One of two Barnwood Coolers built and donated by Mark deJong and auctioned off by Ian Bagg. The coolers raised more than $4,500 for Leah’s benefit.

Benefit comedy performances bring in more than $17,000 for young mother

Money raised from Ian Bagg’s shows is going to Leah’s Fight is our Fight

Comedian Ian Bagg added his name to the list people fundraasing for Leah Wiebe’s medical care and her family’s stay in the U.S. with his two benefit performances here.

The ticket sales from the shows, donations, auction items and draws brought in more than $17,000.

And it all came together in one week.

Ian saw a post of a cooler made and put up for auction by Mark deJong on Facebook, said Brent deJong, Mark’s brother and one of the shows’ organizers.

After Ian got in touch with and talked to Mark to learn more about Leah, he said he was coming to Terrace and said “let’s do a benefit,” said Brent.

They arranged for the venue at the Northern Motor Inn and tickets went on sale, selling out both of Ian’s shows in two days, added Brent.

“We got to work on it Monday and basically by Friday afternoon, we were printing tickets and selling tickets and it worked out excellent,” said Brent.

Reaching out to Mark was how Ian found out about Leah Wiebe’s fight against leukemia, which has taken her to Seattle, Washington for three months of life-saving medical treatment that’s not available in Canada.

“He did it pretty much all on his own,” said Brent, who is a longtime friend of Ian’s.

“He rolled in here and went to work and rolled out. He’s a fantastic guy,” added Brent.

A carving by JJ Jung of Ian was to be auctioned off but since Ian comes up here all the time to do fundraisers, which he does for free, and raises so much money for the community and charities, it was decided to present the carving to Ian, said Brent.

“He never really forgot what home is all about,” said Brent, adding the carving was presented for all of Ian’s “fundraising efforts for the community, for being a down-to-earth guy and for never forgetting where he comes from.”

Ian wants the carving to stay in Terrace and it was decided to keep it at Caledonia Senior Secondary school where it will be part of a scholarship in Ian’s name.

Caledonia Senior Secondary principal Keith Axelson and Brent de Jong decided to create the scholarship and award it annually to a graduating student who has demonstrated community mindedness and giving back to the community, said Axelson.

“Ian would like the sculpture donated as a kind of plaque with the scholarhsip so the student’s name will be given a spot on that trophy,” said Keith.

Fundraising for the scholarship is going to be started probably closer to the fall when school is back in, added Keith. He’s thinking the amount of the scholarship will be $500 to $1,000.

“We did speak to Ian about it and he’s really excited and humbled about having it in his name. We think it’s appropriate to be in his name,” said Keith, adding that a decision will be made where to showcase the carving once school has started again in September.

Brent deJong said he wanted to thank the Northern Motor for hosting Ian’s fundraiser shows, the Accelerators for performing, Ian Bagg, and Mark deJong for providing the cooler for the auction.

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