Lindsay Melbourne

Lindsay Melbourne

Community backs family

A Vernon teen facing medical challenges has captured the support of the community.

A Vernon teen facing medical challenges has captured the support of the community.

An auction raised $11,700 Thursday for the family of Ryan Wiebe, 14,  who has been at B.C. Children’s Hospital for three months. He is suffering from seizures and can’t keep anything in his stomach.

“I was shooting for $3,500,” said friend Myrika Schipfel, who organized the event at the Vernon Yacht Club.

“I’ve done charity events before and this was the best. People were just dropping off money because they couldn’t be there and I was getting calls from Kelowna.”

Dad Darryl, a teacher, has been in Vancouver the whole time with Ryan, while mom Kim, a hairstylist, is at home with Ryan’s twin brother Tyler.

Kim makes the trip to Vancouver every weekend.

The goal of the fundraiser was to provide assistance for travelling and food while at the coast.

“It will help with anything that makes their life a little easier and less stressful,” said Schipfel.

The auction included hockey gear and photographs signed by professional hockey players, as well as jewelry and gift certificates.

The highest bid was $1,100 for a jersey signed by Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

There was also a chance to check out the 2008/09 Stanley Cup ring belonging to Vernonite Eric Godard, who was part of the the National Hockey League champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Also on hand was Sonja Gaudet and her gold medals in Paralympic curling.

Kim Wiebe made a brief appearance at the auction.

“It was so overwhelming for her. She was so appreciative of the support,” said Schipfel.

Support for the family continues with a donation tin being set up at The Morning Star office, 4407 25th Ave.

For information about donating, e-mail