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Community rallies to 'Do it for Dennon'

Clarence Fulton grads Ashley Stragier (left), Kolten Kirschner and Sydney Hofer invite the community to come support a fundraiser for fellow graduate Dennon Leibel, who is battling cancer. A garage sale, hot dog sale, bottle drive, road hockey tourney and sale of Do it for Dennon bracelets will all take place this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Jennifer Smith/Morning Star
Clarence Fulton grads Ashley Stragier (left), Kolten Kirschner and Sydney Hofer invite the community to come support a fundraiser for fellow graduate Dennon Leibel, who is battling cancer. A garage sale, hot dog sale, bottle drive, road hockey tourney and sale of Do it for Dennon bracelets will all take place this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
— image credit: Jennifer Smith/Morning Star

At 17-years-old, Dennon Leibel should be looking forward to graduation and enjoying his last year of high school. But instead he is travelling back and forth from B.C. Children’s Hospital between cancer treatments during his battle with Ewing’s sarcoma.

Which is why Leibel’s classmates at Clarence Fulton, as well as his hockey family, are rallying support for him and his family.

All proceeds from Saturday’s Fulton Grad Garage Sale will go to Leibel and his family. There will also be hot dog sales, bottle drive, a road hockey tournament and sale of Do it for Dennon bracelets.

The multi-faceted fundraiser gets underway at 8 a.m. at Clarence Fulton and wraps up at 1:30 p.m. Anyone wanting to donate items to the garage sale can do so between 3 and 8 p.m. Friday at the school.

“When we heard about Dennon we were already doing all this and we thought why not help him out,” said fellow grad Ashley Stragier, who has known Leibel since elementary school. “It just makes sense, he’s in our grad class.”

The entire class of 2014 is hopeful that chemotherapy treatments line up so that Leibel can walk across the stage and be a part of grad with them.

Meanwhile Leibel’s hockey family is also cheering for the North Okanagan Knight Jr. B, including some high-profile players.

Vernon Viper Colton Sparrow doesn’t know Leibel personally but wanted to do something for his fellow hockey player.

Thanks to Kelsey Surowiec, Vipers marketing manager, for coming up with the idea, Sparrow spearheaded the creation of the Do it for Dennon bracelets, which are being sold around town.

“I know that his career was just on the upswing and to get news like that (cancer) must have been pretty devastating for him,” said Sparrow, who feels blessed by his own good fortune.

To help a member of the hockey family out was a no-brainer he said, as Sparrow had 1,000 bracelets made, distributing half to local high schools and selling the remainder at events such as the Vipers awards banquet.

“We’ve been asking $5, anything more is appreciated,” said Sparrow.

The response, with several schools already sold out, has been amazing.

“Some of the bracelets have gone for $20 or $25,” said Sparrow.

Anyone interested in purchasing a bracelet is urged to come down to the Grad Garage Sale Saturday at Fulton. You can also contact Sparrow or Surowiec, or check with the following secondary schools to see if they have any left: Pleasant Valley, Kalamalka, Fulton, Seaton or Vernon.

 

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