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Benefit dinner for local youths sold out

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If you haven’t purchased a ticket yet for the benefit dinner being staged by the Fort Frances Lions Club this Friday at La Place Rendez-Vous, you’re out of luck because the event is sold out.

Some 250 people are expected to attend the benefit, which is being held for Brett Jewell, son of Kathy and Rick Jewell, who has cerebral palsy, and Darren Vlassoff, son of Colleen Rogers, who suffers from a non-malignant brain cyst.

Both boys are six years old.

A portion of proceeds will help the Jewell family meet out-of-town expenses incurred in conjunction with their son’s treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Vancouver last month.

Another portion of the benefit will be forwarded to the Easter Seals Society, which is helping Rogers deal with expenses in connection with her son’s upcoming brain surgery Feb. 18.

The amount of money distributed to the Jewell family and the Easter Seal Society on behalf of the Rogers family will be based on expenses outlined in letters each submitted to the Lions Club.

“Any money made [at the benefit] that goes beyond those expenses will go into a trust fund to help with any further requests,” Lions president Jacques Fafard said Monday.

A silent auction also will be part of the evening, with some 100 items up for grabs. An additional four or five items to be auctioned off by Rod Salchert, who is donating his time to the cause.

More than 40 door prizes also are to be given out over the course of the evening.

“We approached the merchants in Fort Frances and [the district] and we got a phenomenally good response,” enthused Lion Luke Schill, who is chairman of the benefit.

Local residents also donated crafts to the silent auction.

La Place Rendez-Vous also is a major sponsor of the benefit, and agreed to supply food, serving staff, and facilities free of charge. Three members each from the Lions Club and Knights of Columbus also will help serve the sit-down meal.

Schill added food donations also had been donated from every grocery store in town, including one wholesale distributor, and the local Legion ladies auxiliary is providing perogies for the meal.

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