Karen Dean of Middle Musquodoboit has raised $60,000 in fundraiser

MAIN PHOTO: Kim Parker (from left); Karen Dean; and her youngest daughter, Kacey, proudly don their Nova Scotia Strong emblazoned hoodie and t-shirt. The owner of Countryfied Clothing held a fundraiser for victims of the April 18-19 shootings.(Submitted photo)

MIDDLE MUSQUODOBOIT: Karen Dean had an idea of how she wanted to help in raising money for the victims of the Nova Scotia shooting on April 18-19.

Dean, from Middle Musquodoboit, was friends with Gina Goulet, the last of 22 people killed by the gunman before he was shot dead by RCMP at the Enfield Irving Big Stop; She knew Lisa McCully as her McCully’s mom had been the Minister at the church; while the partner of Joey Webber lives four doors down from Dean. She’s also a former employee of the RCMP so has friends within the force who commented on the type of person Const. Heidi Stevenson was.

She—like most Nova Scotians and others outside the province—were left devastated by the events of those 13 hours on April 18-19.

“I was in shock and disbelief.,” Dean told The Laker News. “I couldn’t believe that anyone could take the life of such an amazing human being.

“I was numb for a couple of days.  Then I woke up one morning and I felt this overwhelming feeling that I needed to do something to help. “

She knew how she was going to help.

“I have had a home-based online clothing company, Countryfied Clothing, so it made sense to me to sell shirts showing my pride for our beautiful province as a fundraiser for the Stronger Together N.S. fund.”

Dean contacted the printing company she uses and asked them to design a Nova Scotia Strong shirt. She then bought the domain name and had the website, www.StrongerNS.com, built and ready to launch in less than four hours. 

The initial thinking by Dean was to raise $10,000 for the fund, that it would be a success.  Now, four weeks later, she’s donating six times that amount–$60,000. She wants more too, setting a final goal of $100,000.

The response from the community has left her with a lot of pride.

“I’m so overwhelmed by the response and so grateful for the amazing support that this fundraiser has received.,” Dean said. “It means so many things to me.  Most importantly, I know that the families affected are going to need lots of support for an awfully long time, and I am happy to be able to contribute to that in some small way. 

“Beyond that, knowing that I am helping has helped me heal from the pain of this tragedy. 

Dean said helping has started the healing process for her.

It is definitely helping me heal, helping others is always healing,” she said. “I think that is a special trait that Nova Scotians are well-known for … when something bad happens, we all help each other out, whether it be with food taken to the neighbour’s house, a benefit dance, or, in my case, a t-shirt fundraiser. “

She had a message to all those who have supported her fundraiser for the victims of the shooting.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who has bought a Nova Scotia Strong shirt or hoodie from me,” she said. “I have been brought to tears on many occasions by the kind messages that people have sent to me. 

“I never imagined that this fundraiser would raise so much money and I can’t wait to present the cheque to the Canadian Red Cross on behalf of everyone who bought the clothing. 

“I hope that everyone wears their clothing often to promote this wonderful province and the character of the people who live here.”