€™ve come together around this,â€ Harder said. The breakfast raised more than $27,000. To donate to the relief fund, text REDCROSS to 30333, FIRE to 45678 or visit redcross.ca.