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Fundraiser preparation flooded

Alzheimer Society's office inundated

Poised for their big fundraising gala, the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba was poised for a flood of donations.

Wrong flood.

On Tuesday morning, the society's Donald Street office was flooded when a sprinkler line froze and blew apart -- all while staff were preparing for the Winnipeg Gala on Thursday at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, and sent scrambling to save thousands of dollars worth of auction items.

"Basically, our ceiling opened up," said Kim Mardero, ASM manager of events and corporate giving. "It looked like a giant waterfall. It was crazy."

However, Mardero said while the office, which houses a staff of 17, will require extensive renovations and repairs, the auction items -- "there were some things floating around" -- were saved.

The Winnipeg Gala -- called the Night to Remember in Africa -- is budgeted to bring in $260,000 for the society.

Mardero said workers from the Derksen Group, an ASM sponsor that ironically includes plumbing services, arrived in four trucks to haul away thousands of dollars worth of paintings, iPads, diamond necklaces and sports memorabilia

However, Mardero noted services the office offers, including counselling and support groups, will have to be relocated for at least a few weeks.

The ASM will look for temporary offices in the meantime.

"There's no way we can work there," Mardero said. "It's just wrecked. There was a foot of water on the carpet."

randy.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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