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Winnipeggers step up to raise $66K for Siloam Mission

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A break in the sprinkler system at Siloam Mission caused extensive damage to the health centre, clothing room and food storage area, according to Floyd Perras, executive director of Siloam Mission.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

A break in the sprinkler system at Siloam Mission caused extensive damage to the health centre, clothing room and food storage area, according to Floyd Perras, executive director of Siloam Mission. Photo Store

Siloam Mission has raised over $66,000 in food, clothing and monetary donations after a sprinkler head blew and flooded its Princess Street facility last Wednesday.

Siloam held a one-day fundraising event last Friday at Garden City Shopping Centre — it was planned in advance of the flood — in partnership with local radio stations.

"Winnipeg came through beyond our wildest imagination. Not only did people make sure the toy store would be fully stocked, but they stepped up to replace supplies lost to water damage. Manitoba proved it really is the most generous province," Siloam’s finance director, Judy Richichi, said in a statement.

A sprinkler head blew in the medical supply room of the Saul Sair Health Centre on the first floor of Siloam’s four-storey building last Wednesday. A damper that allows cold air to flow in during the summer was not closed properly, which caused the pipes in the ceiling leading to the sprinkler to freeze. The water backup put pressure on the seal of the sprinkler head, causing it to break.

About 4,000 square feet of the medical centre and clothing room and 2,000 square feet of the basement where food is stored was flooded with about six centimetres of water.

Siloam lost an estimated $25,000 in food and medical supplies as a result.

Friday’s fundraising event brought in more than $45,000 in monetary donations and $21,000 in toys, food and new clothing donations.

"We are just so thrilled by the overwhelming response from Winnipeg," Richichi said. "One little girl even emptied out her piggy bank so that she could donate a toy!"

Siloam will be opening its annual toy store to shelter clients Wednesday and Thursday to allow them to select gifts for their children they otherwise couldn’t afford.

Donations can still be made to Siloam Mission, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations can also be made online at www.siloam.ca, by mail or by calling 204-956-4344.

roberta.bell@freepress.mb.ca

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