Community steps up

The community has certainly rallied around the young man who fell victim to an armed robbery at a local gas station last month.

Jaysen Arancon Reyes, 26, was working as a clerk at the West Park Fas Gas on Sept. 11 when police have said at 11:20 p.m. a lone male entered the gas station, walked up to the clerk at the counter and produced a sawed-off shotgun.

When the clerk placed the money on the counter the suspect discharged the shotgun. Reyes was hit in the hand and face and continues to recover in a Calgary hospital.

The suspect, identified as Jeffrey Geary, turned himself into Blackfalds police on Sept. 13 and is currently in custody awaiting court proceedings.

Reyes came to Canada from the Philippines this past May as a temporary foreign worker hoping to uplift the lives of his mother and siblings. He remains at Foothills Medical Center in Calgary recovering from serious injuries including loss of two fingers and damage to his right eye.

Meanwhile, the Red Deer community has come together to help Reyes and his family who lives in the Philippines.

A fundraiser was recently held which was hosted by Western Pizza. About $5,108 was raised from that event.

Other fundraisers include one that will be hosted by Migrante-Alberta on Oct. 19 at The Hub on Ross St. The event will run from 1-4 p.m. The group will be showing ‘The End of Immigration’, a one-hour documentary about the lives of temporary foreign workers in Canada and the impact they make in Canadian societies. Tickets are $10 each.

Proceeds from both of these events will be forwarded to Reyes and his family through a trust fund established by Parkland Fuel Corporation, owners of Fas Gas.

A collection has also been set up at the Fas Gas location where patrons can donate money as well.

It is no surprise that Red Deerians have stepped forward in such generous fashion to help out during a crisis like this. Events like this are rare to happen in this City and when they do, it shakes the community to the core.

We encourage people to drop by the upcoming fundraiser at The Hub and show their support. Those who can’t make that event are also encouraged to stop by the Fas Gas location and make a donation there.

We are a community of compassionate, understanding and giving citizens and we should all be proud to call Red Deer home.

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