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Final payment made on Ellie’s van

Wednesday, 12 July 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Final payment made on Ellie’s van
Pincher Creek Elks present a $4,500 cheque to Angels Within Us. From left are Lachlan Rempel and Kirk Weisshaar with daughter Ellie in front, Kevin Parkin with Angels, and Elks members Ken Kitigawa, Rick Clark,  Elsie Neumann, Ken Neumann, Bruce Baker, Charles Price and Edi Clark.   Photo by Tyler Ryan

Final payment made on Ellie’s van

By Tyler Ryan

With the sun still blazing in the evening sky, the Pincher Creek Elks were dressed in their best Friday to present a cheque to Kevin Parkin of Angels Within Us — reimbursement for a large contribution toward a specially equipped van for Ellie Weisshaar.

Elks treasurer Charles Price says Angels Within Us had initially stepped up and donated $4,500 to help buy a Dodge Caravan fitted with a lift for Ellie’s wheelchair.

“Angels Within Us fronted the money to buy the van, so that [the family] could get the van and get the lift installed,” Charles says.

The Elks then began working toward reimbursing Angels Within Us.

Ellie has a rare genetic disease, 15q13.3 microduplication syndrome, and is unable to walk due to insufficient muscle tone and issues with her hips.

Ellie and her family needed a modified van to accommodate her wheelchair.

With help from the Elks, Angels Within Us, Ricky Ryp Foundation, Rotary Club of Pincher Creek, Chinook Spitzie Masonic Lodge, Pincher Creek Legion, Pincher Creek and Cowley Roaring Lions, Pincher Creek Lions Club and all who supported the fundraising efforts, Ellie was able to get a new ride.

Lachlan Rempel and Kirk Weisshaar are very grateful to everyone in the community who helped make their daughter’s van a reality.

“Kirk and Ellie and I are more than thankful for the Elks and everyone who has been involved from start to finish,” Lachlan says. “It’s been a long process but we’re happy that we’ve raised the whole amount.”  

The Pincher Creek Elks set up two 50-50 raffles to raise a portion of the money needed, and requested additional support from the Alberta Elks Association.

In the end, the Alberta Elks matched the local Elks donation of $4,500.

Both Jim Duncan and Craig Jensen, winners of the 50-50 raffles, donated a sum of their winnings to help with the purchase of the van.

Including purchase and installation of the wheelchair lift, Ellie’s vehicle cost just over $32,000.

For Ellie, Kirk and Lachlan, it is more than just a van.

“It’s a lifesaver for sure,” Lachlan says.

Read more in this week’s online edition here.
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From the July 12, 2017 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.
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