More than money raised for teen battling with brain cancer

COUNTY STRONG At the Prince Edward Community Centre on Sunday hundreds of people came out to support Melanie Mills, a local teenager battling brain cancer. Within a week, the community came together and donated different items towards a silent auction and bake goods table to raise money for the Mills family. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)




Hundreds of local residents showed up to the Prince Edward Community Centre on Sunday to show they care.

The arena in Picton was the site of a fundraising barbecue and silent auction for Melanie Mills, a recent PECI graduate who is battling brain cancer.

In total, over 200 silent auction items including 41 gift certificates from a multitude of local businesses and service providers.

“It’s a lot of work between setting up and getting everything out and ready to go and making sure everything runs smoothly.” Lisa Zachariah expressed. “It turned out awesome, better than what we could have expected.”

Zachariah’s Bags of Hope group served as the lead organizer of the event.

Included in the items auctioned off Sunday were house decor, multiple bottles of wine, art by various local artists, clothes, nail polish kits, house wares, jewelry, hair dryer, kids camping sets, a scentsy warmer, an electric pressure washer, a BBQ, tickets for a Toronto vs Ottawa hockey game, a gift certificate to The Miller House for two platters and two pints, Two rounds for two at the Picton Golf and Country Club, a detailing package valued at $450 from LTDS Auto Detailing and much more.

Prince Edward County Firefighters donated their time to come and set up their equipment to serve hotdogs, hamburgers and beverages at the event.

COMING TOGETHER (left) Sheri Lyons and (right) Brenda Sokolowsky were just inside the foyer doors and sold tickets towards a $750 broil king bbq with rotisserie and two tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs vs Ottawa Senators game which was donated for the fundraiser.
(Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

“I was so emotional all day, from the firefighters donating their day off and setting up all their equipment to be out there, there was so many of them,” co-owner/operator for Bags of Hope, Lisa Zachariah told The Gazette. “Then to the staff at the arena, they went above and beyond, to all the business that stepped up, and there was some amazing prizes you could bid on, I’m just blown away.”

Baked goods were not in short supply as 6-7 tables with scores of goodies to choose from were on display in the foyer. Lemon tarts, mini pies, brownies, cupcakes, Reese’s pieces bars and much, much more were available to choose from.

Zachariah added this is kind of community out reach and support is wonderful to see in Prince Edward County and typical of small town life in Canada.

The Mills family wanted the community to know how appreciative they are for all the support.

“Our family wanted to take this time to let the community know how appreciative we are for the amazing efforts everyone has made for us. Thank you to every business and person who has donated to Melanie’s fundraiser, shared the Facebook posts, baked goodies, bid on items, spread the word to the community and organized to make this day possible.” Shianne Mills said in an email. “We truly appreciate every single one of you and we are forever grateful to live in such a community where support like this is possible. A very special thank you to Lisa Zachariah, Jeremy and their family for all of their time and effort for creating this fundraiser and making everything happen. Your family is absolutely incredible and you all have hearts of gold. Our family is so proud to be apart of this county thank you for showing us how strong of a support system this community truly is. Looking back on this journey we will never forget how you all pulled together for us in such a difficult time.”


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