February 16, 2017 (Sussex, NB) – Ellen Watters, died on December 28, 2017, five days after being struck by a vehicle while on a training ride near Sussex, NB. Members of the local cycling community around her home town of Apohaqui, NB are organizing a fundraiser to build a memorial at the Potashcorp Civic Centre in Sussex to remember her.here.
Pedal Magazine caught up with Marci Webb, manager at Bike & Beans, about the event:
We understand that the goal of the fundraiser is to erect a memorial. Can you share a bit about this?
Marci Webb: Ellen had such an impact on so many people. Randy Hall, that lives in Sussex, and Jeff Munroe, who grew up in Sussex wanted to create a permanent memorial to Ellen. She had worked at the Potash Corp Civic Centre as an aquatics manager and taught there as well so it seemed fitting to Jeff and Randy that a memorial be created on site so they approached the civic centre and now it will be a reality. It is a perfect location since Ellen inspired so many during her time there (and beyond). There will be a memorial bench with flowers, a plaque and a repair stand for present and future cyclists.
Who’s idea was it to commemorate her contribution to the community at the Civic Centre?
MW: A couple of avid cyclists, Randy Hall, that lives in Sussex, and Jeff Munroe, who grew up in Sussex.
What type of auction items have been collected thus far? Is it more geared to cyclists, or the general public as well?
MW: The selection is quite vast, from toilet paper to bicycles from Cannondale and now Louis Garneau as well. Catharine Pendrel has donated a signed World Champ vest from 2012 and her Team Canada vest from the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and some socks with the World Cup colours (everyone likes socks!). We have services such as massages, portrait session, yoga and even a set of will for a married couple plus Powers of Attorney. Artists, businesses, distributors have all been extremely supportive. We also have a few folks baking up some delicious treats and cakes. It has been quite emotional to be receiving this much support. We have listed everything in the description of the event and it hasn’t stopped yet.
Can people make donations to the cause without attending the auction?
MW: Yes, for anyone who would like to make a money donation an e-transfer can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org with a note that it is for the Ellen Watters memorial or if paying by cheque you can make it out to Potash Corp Civic Centre at 240 Main Street, Sussex, New Brunswick, E4E 1R3 and please add that it is for the Ellen Watters memorial.
How is Bike and Beans involved in the fundraiser and auction?
MW: Simply, Jeff messaged me to ask if Bikes and Beans would be willing to host a fundraiser event. I think I let him finish his sentence before I said yes!
I think anyone asked to help, in any way, would say the same. Along with the hosting, we are promoting and contributing to facilitating donations for the event. It’s has been close to a full-time job with the soliciting, collecting and posting but an amazing good-for-the-heart task (due to the incredibly generous people). We have even topped up our doggy treats for our four-legged visitors.
Any other information you can share about the event and the fundraiser in general?
MW: If people want to feel closer and connected, join the Facebook Ellen Watters Memorial Fundraiser event. We will be making posts throughout the day. There will be Korean Fire Noodle eating challenge at 1pm, we will be selling 50/50 tickets, LNS LAW stickers and then starting at 3pm will be the “live” auction of the items.