After a fire devastated the community of Leslieville and ended in the loss of the Elk’s Hall, the community banned together to help.
Theresa Jamieson and Jennifer Heyland, owners of the local eatery, Hooterville Hilton Cafe in Leslieville, began organizing a benefit for the Elks, who are committed to their community.
The benefit was held on Feb. 3 at the Leslieville Community Centre and included a silent auction.
The duo had the hope to raise $50,000 for the local organization to help rebuild and move on.
When all was said and done the benefit brought in more than $53,000.
“Hopefully this helps the rebuild go a bit quicker,” they said in a Facebook post.
Even before the silent auction took place on Feb. 3, the cafe owners said they had somewhere around $20,000 in cash donations which had been safely secured in the bank.
While the benefit was mostly smooth sailing, there were some set backs. Most notably $600 from ticket sales, and another $300 was stolen out of the cafe’s till. Luckily what was stolen did not include the cash donations – which were secure in the bank – or the donations to the silent auction.
While they were understandable “disheartened” by the theft, something good did come out of it.
Only a day after it was announced a local teenager named Danny took it upon himself to help.
“Danny came in to the restaurant carrying a big container of toonies and loonies,” a Facebook post from Jan. 14 says. “Without any hesitation he handed [me] the container.”
Danny had been saving up to buy a new PlayStation 4. In the container he gave to the benefit was close to $600, which came very close to recouping the lose of the tickets sales.
“In a matter of a few minutes he managed to restore some of [my] faith. What an awesome young man,” the post continued.
The benefit wouldn’t have been possible without the donations and support of Leslieville and the surrounding community.
The restaurant owners thanked everyone in a public Facebook post after the event, which went above and beyond their expectations.
“’[We’d] like to give a huge thank you to this wonderful community for your great support for the Elks Benefit. Whether you donated an item for the auction, made a cash donation or just came and showed your support it was truly appreciated.”
The proceeds from the benefit were donated to the Leslieville Elk’s, to help rebuild after the lose of their hall in a fire on Dec. 29.