A community will come together Friday to support one of its longtime firefighters who is now facing a different battle.
The Crapaud volunteer fire department is holding a benefit for David “Bud” Walsh, 7-11 p.m., at the fire hall.
Walsh was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often shortened to ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, about six years ago. The incurable neurogenerative disease affects about one in every 100,000 Canadians.
While his fellow firefighters wanted to hold a hockey tournament to benefit Walsh at the time, he declined and said he would rather see the funds go towards others battling the disease.
“When we started this, he didn’t want any funds from the tournament, he wanted it to go towards the ALS Society,” said tournament co-ordinator and firefighter Randy Shaw. “He’s always been like that. He puts other people before himself.”
“When we started this, he didn’t want any funds from the tournament, he wanted it to go towards the ALS Society. He’s always been like that. He puts other people before himself.”
- Randy Shaw
“He wanted to make sure someone else would get the care because he said he was still doing good at the time,” added fire chief Chris Paynter.
This year’s tournament brought in about $5,000, with donations still coming in, to bring the department’s contribution to the ALS Society of P.E.I. to just shy of $21,000 over the four years.
However, the department now wants to also hold a separate benefit for Walsh, whose health has been declining since his diagnosis.
“Every little bit helps,” said fire chief Chris Paynter, adding that funds will go towards assisting Walsh with his health expenses and to make his everyday living a little easier.
Walsh has supported his community for decades, including as a St. John Ambulance brigade member and a second-generation member of the fire department for nearly 30 years in the roles of firefighter, training officer and officer.
He is also a longtime employee of Cavendish Farms, where he is fire chief.
The fundraiser will include an auction, silent auction, bake sale, live entertainment and a cash bar. There will also be a draw for a WestJet Gift of Flight raffle.
More information on the fundraiser is available by contacting Annie MacPhee at 902-626-6438 or Raymond MacDonald at 902-393-2014 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.