Pat Westlake’s dream of participating in a dragon boat race in Italy to raise money for cancer research and treatment is now closer than ever, thanks to a massive outpouring of support during a charity auction in Windsor.
Westlake was overwhelmed by the response, as more and more people filed in to bid on donated items at Hants County War Memorial Community Centre on Nov. 5.
“The love and care and support and kindness of this community is just amazing,” Westlake said, who was taking turns greeting and meeting people as they trickled in.
“People are congratulating me and wishing me well, making me cry. I’m very excited to go, it’s the trip of a lifetime.”
Based on the numbers of people who came out, Westlake has no doubt her trip to Italy, to compete in dragon boat races to raise money for cancer research and treatment, will be a success.
Westlake will be in Italy for 14 days, with four days of racing scheduled and some excursions planned as well.
“These ladies you see in the orange shirts with Relay for Life, they made this possible and have supported me since day one,” Westlake said. “I’ve had cancer five times and they’re always there. I can’t thank them enough for all they do.”
Pam Northup, one of the organizers of the event, said she was stunned and thrilled by the turnout at the auction, as hundreds made their way through the aisles of items between 1 and 3 p.m.
“We were hoping this would be really big and we kind of knew it would be because of Pat, everybody just loves her and what she does for the community,” she said. “It’s an awesome turnout, we couldn’t be happier.”
A total of $4,300 was raised towards Westlake’s trip from the auction.
The organizers of the event thanked the sponsors, donors and volunteers who made the events possible as well as those who came out to bid.
Northup said the auction was another example of the community coming together to support someone in need.