Cowichan community steps up for Ellisons

After the devastating fire at the Ellison Farm Nov. 14, friends and supporters in the wider community sprang into action to help Breanne and Colten Ellison recover from their loss.

Besides helping out with immediate offers of direct assistance, they are organizing a huge barn dance, meal and auction to raise money for the couple.

The fire destroyed a barn and its contents on the Ellison property.

It barn dance takes place Sunday, Dec. 7 from 4-9 p.m. at Avalon Equestrian Centre at 2442 Herd Rd., north of Duncan.

As the event nears, on the Facebook page Fundraiser for the Breanne and Colten Ellison Farm Fire, folks have been buzzing with news about the barn dance.

Organizers are gathering up tents, outdoor lighting, a compressor, barbecues, food, and auction items plus figuring out what to put on a sign advertising the event and lining up the entertainment.

The food sounds delicious and the auction items range all the way from power tools to eyelash extensions.

"Wow, I cannot believe all the work you have all put in to organize this," Breanne Ellison posted. "I am truly amazed. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. I am truly grateful and touched by each and every one of you for your incredible generosity."

A neighbour, Jacque Duncan, replied, "Awe Breanne, this isn’t work, this is play. Just wait till Sunday and you’ll see. There is a band going continual which makes people smile and all that food that this community has made will keep you warm and all the conversations with those you know and those you meet will make you happy. This is what makes it rewarding to everyone that is there. This Island is one big community, like one big family and that is what family does. We support one another in all that we do."

Local and Island musicians have lined up to help out. Music and sound is being provided by Ron Stewart Audio.

"When we heard about the Ellisons’ fire and when we were asked by Jacque Duncan to help, we were in," said Stewart’s partner, Laura Hesse.

"I know the Ellison family, having boarded my horse across the road for many years. They are a wonderful family and my heart broke for them when I heard of their loss."

The band, Ron Stewart and Friends, will open the show.

"I was thrilled to be asked to help," Stewart said, "and so were my band mates and fellow musicians when I told them about the cause. There wasn’t a second’s hesitation."

They will be joined by Valley singers Vicki Searle and Sharon Dudka and Kama King, daughter of legendary country singer, Gerry King. Kama has just returned from Vancouver where her father was inducted into Canada’s Country Hall of Fame. The rest of the lineup includes ballad singer Cheryl Dunwoodie, Dave Marco and musician and singer Terry Sheldrake.

Tickets for the whole event are $15 each or $35 for a family of four.

You can order tickets via Eventbrite at http://raise-the-barn.eventbrite. com/?aff=efbevent Tickets will also be available at the door.

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