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GoFundMe set up to reward Salmon Arm woman for her honesty

‘She’s obviously a terrific lady with the best morals’ says organizer
Ellen Zilkie at work, keeping the streets of Salmon Arm clean for everyone. One of her jobs is to clean up following the Farmers Market downtown. (Photo contributed)

Bonnie Quann has never met Salmon Arm’s Ellen Zilkie but she had no trouble recognizing her as a good person.

Quann, who lives in Penticton, read the Salmon Arm Observer story about Zilkie, who recently found $4,000 cash on the street and then immediately went about looking for its owner.

One of several jobs Zilkie has is keeping the streets of Salmon Arm clean for Downtown Salmon Arm through the Shuswap Association for Community Living (SACL). A SACL staff member went with her to try to find the money’s rightful owner. Their first stop was the bank closest to where the cash was found. As it turned out, the owner had come in about 10 minutes earlier asking about the money. Zilkie left it with the bank who contacted the grateful owner. She said he later left a card of appreciation and a small reward for her.

The article about Zilkie’s actions has generated a lot of interest online, including more than 160 comments. Among all of the people appreciating her for her honesty were several commenters who said Zilkie, with a low income, should benefit monetarily from her actions. They said someone should start a GoFundMe account for her.

Read more: ‘I’d never held $4,000 before:’ Salmon Arm citizen doesn’t hesitate to find owner of $100 bills

Quann read all of the comments and made a couple of her own. She was impressed by Zilkie.

“I thought Ellen should be considered a hero for most people, an example of how all people should be. All those wonderful comments from people who knew her over the years. I completely agreed with them – it could have been the wrong person to find that cash. I’m sure the rightful owner was happy she turned it in.”

Quann said some people were saying “finders keepers,” but that money might have been someone’s rent or mortgage payment they were trying to catch up on.

“She should get some reward. She’s obviously a terrific lady with the best morals.”

Quann didn’t act that day but checked back the next morning to see if anyone had started a GoFundMe. No one had, so she decided she would.

She called it: Example of Honesty (Ellen Zilkie), and selected a goal of $4,000. So far about half of the goal has been raised.

The account can be found at Fundraiser by Bonnie Quann.

Remarked Quann: “When you read stories like that, you want to help.”

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Penticton resident Bonnie Quann, pictured, started a GoFundMe for Salmon Arm’s Ellen Zilkie, who found $4,000 cash on the street in Salmon Arm and didn’t have second thoughts about immediately finding the owner of the money. (Photo contributed)

Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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