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Clyde fundraiser brings in $5,300 to support Christian mission in Haiti

April 6 event included supper, variety show and presentation by Lifeline Christian Mission on crisis in Haiti

WESTLOCK — A recent fundraiser hosted by the Clyde Christian Bible Church (CCBC) to support the people of Haiti was able to bring in over $5,300, according to organizer Barb Carbert. 

The April 6 event, which was hosted at the Clyde Curling Complex, featured a chili and ham supper, silent auction and a variety show. 

The line-up at the variety show included one poetry reading and several other solo singers and groups, including the Joe Ireland Band fronted by Francis Kavanaugh and Mary Kieftenbeld, a singer who wrote the song “Alberta” the province’s centennial in 2005. 

All proceeds from the event went towards supporting the Calgary-based Lifeline Christian Mission's activities in Haiti, which includes building churches, schools and clinics and providing food to the Caribbean nation’s impoverished residents. 

Carbert said they initially thought the fundraising total would be $5,100, but they received a last-minute generous donation. 

“It was a surprise, and a very generous gift indeed,” she said, noting she knows people in Haiti and this fundraiser is organized on their behalf. 

In addition to the performances, the event also featured a short presentation by Rick Scruggs of the Lifeline Christian Mission, who talked about the ongoing crisis in Haiti. 

Scruggs said the capital city of Port Au Prince is in “chaos” as more than 300 different gangs fight for territory and power while the government has effectively fallen. 

“It’s just chaos and anarchy,” he said. 

Scruggs said it is hoped that another country will lead a peacekeeping force into Haiti, but there is widespread reluctance even among countries like Canada, which has provided millions in security assistance to pay for initiatives like a new vetting office for police and placed sanctions on certain members of the “Haitian economic elite” who support the criminal activities and violence within the Caribbean nation. 

“So far, nothing has happened to bring about a solution,” Scruggs said. 

He noted that outside of the capital, much of the country remains relatively peaceful. 

“People are just living their lives and trying to make a living, but it’s very difficult because the whole economy kind of radiates out of the capital,” he said. 

One such area is Port Salut, where Lifeline has a regional hub. Their regional director there is Ricot Léon, an orphan who attended the Alberta Bible College and became a missionary. 

Ricot has appeared at the previous fundraisers hosted by the CCBC, was able to send along a video update from Haiti that was played at the fundraiser. 

In the video, Ricot talked further about the crisis in Haiti but assured the crowd that he and his family feel safe right now, and even with all the chaos that is happening, “it doesn’t mean that we stop functioning.” 

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