January 16th, 2021

City serves up help for Fort McMurray

By Lethbridge Herald on May 7, 2016.

Police inspector Jason Dobirstein, second from right, pours pancakes while others do other duties helping raise money for Fort MacMurray fire relief in the Alberta Motor Association Parking lot Saturday morning. A pancake breakfast raised thousands of dollars for relief efforts.

Pancake breakfast shows unity with northern neighbours
Halen Kooper
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.
“It has to happen right now because that’s when they need the money and of course, we can’t plan for these things,” said Dobirstein.
“The fire department has stepped up; the police and corrections joined in.”
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.
“Each and every one of us wants to do something so anything that comes up it’s like OK, perfect, there’s our opportunity,” said Dobirstein. “It’s an opportunity for them to come, help out and do what they can.”
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.
“With the fire taking place in Fort Mac and the devastation that’s been a result of it, it’s really important for Albertans to come together and for me to be a part of that,” 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.
“It’s nothing new. Every time there’s a disaster or a large response is needed, be it the floods or the fires, anything, everybody’s got each other’s backs,” said Emerson.
“It’s fabulous. All the money being donated here is obviously going to a good cause.”
The amount of people from the community who attended the fundraiser had Harder echoing Emerson’s thoughts and swelling with Alberta pride.
“If you look at the turn out from today, this is incredible and I’m really proud of Albertans and the way they’ve come together around this,” 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.

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