College students turn school project into a fundraiser for girl battling disease | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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College students turn school project into a fundraiser for girl battling disease

Image Credit: Contributed
October 07, 2014 - 4:33 PM

ARMSTRONG - A team of Okanagan College construction students put their skills to use over the summer to raise money for a little girl battling a rare liver disease.

What started as a project for school became a mission to provide financial relief to the family of a four-year-old girl, diagnosed with a rare form of liver disease, according to a media release.

Leading up to the fundraising project, the 15 trades students were going about their business in the Residential Construction Foundation program in Armstrong, digging holes and laying backfill for a project house, but weather conditions forced them to stop. 

A new project was needed to fill the gap, so instructor Les Shuert took the problem to the building supply manager at Shepards's Home Hardware. John Aarenstad suggested the students could test their skills building 8x10 foot garden sheds and the store would donate the materials. 

Then Okanagan College Instructor Gerry Leverrier received news his granddaughter Megan was battling the disease and needed treatment at the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto. It was soon realized money raised by selling the sheds could offset the cost of an extended stay in Toronto for Megan's parents, who live in Salmon Arm.

Shuert and his colleague, Okanagan College Tool Room Attendant Brian Thomas, asked Aarenstad if they could donate the sheds to an auction the RCMP was holding to help the Leverrier family with expenses. He agreed and the sheds sold for nearly $1,000 each.

“While it’s hard to beat the pride you feel from seeing a finished project, knowing it was helping a family going through a really difficult time made it even that much more rewarding for the students,” Shuert says.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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