Woman charged with theft from fundraiser

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Drumheller RCMP have charged one per­son in re­la­tion to miss­ing funds from a lo­cal fundraiser for a young man bat­tling can­cer.

On June 14, the RCMP be­gan an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a com­plaint that a sub­stan­tial amount of money from a silent auc­tion in ben­e­fit of Bran­don Hall and his fam­ily was never for­warded to the Halls. On Satur­day, April 30, the com­mu­nity hosted a fundraiser to sup­port Bran­don Hall, who is bat­tling can­cer, and help his fam­ily to as­sist with ex­penses in­curred by his treat­ment. The event in­cluded a Poker Run, which headed out in the morn­ing from the New­cas­tle Ho­tel and wrapped up at Top Rocker Mo­tor­cy­cle Gear in Rosedale. There, they hosted a cel­e­bra­tion as well as a silent auc­tion sup­ported by many busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als in the val­ley.

The RCMP have laid one charge of theft un­der $5,000 against Ash­ley Fredrick­son, 33, of Drumheller. She has been re­leased and is sched­uled to ap­pear in pro­vin­cial court in Drumheller on Friday, Au­gust 26 at 10 a.m.

Jamie Wor­man was one of the or­ga­niz­ers of the event, and tells The Mail that it was the fam­ily that learned the funds were miss­ing. Ev­ery­one in­volved was up­set. “When they brought it to our at­ten­tion, we didn’t know what to think, words don’t even de­scribe the emo­tion when you hear some­thing like that,” said Wor­man.

De­spite this, Wor­man would rather focus on the good that came from the event.

“It is un­for­tu­nate that some­thing like this has to hap­pen, but I am still fo­cus­ing on all the pos­i­tive as­pects,” he said. “The law will take care of it­self, I don’t want a shadow to be over­cast on all the peo­ple in­volved… I won’t let one per­son ruin that for me.” He is grate­ful to all the or­ga­niz­ers as well as all the peo­ple who gave.

“The peo­ple who gave stuff to a fam­ily that many didn’t even know, in a time when money is tight, it just shows the kind of com­mu­nity we have. There are some beau­ti­ful peo­ple.”

In a post on Face­book, Ash­ley Fredrick­son urged res­i­dents to wait un­til the courts to make their de­ci­sion.

"There were many peo­ple who had ac­cess to said money, but I have been ac­cused...I have been as­sured this will likely be thrown out in court, as there is no proof, and too many peo­ple were in­volved," said Fredrick­son.

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More than 100 rid­ers came out last April to sup­port Bran­don Hall and his fam­ily as he bat­tled can­cer. A Drumheller woman has been charged with theft fol­low­ing the fundraiser.

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