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Knights of Columbus make 16k donation

From left: James Hinks, Ron Aucoin ( Former District Deputy), Fr. Prakash, (KofC Chaplain Codroy Valley), Pat Gambin, (State Deputy, KofC Newfoundland and Labrador), Gerard Doyle, ( Trustee KofC Codroy Valley),Gerald Lewis, (Deputy Grand Knight, KofC Codroy Valley), Debbie Tostik (Site Manager), Muhammad Arif Khan (ERT), Dana Frigon (MHPSS), Odessa Logan (ERT), Katia Pharand Dinardo (MHPSS), Ishara Azeez (ERT). – © René J. Roy / Wreckhouse Press Incorporated

By Jaymie White,

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

– with files from René J. Roy

PORT AUX BASQUES — Since Fiona made landfall on the Southwest Coast at the end of September, donations have been coming in to the area from individuals and organizations wanting to help those affected by the storm.

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Knights of Columbus donated a sizable amount of money to the Red Cross in Port aux Basques to support the Hurricane Fiona recovery efforts.

Patrick Gambin is the State Deputy –Head Fellow for Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We’re here to make a presentation to the Red Cross for the Fiona disaster here in Port aux Basques and on the Southwest Coast,” said Gambin. “The amount right now – when I left home – it was $15,000, but it has grown to $15,225, because somebody gave me a cheque on the way here.”

They received another donation too, bringing the total to $16,225.

Gambin was joined by two members of the Codroy Valley Council, the District Deputy for Codroy Valley, Stephenville Crossing, and Stephenville councils, and the Deputy Grand Knight and Priest from Codroy Valley as well.

“We have 36 councils here in Newfoundland and Labrador and we put out a notice asking if they would support us, and we raised over $4,500 so far, and there is going to be another similar donation probably before Christmas,” said Gambin. “It took less than two weeks. We got some from our own councils and then I went to the Supreme Council which is in Newhaven, Connecticut, and this was the first time we ever asked for money. I guess that’s why we never got any before, because we never asked for it, and they came up with a sizable amount – $25,000 actually, but we’re not giving it all out right now.”

Gambin added that they will also be making a couple of individual donations to people who they know have been struck really hard by post-tropical depression Fiona.

Debbie Tostik, Site Manager for the Red Cross in Port aux Basques, said the work is going quite well.

“It’s a nice space. Beneficiaries seem like they are comfortable here. We’re trying to accommodate for everything. So a reception centre with coffee, tea, water, and we’ve also got the personal services here where we can offer some items for them to take home – clean up kits and things like that – that help out along the way, and we have our stations set up for all of their paperwork and checking on their accounts and doing the funding. We also have a spot for our MHPSS, which is our Mental Health Psychosocial Support, which is there to give them a little bit of support if they need it,” explained Tostik. “They can come in and talk and have a bit of freedom to do that in a safe space as well. The emotions are pretty high here so it’s tough.”

Tostik is grateful for the support.

“It’s incredible. These donations, obviously, are appreciated from everyone. The beneficiaries, CRC, ourselves, are trying to do everything we possibly can to help the people of Port aux Basques and the outlying communities as well. We know they need the assistance, so when the Knights of Columbus comes on board and they donate something like this, it’s absolutely amazing and it’s so appreciated.”

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