Funds exceed target

Jody Hanna: Blind teen now able to get treatment.

Thankful: Jody Hanna’s mother Alicia smiles during a fundraising auction Saturday at the Sturgis North Pub.

“The Big Guy had a big hand in this one.”

That’s how Lisa Devries describes the overwhelming community response that raised $45,500 in 16 days to send blind teen Jody Hanna to Phoenix, Ariz. for stem cell treatment that could give her the gift of sight.

Devries, who researched possible treatments for Jody, whose optic nerves are underdeveloped, began asking for funding help after finding a facility that has accepted the youth for the procedure and offers assurances that she can reasonably anticipate gaining some or possibly total vision.

A Jody Hanna day at Sturgis North Pub Saturday raised $17,605 dollars.

“We had about 100 to 150 people throughout the day,” says Devries, who was amazed that donations of items continued to pour in even as an auction was already underway. “It was not an overly large crowd, but it was a very generous, generous crowd.”

The silent and live auctions and a 50-50 draw raised just over $17,000 while 50 per cent of food sales donated by the pub added up to another $600.

“It’s overwhelming… I keep saying thank-you, thank-you and giving everyone hugs,” says Devries, who organized the daylong event with help from Cindy Teare. “But it’s not enough.”

Also finding it hard to adequately express the enormity of her family’s relief and gratefulness, is Jody’s mom Alicia.

“It’s a huge shocker, but I’m feeling really good about it,” she says. “I am so amazed by our little community of Salmon Arm, but I guess people want to help out.”

While she says the family will not know the extent of treatment Jody will require along with her stem cell procedure until January at the Stem Cell Rejuvenation Center in Phoenix, there will be additional costs.

With more than twice the $20,000 fund-raising goal already in the bank, the Hanna family has decided not to go ahead with a fund-raising appearance at Save-On Foods this Friday.

“We’re happy with what we’ve got…” she says, noting the original $20,000 goal was solely for the initial procedure. “This is fabulous – more than fabulous. I guess you could say I love everyone in Salmon Arm.”

And Jody?

“She’s excited, very happy to have this opportunity, but she doesn’t understand the full meaning,” Alicia Laughs, pointing out Jody’s excitement is “over the top at school, where they’re having a hard time containing the girl with the newfound star status.

“Whenever we walk into the school people notice us and say, ‘hi.’ That’s cool.”

 

Just Posted

What sort of project or service you would like candidates to make a financial commitment to?

As the federal election quickly approaches, the Observer took to the streets… Continue reading

In photos: Magician entertains in downtown Salmon Arm

Children of Salmon Arm were treated to the wonders of magician Leif… Continue reading

Salmon Arm councillors examine dangerous bike routes

A tour of problem areas was conducted in downtown Salmon Arm

Survey: Salmon Arm houses cheaper to buy than many towns in B.C.

Only places with lower average price per square foot in study were northern communities

Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College to raise Secwepemcúl̓ecw flag

College to recognize campus sits on traditional and unceded territory

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Latimer surveyed much of Summerland

Civil engineer was also responsible of community’s irrigation system

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Okanagan marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Shuswap elementary enrolment numbers two times higher than projections

Estimates show increases mainly between four schools

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read