Three weeks ago, it was hoped a fundraiser for the Mendoza family would raise $5,000.

Yesterday, that amount was exceeded four-fold. $23,350 to be exact.

A loud applause, cheers and wide grins broke out when organizer Dan Kroffat announced the amount within an hour of the close of the event.

From noon to 2 p.m. on Feb. 17, a steady flow of people picked up over 275 meals at Giga’s Pinoy Carendaria and about 125 bubble teas from Bubble Tea Brewers, to show their support for the Mendoza’s.

Behind the scenes, Kroffat had been accepting donations from business, organizations and individuals anywhere from $5 to $5,000. He says no matter the size, every donation was appreciated.

“It’s inspiring to see how caring residents of Cochrane have come together so compassionately to help each other. Your generosity and compassionate towards the Mendoza family is a testament of the strong ties that bind Cochrane,” said Kroffat.

“Even in the sadness of this story, we know the outcome will be a terrible conclusion, I think this demonstrates how our community can come together in times of need. and the amount of money that was raised really illustrates this family is well loved in the community,” says Kroffat.

Several members of Calgary’s Filipino community came to support the fundraiser, including Vangie Caolue.

“I think it really exemplifies what being a community is all about,” she says. “To come together, embrace each other, and to be part of something bigger. It really shows the support that we give to each other, regardless. It’s heart-warming.”

Instrumental in the fundraiser were members Filipino-Canadian Association of Cochrane Alberta (FCACA). He says to far exceed the target of $5,000 speaks volumes about the community.

“We’re just overwhelmed by all the support the community gave us, especially Dan who spearheaded this,” says FCACA vice-president Edwin Aguanta. “We’re just so grateful for the community effort, the giving hearts of the community and the people behind this.”

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