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More fundraising for nursing student
Fire victim receives funds raised from Aurora College loonie auction

Katherine Hudson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 17, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - The Aurora College community continues to give all they can to help third-year nursing student Lorraine Westman.

NNSL photo/graphic

Lorraine Westman was presented a $200 gift certificate to Mark's Work Warehouse Feb. 14, 2011 at the Partnersí Lunch at Aurora College Yellowknife Campus. Pictured: College President Sarah Wright Cardinal, Lorraine Westman, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty and Yellowknife Board of Governors' representative Lani Cooke. - photo courtesy of Jane Arychuk

Westman and her family lost their Latham Island home in a fire on Dec. 23 last year.

First the students collected more than $1,000 in a January fundraiser and the school provided her with all new text books, which in the nursing program can cost close to $600.

At the college's partners lunch on Monday, the staff, college president's office and the department of Education, Culture and Employment donated a $200 gift certificate to Westman, enabling her to buy new scrubs which are required in the third year of the nursing program.

On Wednesday as part of Aurora College Week, staff at the school put on a loonie auction where all proceeds will go to Westman.

Westman said she has been consistently touched by the community support her family received in the wake of the fire.

"I am completely taken aback by the generosity of the staff and students of Aurora College. It is especially meaningful for me to have such amazing support from students because most of us are not financially comfortable in the first place and for everyone to be so generous when our income is limited is simply incredible," she said in a prepared statement.

According to Westman, the family home will take a year or two to rebuild. The money that has been raised will help replace lost items in the interim.

Campus Director Jane Arychuk said this is unfortunately not the first time the college has raised money for a student who lost everything in a fire.

"We had a student who was burned out in the Bison (Estates) fire a few years ago. We have some experience of doing fundraising,"

Bison Estates lost eight apartment units within the complex in a fire in February 2008.

The loonie auction was open to the public where individuals purchased a number for a certain auction item for a loonie.

"At the end, it's like a raffle. We draw numbers out and whoever bought that number gets the item. You might have spent a dollar (or) you might have spent 10 loonies. It becomes a really fun night," said Arychuk.

Some items up for auction included a pair of Canadian diamonds, cut and polished by the college's polishing students, artwork, quilts and baked goods.

Karyn Unrau, nurse educator at the college, said everyone at the school is eager to help in any way they can to support a fellow a student.

"What's so great is everybody pulling together to do this," she said.

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