New vehicle for riot victim, thanks to donors

Stanley Cup riot victim Crystal Ratvay now has some new wheels, thanks to the generosity of friends and strangers.

Crystal Ratvay

Crystal Ratvay

Stanley Cup riot victim Crystal Ratvay now has some new wheels, thanks to the generosity of friends and strangers.

Ratvay, a student at University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, was presented with a red 2003 Chevy Cavalier on Saturday through an arrangement that had been organized by Mark Woodall of Surrey.

Woodall has a friend who owns South Surrey Repo, and he called him after reading in the media about how Ratvay’s 1990 Cavalier had been flipped and smashed in the riot on June 15.

Ratvay, 30, had been given the car by her aunt earlier that day to help her travel from Chilliwack to attend school and other appointments.

Her first trip was to visit her friend Michael Didyk in Vancouver to watch Game 7 in the Stanley Cup final between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins.

Folllowing the riot, Didyk organized a Facebook campaign to raise funds towards the purchase of a replacement vehicle for Ratvay. Friends and strangers came forward, donating more than $1,000.

Another $450 was raised by two DJs – Will Ramadan and Bruce Shearer – from a Vancouver show on June 27.

Woodall contacted Didyk to say that South Surrey Repo had a 2003 Chevy Cavalier for purchase. Woodall agreed to make up the difference between the $5,500 asking price – which the dealership discounted – and the fundraised amount.

Two other people also offered vehicles. An Abbotsford woman was willing to donate her 2001 Cavalier at no cost, and another dealership – Burrard Acura – said they would donate a vehicle, depending on what came in on the lot.

Woodall’s offer was accepted because it was the newest vehicle with the fewest kilometres, Didyk said.

He said he was touched to experience the kindness of so many strangers.

“I think it’s a testament to the true spirit of the people of Vancouver.”

Ratvay said she is “blessed and thankful” for the support. She said she can now focus on her business studies without the added burden of transportation problems, and can more easily attend medical appointments for issues related to a serious car accident six years ago.

“Words can only say so much, but my heart is filled with so much love and appreciation to all those who have supported me and helped me during this tough time,” Ratvay said.