April 11, 2014 - 12:57 PM
KELOWNA – Friends of paralyzed freestyle motocross rider Bruce Cook are putting on a fundraiser Friday night to help cover some of the costs of his recovery.
The event is called An Evening of Smiling for Bruce Cook and takes place at the Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna.
The program includes live entertainment featuring Jenny Lea MacCormack, silent and live auctions, appies, drinks, and great company. Ticket price includes appetizers and two drink tickets.
Event organizer Emily Eising says interest was so overwhelming they decided to add a second event this summer.
“The event tonight is the first in a series of fundraising events that we’re doing for Bruce,” she says. “We’ve had such a tremendous response from the community that we’ve already put plans into the works for a second event.”
The second event will take place at the Sunplex and will accommodate more people. It is scheduled for June 7.
“There were a lot of people who wanted to come out and show some support so we started this Laurel event. We thought the capacity would be sufficient but we absolutely blew the doors off the place,” she says. “People are so pumped to support Bruce.”
So far, the team have raised more than $17,000 but they hope that is just the start.
“We don’t have an amount that we’re hoping to raise,” Eising says. “The nature of the injury that Bruce has and the cost he’s going to be looking at are long term. We have an idea of what the costs will be but no one knows for sure. At this point we’re doing what we can to raise money for him in anticipation of the needs that are going to be coming up in terms of his medical procedures, physical therapy and recovery programs.”
Cook, 26, was seriously injured while attempting the first ever double front flip at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ont. Friday, Jan. 3, 2013. He was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital with serious injuries and has been in a wheelchair ever since.
“(Bruce) is back in Kelowna where he’s got amazing friends and family around him,” Eising says. “It’s a different reality and a pretty serious diagnosis he’s dealing with but Bruce always has a fantastic attitude. He remains positive but the reality of the situation hasn’t escaped him.
“We have a couple of DJ’s, we have a girl named Jenny MacCormack who is coming up from Vancouver to perform and we’re going to have a silent auction and a live auction. It’s going to be wine and appies and a good time.”
Friday's sold out fundraiser starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information on Bruce's story, please visit this website.
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