East Line Communities ‘Band’ Together To Support Fire Victim
Prince George, BC – Friends say longtime Aleza Lake resident, Elva Noakes, is one of those individuals who would give the shirt off her back to help someone else…
But other than the clothes she was wearing and her purse, Noakes lost everything else when her rural mobile home burned to the ground on Boxing Day. “She went out for a family dinner and lost everything – her bakery and library,” says Michele Summer. “What made her feel worse was that she was looking after her neighbour’s dog at the time and the dog didn’t make it out.”
Right now, Noakes is living with a friend in a cabin. She became known in the tight-knit community for her baking – building an outdoor oven and selling her goodies from her home and at the East Line Community Farmers’ Market in Willow River on Sundays. Just last summer, she built a wharf on her property and she’d tell visitors to the lake to feel free to use her kayaks.
An addition to her trailer featured a library full of books that she’d lend out to area residents and Summer says, in the aftermath of the fire, Noakes has managed to keep her sense of humour. “Though everything is charred to the ground, she still says, ‘My library is open, please come to the library.’ She’s amazing – she doesn’t want anyone to go out of their way and put themselves in hardship helping her, but she would not think anything of helping others.”
That’s what spurred Summer and her husband, Craig, into action and, tonight, a benefit auction and dance will be held at the Ferndale Hall on Upper Fraser Road. The Summers paid for the hall rental, while the Willow River Residents Association covered the insurance costs.
Numerous businesses and individuals have donated goods and services for tonight’s auction and the three local bands playing – The Other Guys, Foxfire, and Deuces Wild – have donated their time, as well. The doors to the hall open at 6:30pm. There are still tickets available at $15 and it is a family-friendly evening, with children 16 and under free. For more information, you can call Michele at 250-612-8933 or Craig at 250-612-2835.
Summer says Noakes has really had the rug pulled out from under her feet and has not yet yet decided if she’ll build or buy a new home, but it is unlikely she’ll leave the area. “That’s where her roots are and that’s where she loves to be. And that’s where ‘home’ is, so we’re trying to raise money to help her stay home and get a home.”