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Community rallies to support Cobblestone fire victims

The Grande Prairie community has once again rallied to help a family in need. Since their home in Cobblestone was destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon, Allison McCallum and her children have seen countless offers of support from GoFundMe pages, clothing and furniture donations, and business gift cards.

Long-time friend Sydney Allison started a GoFundMe campaign the day of the fire, which has since raised nearly $6,500. Another page started by a friend of McCallum’s son has raised nearly $1,500. Allison says McCallum is deserving of the support.

“I don’t even have words to describe this woman; she’s just incredible. I think that’s why the outpouring of support has been so intense, because of the calibre of person that she is.”

Allison says her friend works three jobs to support her 15 year old son Aeen and her 13 year old daughter Katie. They work together at Adrenaline Athletics, and both children are involved in gymnastics.

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The cheer community has stepped up, with parents from Grande Prairie Gymnastics & Cheer organizing a fundraiser at The Jump Yard on May 27th, and Adrenaline Athletics collecting cash and gift card donations, along with Mother Teresa School. Allison says the family of three’s renters insurance has only covered a couple nights in a hotel, so she’s hoping to help them with some other necessities.

“[McCallum] doesn’t even have a purse and wallet any more, so they have to get all of their government identification again. It gives her a little time to have a bit of solace and get back on her feet.”

Other local businesses have chipped in, with Boardwalk Rental Communities giving them a free month’s rent in a townhouse and Bootlegger giving $3,000 in gift cards. The Prairie Mall and Brown’s Socialhouse have also donated gift cards, and Harold’s Towing gave $1,000 to the GoFundMe.

At this time, the fundraising page remains open for donations, and others looking to contribute can attend the Jump Yard event. Anyone with items they’d like to donate once the family has a new home can contact Jennifer Lekisch at 780-228-4043.

“I just really want the community to know how grateful the family is and how amazing it has been from the support of the community as a whole,” says Allison. “Everybody deserves a pat of the back for how quickly they came together to get this family back on their feet.”

The Grande Prairie Fire Department is still investigating the cause of Tuesday’s blaze. No injuries were reported, although the family lost pets. Damage was also done to two neighbouring homes.

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