Touch-a-Truck event in Fredericton raises money for fallen peacekeeper
Published Sunday, May 29, 2016 6:35PM ADT
More than six years after the death of a New Brunswick peacekeeper in Haiti, there are continuing efforts in the community to raise money for a school in his name.
Sgt. Mark Gallagher died while on a United Nations humanitarian mission in the Caribbean country during the January 2010 earthquake.
Members of the community opened a school in his memory four years later.
“It took a long time to establish the school,” said volunteer Mary Butler. “Haiti was in a desperate state after the earthquake so there was a lot of work to protect … the materials being brought in.”
On Saturday, volunteers hosted a Touch-a-Truck event, which encouraged the young and old to get a close-up look and feel of about 50 different types of vehicles.
“Touch-a-Truck is an event that Mark would've loved to have done,” said volunteer Jaime Watson. “This is completely his type of event for kids to be able to get on vehicles and see things they wouldn’t normally get to.”
In June, a class of 30 will be the third to graduate from the school. However, funds are still needed to ensure the school continues to operate.
“At this point, the Haitian government doesn't pay faculty salaries, so a lot of the money goes to pay the salaries of instructors,” said Butler. “As well, many of the Haitians don’t have enough money to afford training so money also goes to fund bursaries for students.”
Butler says nearly $60,000 has been raised in the last four years, but they’re looking to break records in 2016.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore.