Darcy Laliberty is living proof that friendship goes as far as it takes.
The Yukon Brewing Company sales rep is organizing the Jessica Frotten Mobility Fundraiser.
“A gathering of friends and family,” Laliberty says, to help offset the cost of renovations that will be required following his friend’s injuries from her Dec. 14 automobile accident. Frotten is currently recovering in Edmonton, Alberta.
Yukon Brewing is one of the sponsors. Laliberty says he is receiving a lot of assistance and encouragement from Frotten’s family and friends … and from complete strangers, some as far away as Ontario.
Who is Jessica Frotten? Well, perhaps you’ve seen her …
… if you’ve been a customer or if you’ve taken a tour at Yukon Brewing Company; if you’ve purchased tickets from the Yukon Arts Centre Box Office or if you were served refreshments during intermission.
Or perhaps you’ve played baseball with her. That’s how Laliberty and Frotten met – playing baseball when Frotten was 14 and Laliberty was playing on her Dad’s team.
They’ve been friends ever since (Laliberty says, “She’s kinda like my little sister”) and he is determined to fulfil the old adage that says “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. Proceeds will be used, he says, “to help her family renovate … to help her with getting around, putting in ramps …”
Laliberty describes Frotten as being a “dynamic young lady” who is funny and smiles easily and is easy to talk to.
And how is she doing with all of this?
“She’s got incredible willpower,” Laliberty says. Then, in a seriously amazed tone, “She’s a really tough girl, and her determination is mind-blowing.”
Mind-blowing, as well, are the donations, locally, from businesses providing equipment for the fundraiser and donations for the silent auction, even donations from “people who don’t even know her,” Laliberty says.
But does that surprise him?
“No. Not here. I’m just absolutely overwhelmed with the support and care that the community has given … it’s just …” The pause is righteously long before Laliberty punctuates his thought: “It makes a person feel pretty darn good about where they live.”
And, Laliberty says, through Facebook word about the fundraiser has been spreading like wildfire.
Help is still needed with “bar tending, pouring coffee and tea, selling cookies and snacks, DJ’ing – Jess is a real big fan of DJ music, helping with the silent auction, helping with cleanup.
“The venue [The Old Fire Hall] has been donated by the Yukon Arts Centre.” And Unitech is donating the sound equipment for the evening event.
Laliberty has also opened a Canada-wide bank account for Frotten at the Bank of Nova Scotia, which people can contribute to by stating they would like to give a donation “for the benefit of Jessica Frotten”. They need to be specific in stating that, Laliberty says.
The Jessica Frotten Mobility Fundraiser, at The Old Fire Hall, will be an evening, from 3 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 4, of music with a silent auction. And there will be refreshments, which have also been donated.
Laliberty’s quiet demeanour breaks loose a little when he says, “I could do a little soft-shoe.”
You do soft-shoe?
“No … I don’t,” he says, laughing, “but I’ll give it a try if it’s going to raise money.”
Because that’s just what friends do when they go as far as it takes.