Multiple businesses are stepping up to help out local resident Rob Dunn, a staunch community supporter facing cancer.
Mr. Dunn is a well-known local figure; he owns and writes the Valley Peak, a weekly entertainment guide, is involved in the Invermere Curling Club, and helps support many local causes.
On Friday, January 12th, the Station Pub will be hosting the ‘Valley Rally for Rob’, a music trivia fundraising evening with all proceeds going to Mr. Dunn. Trivia starts at 8 p.m. Organizers urge you to come early to get a table. The cost will be $5 per person, with teams from one to six people.
“Rob is going through a lot right now,” shares Kaeleigh Lefaivre, event coordinator alongside Lianne Lang. “He is a very well-known person in town, and he always gives back to everybody else … He’s so kind to everybody that I think everybody is saddened by this and is looking for ways to help him in any way possible because he’s always the first person to help anyone else.”
The hosts are looking for donations for balloon raffles, at a cost of $20 and $50.
“The idea being with a $20 balloon, you could get a decent prize. With a $50, you will get a guaranteed prize of at least $50 value,” explains Ms. Lefaivre.
For prize donations or more information, contact Ms. Lefaivre at 250-341-5536, or Ms. Lang at 250-341-7757.
Valley Foods also has donation jars set up at tills one and two for Mr. Dunn. He was home for the weekend and Valley Foods co-owner Eric Lapointe presented him with a cheque for $1,100 thanks to generous customers. Valley Foods confirmed with the Pioneer that people have been incredibly generous, citing the already-filling donation jars again of the community’s support to Mr. Dunn.
“They’ve been filling up at an astronomical rate,” reports Greg Lapointe. “He does a ton for the community; he’s very deserving to anything anyone is giving to him.”
Green Peak Medical Inc. will also be doing a fundraiser, with Tuesday, December 12th as Rob Dunn Day. The owners will donate 20 per cent of sales, excluding Christmas promotions, to Mr. Dunn to help with medical and personal expenses.
Rob Dunn says it is humbling to know so many people have stepped up to help him.
“There’s been a million blessings out of this,” he told the Pioneer in a phone interview last week. “I have incredible support from friends, family, the community. It’s important people realize how amazing it has been, the help I’ve gotten and the help I’ve been offered.”
Mr. Dunn suffered acute kidney failure on Monday, October 9th in Invermere. He was sent from Invermere to the Trail hospital because a top renal doctor is there as well as dialysis equipment, Mr. Dunn reports. He was put on dialysis and, in the meantime, doctors worked to find out the cause of the failure. Mr. Dunn has now been diagnosed with a form of multiple myeloma bone cancer.
“I’m just kind of in the process of figuring out what my treatments will be. I’ll be starting chemo next week and not really sure that’s what it’s going to look like,” he shared last week.
His oncologist told him Friday he will need nine rounds of chemotherapy, most likely over the next six months.
Mr. Dunn, who grew up in Castlegar, had spent time on the west coast and in Calgary before moving to the Valley around 2000. When he first moved here, Mr. Dunn was a professional clown, and worked with people with disabilities. He and a client would deliver the Local View (precursor to the Valley Peak) to help the client with his social issues. When the former owner got too busy, he offered the business to Mr. Dunn, who had started writing articles for the newsletter.
He said while he is always happy to help others in need, it’s “weird” being on the receiving end now. He is incredibly grateful for all the support.
Friends are not surprised so many businesses have stepped up to help Mr. Dunn. Perry Horning and Rob Dunn have been friends since childhood. Mr. Horning says his friend, who is unselfish, supportive, and community-minded, would be first to support anybody else in their time of need.
“He can’t walk past the donation jar and not buy a 50/50 ticket or anything like that,” Mr. Horning reports. “The little money he does have, he goes to support other people in need. It’s not about money for him, it’s about lifestyle and his lifestyle is to help other people.”
Invermere Curling Club president Rick Luyendyk agrees, saying Mr. Dunn helps out with everything he can help out with, including many hours spent volunteering with the curling club over the years. The club has plans to put on a fundraiser event in the near future for Mr. Dunn; event details will be shared soon.