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Sprinkler system drenches ASM offices just ahead of fundraiser

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Ahead of their big fundraising gala, the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba was poised for a flood of donations.

But there was a flood of a different kind.

On Tuesday morning, the society’s Donald Street office was flooded when a sprinkler line froze and blew apart — all while staff were preparing for the Winnipeg Gala on Feb. 7 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, and sent scrambling to save thousands of dollars' worth of auction items.

"Basically, our ceiling opened up," said Kim Mardero, ASM manager of events and corporate giving. "It looked like a giant waterfall. It was crazy."

However, Mardero said while the office, which houses a staff of 17, will require extensive renovations and repairs, the auction items — "there were some things floating around" — were saved.

The Winnipeg Gala — called the Night to Remember in Africa — is budgeted to bring in $260,000 for the society.

Mardero said workers from Derksen Group, an ASM sponsor that ironically includes plumbing services, arrived in four trucks to haul away thousands of dollars worth of paintings, iPads, diamond necklaces and sports memorabilia.

However, Mardero noted that services offered by the office, including counselling and support groups, will have to be relocated for at least a few weeks. The ASM will look for temporary offices in the meantime.

"There’s no way we can work there," Mardero said. "It’s just wrecked. There was a foot of water on the carpet."

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