A Beacon of Hope shines in Sylvan Lake

A fundraiser for the Safe Harbour Society to educate about opioid addiction was held on July 13

A Beacon of Hope shined in Sylvan Lake over the weekend.

On July 13 supporters gathered in Hockey Central for a fundraiser benefiting the Safe Harbour Society in loving memory of Dayne Stumpf.

When Dayne passed away from an opioid overdose three years ago his mom, Tanya Stumpf, promised to do what she could in his memory.

Up until the idea for the event was presented to her by organizer Darren Dyrland she had been doing small actions such as taking items to Safe Harbour over the Christmas season and putting together donations for families who have also lost a loved one.

Dyrland wanted to do something as a way to pay it forward after celebrating five years sober.

“It’s all about getting through the darkness to the light,” said Dyrland. He contacted Stumpf looking to put a face to the fundraiser via her son.

“It’s about raising awareness, getting people talking and so that those who are in it know they can get to the other side,” Dyrland added.

Buzz Vander Vliet, chair of the Safe Harbour Society, says aside from the event being a fundraiser to help the organization with program costs it also served as a chance to do public education.

“It’s really quite a good thing because you get a whole different group of people who are willing to listen to a message and that’s probably the main thing why it’s important,” said Vander Vliet.

Stumpf said when her and Dyrland reached out to Safe Harbour she was amazed to hear they don’t get a lot of offers.

“Seeing the stigma that there is, I lived in it, but I didn’t feel the stigma when I was doing drugs, coming out of it I surrounded myself with people where there is no stigma and seeing it first hand and people’s reactions… it’s very eye opening,” said Dyrland, who said the event has been the most humbling experience of his life by far.

Stumpf says the mission for the event was to get information out about opioid addiction.

“It’s just a place where we can direct people because I don’t have the answers, if I did we wouldn’t be here today,” said Stumpf, who also explained Safe Harbour has expanded their services and those seeking help no longer need to leave Red Deer or Sylvan Lake.

The evening at Hockey Central included guest speakers, an open mic, flash tattoos by Lucid Tattoos, raffles and a silent auction.

The event also incorporated 15-year-old Santera Ogles’ own fundraising efforts.

Ogles is selling blue and black bracelets to raise money for Safe Harbour.

“Addiction has been something that runs through my family,” explained Ogles. “It’s something I feel passionate about so I thought making these bracelets and being able to donate it to an organization that’s helping people would be beneficial.”

She said the blue theme of the bracelet is to represent how at times addicts can feel like they are drowning.

Ogles said her sales are going good so far and she will be donating the money at the end of August.

Stumpf and Dyrland are hoping to make the event annual, but it may not be in loving memory of Dayne Stumpf.

“We could maybe just bring awareness to other families and help people out that way,” said Stumpf.

At the time od publication it is unknown how much the fundraiser brought in for Safe Harbour Society.

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Santera Ogles (left) speaks shares the story behind her blue and black bracelets for Safe Harbour on July 13. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

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