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Emily Ann Foundation finds success in bottle drive, supports inaugural client

The fundraiser raised $1,700 in one day, surpassing Wood’s goal of $800
Shawn Wood created the Emily Ann Foundation earlier this year, about a decade after he lost his wife Emily to Stage 4 aggressive large-cell lymphoma in January 2012. Photo supplied

In his first fundraising attempt for his newly-formed foundation, Shawn Wood quickly surpassed his goal.

On May 14, Wood held a bottle drive at the Return-It Centre in Courtenay for the Emily Ann Foundation - an organization that bears the name of his late wife, with the goal to provide accommodation for family members of terminal cancer patients over the age of 18, while the patient undergoes treatment, and to facilitate final wishes.

Wood created the foundation earlier this year, about a decade after he lost Emily to Stage 4 aggressive large-cell lymphoma in January 2012.

Emily’s dying wish was to marry Shawn, and because the couple was short on cash due to health-related costs, Shawn reached out to the community for help. The community responded with offers of goods, services and cash streaming in from businesses and individuals right away.

The fundraiser raised $1,700 in one day, surpassing Wood’s goal of $800.

“The bottle drive was more than I could ever have expected,” he noted. “There was a constant flow of people dropping bottles and cans off, talking to us about what we want to do to give back.”

During a recent episode of the Record’s Off The Page podcast, Wood explained his goal is to raise $50,000, which will provide enough to help to assist one person with a wish and accommodation.

He’s hoping a growing social media presence will also assist in fundraising goals, as Wood is currently redesigning the foundation’s website to make it easier to find online. He added awareness could help with donors, which in turn could make a significant difference.

While he admitted the first few months of setting up the foundation have been challenging, he is going “full steam ahead, no matter the obstacle - no one should be alone.”

He is launching a 50/50 raffle with a prize of up to $5,000 and is planning to be at the Canada Day celebrations in Courtenay.

A silent auction is also set from June 4 to 11 with prizes that include gift cards, trips to Las Vegas and Filberg Festival passes.

“I hope that we can raise $1,000 in items and $500 in donations,” Woods said.

Despite the future events and plans, Woods can already see a tangible effect from the foundation. The board agreed to help a Courtenay woman who is unable to work due to metastatic malignant melanoma.

“With the bottle drive being such a success, we have decided to give (the client) $850 to pay all her expenses for a surgery she has at the end of May. When we hand that first check (over), I may just cry of happiness,” noted Woods.

“I am so happy that we are making a difference already and we have only been in operation for two months.”

For more information on the foundation, upcoming events or the silent auction, visit

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Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
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