FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A fundraising event organized by community members to assist Tegan Nielson and her family after she suffered a severe spinal cord injury earlier this year will be held at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre on Saturday.

Nielsen is now wheelchair-bound, and the family needs to make adjustments to their home and purchase a new vehicle to accommodate her.

Todd Koponyas, principal of North Peace Secondary School and drummer for the Montney Coulees, says he decided to help plan the event because he felt it was “the right thing to do.”

“A colleague in [School District 60] came to me and said, ‘I got an idea for a fundraiser. Do you think your band would be interested in it?’ So I went and talked to the guys, and they said, of course, we’d love to help out,” Koponyas recalled.

He says while he doesn’t know Nielson well, his daughter used to play soccer with her when they were younger.

Koponyas says the community response to the event has been nothing short of phenomenal.

“This community just keeps giving. It’s unbelievable the number of gifts and prizes that they’ve offered,” he said.

The event will feature a dance, bag draws, a balloon pop, and performances by the Montney Coulees and the Roadside Distractions.

There will also be a silent auction and 50/50 draws. Silent auction items include an autographed Vancouver Canucks jersey from 2021-2022, a Westjet Flight voucher for a round trip for two, and a 1-day excavator or dozer rental from HD Northern Equipment Sales & Rentals Inc.

The event starts at 7 p.m. and will go until midnight. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are still available here.

To learn more, view the event’s Facebook page.

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.