Members of the Agassiz-Harrison Lions Club deliver a $5,000 cheque to the Braun family to help build an elevator for young Atticus, age 3. The Brauns received an additional $5,000 from the community in a fundraiser the week before, edging them ever closer to the goal. (Photo/Darcy Striker)

Members of the Agassiz-Harrison Lions Club deliver a $5,000 cheque to the Braun family to help build an elevator for young Atticus, age 3. The Brauns received an additional $5,000 from the community in a fundraiser the week before, edging them ever closer to the goal. (Photo/Darcy Striker)

Agassiz family ‘blown away’ by nearly $12,000 in donations for wheelchair elevator

The community organized a nearly $7,000 fundraiser, Lions Club delivered donationcheque

The Agassiz-Harrison community has lifted up the Braun family in a big way.

The Agassiz-Harrison Lions Club recently delivered a $5,000 cheque to the Brauns to help build an elevator for young Atticus, their 3-year-old who lives with disabilities. This donation came shortly after a community-organized fundraiser brought in nearly an additional $7,000.

Local Lions Club secretary Maureen Dougherty told The Observer the Brauns needed around $25,000 to put in an elevator, which was out of reach after purchasing a van to accommodate Atticus’s wheelchair. The community secretly organized a fundraiser for on Tuesday (April 6), the birthday of Atticus’s mother, Amy Braun, in which locals could drop off money and notes of encouragement.

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“At 7 a.m., we got a knock on the door, and we were told some people might be dropping money off for our elevator,” Simon Braun, Atticus’s father, wrote in a Facebook post. “We were shocked and thrilled. Since then, we’ve been blown away by donations, comments and outpouring of support for our family. Never in our wildest dreams would we have expected that we would be given over $5,000.”

Braun told The Observer people continue to stop the family on the street to offer help and money.

“It’s really special that someone you don’t know would do that,” he added.

The Brauns broke ground on the elevator in March. The siding is on and the elevator shaft is build, and the family is hoping to have everything done by May.

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Atticus is doing very well, Simon said and is generally a very happy child and has been healthy all through the pandemic. Atticus’s little brother Felix is a “typical 18-month-old boy, doing fantastic,” and Simon added the family is expecting a third child.

Though the expenses aren’t fully covered yet, Braun said the family is so grateful.

“We can’t thank the community enough,” he added. “We’re so thankful to each one of them.”

Dougherty called the fundraising efforts “incredible.”

“Agassiz is a very generous town,” she added.

The Agassiz-Harrison Lions Club continues to collect donations to fund projects across the area. Since last July, the club has an account with the Agassiz Recycling Depot and accepts donations of money normally received for recycled bottles and cans. The recycling depot account has been a primary source of funding since COVID-19 cancelled other fundraising efforts in recent months.

Anyone interested in assisting the Braun family directly may contact them at amyfeenstra@hotmail.com.


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adam.louis@ ahobserver.com

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