By RYAN COOKE
Special to The Pilot
LEWISPORTE — Good deeds go long ways in small towns, and last Friday night in Lewisporte, the deeds could not have been bigger or better.
The town was out in full swing to show their support at the 27th annual Calypso Fantasy Auction at the Kinsmen Centre, throwing out bids left, right and centre on dozens of items donated by businesses and individuals.
The night kicked off at 6 p.m. with a wine tasting, which made way for the auction at 7 p.m., led by auctioneers Owen Brinson and Roger Barnett. While the two men worked as fast as they could, the bids came at them even faster.
The result was an evening which saw over $21,000 raised, which Calypso Foundation manager Colleen Barrett called an “overwhelming show of support.”
The Foundation was started as a community grassroots program after a group of parents of developmentally disabled adults went to the provincial government with the idea. Without any such programs in the area to offer assistance outside of schools, many developmentally disabled citizens were left without help after high school.
“The government approved a two-year pilot project, and here we are 35 years later,” said Ms. Barrett.
One of the initiatives that the Calypso Foundation developed in 1984 was a living skills program for adult clients with a higher degree of need for such services. This program has no government funding, and so Ms. Barrett says community fundraisers such as the auction are essential to the longevity of the program.
“The support from the community is spectacular. People ask almost as soon as the auction is over when the next date is.”
Ms. Barrett says the Foundation and the community have always operated hand-in-hand, and they aim to keep it going that way for many years to come.
“Calypso is very important to Lewisporte and the area, and if anything were to happen to it, there would certainly be a huge uproar.”