FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local artists raised over $5,000 to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine through a silent auction at Safeway last week.

Organizer and artist Diana Hofmann says she sent $5,130 to the Red Cross on Monday, following the silent auction on March 14th that had pieces from multiple artists that featured the national flower of Ukraine, sunflowers.

“I wanted to do a painting to show support. Then I was like, well, but that’s not enough, and I don’t have money, like extra money right now. So I was like, well, Safeway has done fundraisers like that before,” said Hofmann.

Initially, Hofmann wanted the proceeds to go to the National Bank of Ukraine, but her bank was unsure if the website was secure, so she chose the Red Cross.

The silent auction took Hofmann about a week to organize. Despite being anxious leading up to the event, Hofman says she wasn’t surprised by the community support.

” I feel just really proud, but I knew that our community is super generous. They always are. I knew they would come through and help out.”