Hundreds of people came out to show their support at a benefit held in Elkhorn on Saturday, Dec. 13 for the family of the late Scott cousins.
The benefit was organized for the family after Cousins passed away suddenly, leaving behind a wife and three children.
The fundraiser was held at the Elkhorn arena, and featured a hot turkey dinner along with two hockey games—one between the “Vintage” Elkhorn Canadians Alumni and the Booze and Blades rec hockey team, and a North Central Hockey League game between the Miniota-Elkhorn C-Hawks and the Grandview Comets.
A live auction was held between the periods of the alumni game, with Bill Bawtinhimer donating his services as an auctioneer to help auction off a number of large prizes, such as a 48-inch flat screen TV, four tickets to an NHL game between the New York Islanders and the Winnipeg Jets, and a 50 CC Honda dirt bike for children.
A silent auction was also held to raise funds, with some major prizes, such as an iPad mini, 15 tickets to a Virden Oil Caps game, a gun case, and a gift certificate for $500 at Kullbergs Furniture.
A raffle table was also set up at the event, and 50/50 tickets were sold.
Connie Cousins, the mother of Scott, says no pricetag can be put on the support the family has received since Scott’s passing.
“There’s absolutely no dollar value that you can put on what a small community does,” she said last week.
“I’ve lived in this area since I was born. It just is absolutely overwhelming how small communities band together. And not just people that know you—it’s also people that don’t know you that feel your pain.”
Cousins says the family has received support right from the beginning, from the moment a search party was organized to find Scott, who went missing on a recent winter night, right until today.
The night Scott went missing, Cousins said that the RCMP began trying to organize a search party, hoping for 50 to 75 people, but the community gave them much more than that.
“Someone made a phone call to a friend, and within half an hour they had over 100 people meet at the rink to go look,” she says.
“It wasn’t just support after (his passing), it’s been the support through the whole journey.”
Cousins says she has been blown away at the support that has been shown by people, even if they didn’t know the family personally.
She says at a recent Elkhorn Pee Wee hockey tournament, the coach of the Birtle-Shoal Lake team made a presentation at centre ice to show support for the Cousins family and make a donation on behalf of the players after the young hockey players gathered donations for the family.
“Those kind of things—that just blows me away,” she says.
“You cannot put a price tag on the value of a small community, because it’s far bigger than that. It’s the support from family, friends and neighbors. And the outreach goes for miles. It’s not like it stops at the edge of Elkhorn.
Since the passing of Scott, Cousins says she is shocked by how much people want to show that they care.
“We are just a community that gives very willingly. We open our hearts willingly and expect nothing in return,” she says. “We give because we love everybody in our community unconditionally. We just do. It’s like we are one huge, big family.”
Like most people who live in small communities, Cousins says she has attended many, many fundraisers for other people in need over the years. She says it has been tough being the one on the receiving end this time.
“It’s hard to be on the receiving end. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, because you just don’t ever want to be in that position,” she says.
But, she says the outpouring of support from the area has been a comfort.
“The comfort for me is the outpouring of love from every individual, and not just from this community, but from every community around—from people that you don’t even know. I got messages from people from Texas that I haven’t seen in years and years and years—just people that moved away.
“It’s hard to imagine that there are that many people who are so caring and giving of unconditional love. And it’s truly unconditional love.
“There is absolutely nothing like life in a small community. It doesn’t compare to anything else on this earth in my opinion. Because you just have that unconditional love. When there is a tragedy, regardless of what it is or for who, people just support in any way they can.”
“I don’t think you can ever put a pricetag on friendship.”
While Cousins says her family has had a tough time with the loss of Scott, she says she can’t imagine living anywhere more supportive than where she is today.
“It’s not an easy road to go down, there’s no question, nobody wants to go down this road,” she says. “But this is the best place to be. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I honestly could not imagine having my life anywhere else, living in an area where people love unconditionally.”
Jenny Cousins, the wife of Scott, spoke at the fundraiser held in Elkhorn on December 13.
“On behalf of myself and our girls, Addison, Adrianna, Ashlynn and our families, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the overwhelming support that we have received during this most difficult time,” she told the crowd.
“The generosity that has been shown, and the care and concern from our community and surrounding area has been incredible.
“To the host committee, we can’t thank you enough for organizing this evening. To all individuals and businesses for donations, the hockey teams and to all that have given their time in any way, a huge thank you.
“To all in attendance tonight, it just shows me the consideration of sincerity and thoughtfulness that is here for myself and our family. Although our girls are too young to understand and realize the compassion and kindness of everyone, it’s moments like this that they will be able to reflect back upon, and they will see how many people cared for and loved their dad. There are not enough words that can describe my heartfelt appreciation to everyone. Thank you.”