Rocking for Ruby evening to support Courtenay girl with leukemia

ROCKING FOR RUBY supporters Nicola Webb, Jilli Martini, Amber Wilcox and Bambi Pheaton (left to right) are planning a fundraiser Feb. 15 for Ruby Poirier. - Doug Biggs
ROCKING FOR RUBY supporters Nicola Webb, Jilli Martini, Amber Wilcox and Bambi Pheaton (left to right) are planning a fundraiser Feb. 15 for Ruby Poirier.
— image credit: Doug Biggs

The Jilli Martini Band is teaming up with the Bridge Lounge and local fundraising queen Amber Wilcox to put on a night to remember, Rocking For Ruby.

The band promises to put on a great night of fun dance music Feb. 15 with lots of hits from the '70s and '80s (and some newer stuff, too).

This event will support a brave little girl named Ruby Poirier, a 10-year-old student at École Puntledge Park Elementary, and her family. She struggled through three years of cancer and her family thought the long nightmare was over, until they learned just before Christmas, that the leukemia had returned.

Since then, Ruby has been at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver with her mom Jannette while her dad and little brother stay home for work and school, but make the trip each weekend to be with them.

"As a mother myself, I simply cannot imagine what it is like for this family, but I recently met someone who can," says Jill Gathright (Jilli Martini). "When I went to the home of Amber Wilcox , the keen organizer of all the fundraising events for Ruby's family, I did not know that I was about to meet one of the most caring, strongest, and busiest young mothers that I had ever met!

"As we began to discuss the details and logistics for organizing our dance, I learned much more about this incredible woman," Gathright continues. "Through our conversation, I learned more about the particulars of Ruby and her family, (whom I have never met), I also soon discovered that Amber had personally been through the tremendous emotional pain and financial stress of having a very sick child.

"In fact, Amber and her husband, Alex, lost their own beautiful child just three years ago, at the age of eight, after a long fight against her cancer. Her name was Jessica, the couple's oldest of three children.

"Amber went on to tell me that if her family had not had all the help, financially and emotionally that they had received when they were going through this, that they would have lost their home.

"Although there are wonderful organizations like YANA (that Amber was so grateful for), there are still a lot of costs that aren't covered, and the bills at home keep piling up, too."

The support from this community has been very positive. For example, through social media, local crochet artist Mandi Poje (Pojewear) held an online auction of various handmade donated items last week, to raise funds for Ruby's family, whom she has never met.

Donations keep coming in for the silent auction that is to be part of the Rocking For Ruby event, as well as door prizes, raffles and complimentary snacks.

If anyone wishes to donate items, services, gift cards, etc, and to purchase tickets, contact Amber at 250-871-2890. Tickets are for sale at Bop City Records and Long & McQuade for $15.

Doors open Feb. 15 at 8. A dance runs from 8:30 to midnight. Ambassador Shuttle will be on hand to help get folks home safely, for a reasonable fee.

— Jilli Martini

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