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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — After a bear attacked two women in October, a Dawson Creek man organized a benefit dinner and raised over $60,000 to assist both families.

On Thursday evening, the $61,288 cheque was presented to Leosette Canoy, known as Cheng, and Analyn Shurtliff at Bing’s Furniture and Appliances, owned by Edward Mah.

Cheng, Edward Mah and Shurtliff hug in Bing’s Furniture and Appliances. (Katherine Caddel)
Cheng, Edward Mah and Shurtliff hugging in Bing’s Furniture and Appliances. (Katherine Caddel)

Mah said the donation speaks well of the community.

“We’re in the middle of a recession — dollars are tight. People are trying to figure out, ‘do I pay for gas, do I pay rent, do I pay for food?'” Mah explained.

“But they open up their wallets to [give] over $60,000 to help these two ladies out.”

The same evening, the Dawson Creek Kids Club presented a $3,423 cheque to Cheng and Shurtliff.

Dawson Creek Kids Club presenting cheque to Cheng and Shurtliff. (Katherine Cadell)
Dawson Creek Kids Club presenting a cheque to Cheng and Shurtliff. (Katherine Caddel)

Cara Funk, with the Kids Club, said the kids wanted to do a fundraiser because they had been on the same trail only two days before.

“All of a sudden, this idea about the hotdog stand came up, and we said, ‘Let’s just do a simple hot dog stand and see if anyone will come,'” Funk explained.

In collaboration with the Butcher Block, they sold hot dogs and ended up having more than 350 people stop by.

“The kids got to experience what it looks like when people come up and say, ‘I don’t even need a hot dog, I just wanna help,'” she said.

“[It was] quite a powerful experience for us all to see what happens when a community comes together.”

After receiving both cheques, Cheng thanked the community for their support.

“We know thank you is not enough, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you,” Cheng said.

Both Shurtliff and Cheng also thanked the healthcare workers involved in their recovery.

The donation comes from the benefit dinner Mah hosted on November 5th, at the George Dawson Inn with catering donated by Flavours 8.

Mah planned the dinner while in the Dominican Republic last month after hearing about the bear attack in Dawson Creek.

Both women still have GoFundMe pages — Shurtliff’s is at $18,642, and Cheng’s is at $17,054.

With files from Katherine Caddel

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.