One thing I’ve learned in my time here: if you stick around Moose Jaw long enough, you might get the impression that it holds no more surprises.
But the motto of the Friendly City is “Surprisingly Unexpected” for a reason, and almost on a monthly basis, the Times-Herald is reminded why: this city continuously shows a spirit of generosity that could take even the coldest-hearted cynic off guard.
Regular fundraisers held by the Moose Jaw Health Foundation and the Moose Jaw Humane Society are just the tip of the iceberg.
The cause du jour has certainly been lending a hand to the victims of the fire that claimed High Street West’s Jubilee Block, and as is illustrated in today’s front page story, Moose Jaw residents have again delivered.
They delivered to the tune of close to $8,000 in funds to support the relief organizations that assisted victims and even the victims themselves. The efforts were organized by a handful of community members.
W.J. Jones and Son Funeral Home’s Dayna Smith-Short pulled her co-workers together to field calls and assembled two fundraisers — a concert featuring Stadacona Soul and an online auction — ultimately raising $5,300 over two weeks.
Those funds were split between the Moose Jaw chapters of the Canada Red Cross and the Salvation Army, with the former receiving $4,575 and the latter the balance — $725.
Meanwhile, Morgan Gabel — whose family lost their business, Scrubs, in the fire — and Marissa McCartney put together a steak night fundraiser at Chillers Brew Pub on Thursday night, raising close to $2,400 according to their initial count.
That money will be split evenly and given directly to the tenants of the Jubilee Block who lost their homes and possessions to the blaze. Gabel estimates each victim of the blaze will receive a little more than $100, she said.
“I know it’s only a small amount, but every little bit helps,” Gabel told the Times-Herald Friday.
She’s right, and as much as Gabel, McCartney, Smith-Short and the individuals who helped them deserve to be commended, so too does the community at large that responded to the fundraisers.
There’s a lot to complain about in the Friendly City, but it’s tough to disparage the people who live here.
Justin Crann can be reached at 306-691-1265 or follow him on Twitter @J_Crann