Marie Irving-Benoit decided to put together a little fundraiser for Elsie and Kirk DeBay, and it grew.
Irving-Benoit went from selling numbers on a board to organizing a benefit dance and silent auction, which will be held at the Debert Legion this Saturday.
“When we decided to hold this, I had a lot of people message me about donating things for the silent auction,” said Irving-Benoit. “I can’t get over how many people Elsie touched. The outpouring when she passed was unbelievable.
“When I had the first fundraiser, all the squares sold in a day, and people asked for another. Two days later the second one was done.”
Elsie, who was the animal control officer for Colchester County, was killed in an automobile accident, in Upper Economy, on April 23. Her husband, Kirk, who was with her, was taken to hospital in Halifax by Life Flight. He had a broken neck, two broken legs, a broken arm and a brain bleed. He is still in hospital.
“He’s recovering slowly, but he is recovering,” said Karen Butt who, along with her husband Glenn, has been visiting regularly. “He’s sitting up, he knows people and he enjoys when we visit.
“On Sunday, Lindsay Russell, the acting animal control officer, and Marcel Marcotte, who were both friends of Elsie, brought Kirk’s dog Chevy to the hospital to see him. It was really nice to see that.”
She said Kirk’s family and friends hope he will make a full recovery, but know it’s going to be a long road.
Although the cast has been removed from his arm, he won’t be able to straighten it until he goes through physiotherapy. He still has casts on both legs.
“He’s in Truro now, so it’s easier for people he knows to get in to visit him, and he’s going to have day passes to get outside soon,” said Butt. “We’re hoping he’ll be able to stop by the benefit dance for a little while, and he’s going to be able to go to Elsie’s funeral.”
The benefit will raise funds to help with costs associated with travel for rehabilitation, items needed to help Kirk return home and Elsie’s funeral.
The silent auction will include pet supplies, gift cards, jewelry, floral arrangements, knit items and more. There will also be a 50-50 during the evening.
The auction will begin at 8 p.m., with the dance at 9 p.m.
Elsie was known, not only because she was the animal control officer, but because her love of dogs resulted in her giving much of her own time and energy to ensuring animals who needed help were rescued and rehomed.