Fundraiser aims to help B.C. infant awaiting heart transplant in Edmonton
Students, faculty and community members joined a fundraiser at Vancouver Career College in Abbotsford on Saturday to benefit a baby girl in need of a heart transplant.
Nine-month-old Rennah was born with mitral regurgitation and cardiomyopathy, which means a valve in her heart does not work properly, according to the GoFundMe page for her family's expenses.
Rennah's mother Aiesha - a Vancouver Career College student - and the rest of her family are currently staying with the child in Edmonton, awaiting a heart transplant.
As of Saturday, the online fundraiser was still $15,000 short of its $50,000 goal, something the in-person fundraiser aimed to change.
Alison Patchett is a social services worker instructor at the college and one of the organizers of the fundraiser. She said students had organized a host of activities, including a garage sale, a barbecue, haircuts and nail painting by donation, raffle baskets and a silent auction.
The centrepiece of the fundraiser, however, was the "Locked Up for Love" event, which saw college staff and local officials locked up and a "bail" amount set for each one. The individuals would not be released until they had raised enough money to meet their "bail."
The college planned to match every dollar raised by the community during Saturday's event with two additional dollars, tripling the overall impact of the fundraiser, according to the college's Facebook page.
"As (social service work) students, we want to support, as much as possible, anybody in our community or surrounding community that is in need," Patchett said.