Abel is off to Disney World

Gala event raises $23,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Last month’s fundraising gala dinner/auction at the K’omoks First Nation Band Hall raised $23,000 for the Help Fill A Dream Foundation, which grants dreams and assistance to sick children on Vancouver Island.

Five-year-old Abel Gawryluk-Livingston, a Cumberland boy who has chronic lung disease, was granted his dream — a trip to Disney World with his parents, Jordanna Gawryluk and Dan Livingston.

An auction item that caught Abel’s eye was a Traxxas remote control truck.

“Abel wanted it more than anything, so his dad allowed him to bid on it,” said Tania Woodbeck, the event’s volunteer co-ordinator. “Then people started bidding against him for it. The general consensus was, ‘Who is the jerk bidding against the kid?’ Well, turns out the others bidding wanted to buy it for Abel.”

In the end, Abel won the bidding war, while those bidding against him put cash in his hand to pay for trcuk.

“It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen,” said Woodbeck, who thanks all the sponsors and volunteers for their support.

“Our community is amazing with the support they show for our families going through difficult times with children who have life-threatening illnesses.”

In five years, the local event has raised more than $100,000 for the foundation.

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