Like many of you, my siblings and I attended Kelowna Secondary School. When I was 16 I met an amazing young girl in my Indigenous advocacy group at school; she was a vibrant, strong, brilliant girl with the biggest heart. Her name is Dawn Dionne. She and Samara’s dad, Mike welcomed her into the world and raised her with love and pride for her 17 years.
I remember her baby shower in our grade 11 year like it was yesterday, we listened to Eminem and drank iced caps from Tim Hortons while we celebrated her baby girl, Samara. Dawn raised Samara to be a wonderful, vibrant, proud Indigenous Woman with joy and love everyday since she was born, with help from the young parents program at KSS.
Dawn continued onto University after Sam was born, becoming an Indigenous advocate herself at Mount Boucherie and eventually at KSS, just like our advocate from our days, Richard Gauthier.
Dawn gives back all day everyday by serving her community and advocating for Indigenous students on the front lines while also serving on our Mamas for Mamas community board of directors. Not surprisingly, Samara was also actively involved in her community and loved volunteering whenever she could.
About 8 months ago, Dawn became a part of our family when she started dating my sister Jen’s brother in law, Chris. She became even more of a family member when Chris asked Samara’s permission for her mom’s hand in marriage.
She is so loved and valued already as a part of our family and this quite honestly hits way too close to home.
Dawn is going back to school to be a teacher in the fall at NITEP, and Samara was set to wear her cap and gown next week, when tragedy struck. Dawn and her partner Chris were woken by RCMP with the most devastating news: her daughter
Samara was killed in a tragic car crash in the morning of Wednesday May 26th.
It’s our turn now to support Dawn as she has supported her daughter, her students and their Mamas. It’s our turn as a community to come together for Dawn, Mike and Chris during the worst time of their lives.
It’s my honour to be able to help with this, and here’s where you all come in.
We are doing a fundraiser to help pay for the funeral expenses and anything else that comes up financially so Dawn can focus on her healing and on supporting the other families who’ve lost a child too soon. Please help us rally for this mama to raise $25,000 so she has one less thing to worry about. Any donation over $20 will receive a tax receipt. Any donation over $1000 gets a tax receipt and I’ll personally take you to lunch as a thank you.
Thank you for standing on guard with us to ensure this mama has everything she needs during this time.
***Please note we are also supporting the other 2 families in any ways requested, this mama is part of our family and we’ve been working extra closely with Dawn. If you know of anyone who needs help with anything around this tragedy, come to Mamas.