14 members of Whonnock Roofing and Gutters shovelled walks on Nov. 30 for donations to the family of Savanna Gervais. (Clay Gagnon/Special to The News)

14 members of Whonnock Roofing and Gutters shovelled walks on Nov. 30 for donations to the family of Savanna Gervais. (Clay Gagnon/Special to The News)

B.C. company shovels driveways to collect donations for 4-year-old cancer victim

Whonnock Roofing collected more than $6,000 for family of Savanna Gervais

The first major snowfall of the season might have brought a lot of chaos, especially on the roads, but for one Maple Ridge family, it also brought a bit of hope as they received more than $6,000 in donations.

Almost two weeks ago, the community lost a 4-year-old girl named Savanna Gervais to cancer, which prompted a local company to take it upon themselves to shovel driveways for donations to Gervais’ family.

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Whonnock Roofing & Gutters sent out 14 of their team members, who were able to shovel almost 30 driveways in the community.

“Many of our employees wanted to donate their own time towards the donation. Some guys donated an hour while others tried to donate their whole day’s pay towards the final tally,” said Clay Gagnon, who co-owns Whonnock Roofing with his brother Abraham Gagnon.

“The employees that my brother and I have in this industry have huge hearts. They truly care about the community they live in.”

After some back-breaking work clearing the 15 centimetres of snow that Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows received on Nov. 29-30, the Whonnock Roofing team was able to collect $1,815 in donations. However, the company also pledged to match donations up to $5,000.

“My brother and I decided to give the full $5,000 and this included some hours that we allowed our employees to donate back to the company,” said Gagnon. “The total amount that we were able to raise for Savanna’s family was $6,835.”

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Gagnon explained that this fundraising effort was extra personal for him and the company.

“We have known the Gervais/MacDonald family for a long time as Savanna’s uncle Dave MacDonald worked here at Whonnock Roofing from 1998 to 2014, so there is a bit of an extra special connection with some of our long-term employees there as well. The money doesn’t turn back time, but we are hoping that this will bring along some financial relief during these trying times, especially as they all enter the holiday season and beyond.”

The Gagnon family has also had their own run-in with cancer in the past, which made all of this even more meaningful to them.

“We lost our own brother Alexander Gagnon to cancer back on May 30th of this year,” Gagnon explained. “He was 55 years old. He was my older brother and one of my best friends. We saw each other every day as he would quite often come to work with me. I miss him dearly.”

“However, that does not compare to losing one of your children, and for that, we are truly and deeply sorry to Krista, Norman, Riley, and the rest of their beautiful family for the loss of this little angel. All of the guys at Whonnock Roofing express their deepest condolences to the family.”


Have a story tip? Email: brandon.tucker@mapleridgenews.com

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