Vern Richmond, owner of the Water Shop in Sylvan Lake, worked to raise money for the Fight Like Mike campaign by donating a dollar from every three- and five-gallon water bottle sold in February.
From his sales, Richmond was able to donate $1,005 in total to the Fight Like Mike campaign. Money donated to this campaign has gone towards financially assisting the family of a young boy, Michael Arthur, who has been battling leukemia.
Richmond said that as people read about what he was doing, he had people giving an extra few dollars because they knew they were helping Mike out.
“It’s a funny thing because when people hear about it and they see that you’re trying to support a family, everybody is very generous and very supportive,” Richmond said. “It’s nice to see the community support and help out a family in need.”
Richmond knows the Arthur family as his son and Mike’s older brother played together on the same hockey team, and Richmond went to school with both of Mike’s parents.
Richmond said he didn’t have a particular amount of money he was hoping to raise and donate to this family. He said he just went ahead and donated to the Fight Like Mike campaign without letting his friends know.
“I did it to try and help them out,” Richmond said. “After they found out that I had done it, Mike’s father thanked me from his heart. You just try to help out a family in need and do what you can.”
He said fundraising for someone he personally knows is kind of like a double-edged sword as he said it is great to be able to help somebody out, but it’s hard to imagine what they are going through.
Richmond said he was updated on how Mike is doing with his battle against leukemia and said he is doing well and has recently gone through his final treatments of chemotherapy.
Richmond took his kindness a step further and asked his friend Steve Beagle to ask his brother Jay, who plays for the Washington Capitals NHL hockey team, for a jersey that has been signed by the team’s players. This request was successful and Richmond plans on giving the signed jersey to Mike.
“I will give it to Mike as a gift,” Richmond said. “We were thinking of auctioning it off, but I contacted Mike’s father and he likes the idea of giving it to Mike as a momentum and something to keep him going.”