A FAMILY AFFAIR
Eva and Ladislav Dolejsi once again fronted their Kitz4Kids fundraiser in memory of their oldest son Andrew, who tragically died in a car accident.
Turning their personal tragedy into something positive to help others, the couple has been organizing the benefit dinner for the past 11 years. On what would have been Andrew’s 38th birthday, family and friends packed Richmond’s River Rock Casino Resort ballroom for the Saturday night dinner, dance and auction.
Since its inception, the annual event has raised funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation and B.C. Guide Dog’s Autism Support Program. The latter would again be this year’s beneficiary.
“Andrew had a love for kids and dogs,” shared Eva, while greeting two and four-legged friends at the door.
A major gift from the Schmelke family foundation spark-plugged the evening of fundraising. Others would quickly follow including three darling Dolejsi children, Harlo, 8, Theoren, 10, and Violet, 11, who encouraged attendees to match their personal contribution of $9,000 collected this summer from lemonade stand and soccer bake sales.
Everyone would respond in spades, more than matching the kids’ herculean efforts.
By evening’s end, the family affair would haul in the largest tally to date, just shy of $45,000 to go toward providing a child with autism a professionally trained support dog free of charge.
“It costs roughly $25,000 to prepare a dog for service, and the generosity displayed tonight will ensure more children with special needs have access to a four-legged friend, companion and service provider,” said Linda Thornton, co-founder of B.C. Guide Dog Services.
Since the event’s inception, more than $175,000 has been raised from the family affair.
Extracted from original article here.