Fundraiser event scheduled for 10-year-old Cranbrook resident diagnosed with Leukaemia

Event at Soulfood on Dec. 11 will support Olivia Potorti and her family through a difficult time

Cranbrook’s people and its business community is known for stepping up to the plate when one of their own needs some help, and this month there is a perfect example of that. The fundraising campaign for 10-year-old Olivia Potorti, who was diagnosed with leukaemia, and her family, has nearly reached its $30,000 goal and tickets for a fundraising event at Soulfood on Dec. 11 are almost sold out.

Jessica Niedermayer, whose band Wild Honey is performing at the fundraising event, spoke with the Townsman about this campaign and the event on the 11.

“It makes me feel proud to be a part of the community, it’s very heartwarming,” she said. “It’s so nice to see people pull together and rally for this family. It shows how tight knit our community is and for me, it’s kind of been unbelievable, the outpouring of people wanting to help.”

The event at Soulfood runs from 6-9 p.m. and features two performances from Wild Honey, a fashion show from Velvet Life and a silent auction with some incredible items donated by local businesses. Tickets are $25 and Cranbrook Flooring is matching ticket sales up to $1000. At the time of writing, Niedermayer said there are only around 15 tickets left and she fully expects it to sell out completely.

“It will just be a nice event to come down to and support, grab something to eat, grab a drink, bid on some items,” she said. “And I’m pretty sure, at this point it looks like it’s going to sell out which makes us really happy.”

Some of the items up for auction include an air conditioning or furnace supply and install, valued at over $5,000 provided by M&K plumbing. Sunshine Houseboats has provided a full-day pontoon boat rental, Element Homes has put in a Yeti Cooler, there’s photography certificates provided by Frida Viklund and Lexan Photography and private pilates lessons and gear provided by Free Rein Pilates.

The auction will be open online leading up to the event as well, so that attendees and people in the community can all bid to maximize fundraising efforts. All money from the auction, tickets to the event, and the special items created by Velvet Life will go directly to the Potorti family.

“People are wanting to help no matter what,” Niedermayer said. “If they can’t just provide cash they’re wanting to provide services or an item for the silent auction I think people are just doing whatever they can do to help which is creating this diverse group of prizes.”

Niedermayer said that while she can’t imagine what Olivia and her family are going through, with the stress, the financial strain and the difficult access to adequate child care due to living in the Kootenays, she knows that the more money they can raise, the better.

“It means so much to them, they’re so appreciative,” Niedermayer said. “Not just for our event but from everybody in the community that has been reaching out to them and helping them, their GoFundMe page, everything they’re just so kind of overwhelmed with the generosity and so appreciative.”

Tickets are available for a $25 cash-only purchase at Soulfood and the link to support Olivia’s GoFundMe page is here.

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