Fundraiser for Watson nets almost $32,000

Combined, the afternoon workshops and gala evening, including auction, raised almost $32,000.

Lisa Needoba and Mike Watson enjoy some time together during a recent boat excursion in the Hong Kong harbour. The Kaleden couple hope to be home sometime next month after their liver transplant operations they could not have in Canada in time.

Lisa Needoba and Mike Watson enjoy some time together during a recent boat excursion in the Hong Kong harbour. The Kaleden couple hope to be home sometime next month after their liver transplant operations they could not have in Canada in time.

“Over the top” is how organizers are describing Saturday’s fundraising efforts in support of Mike Watson and Lisa Needoba.

Combined, the afternoon workshops and gala evening, including auction, raised almost $32,000.

“It was such a great day and truly the evening exceeded all of my expectations,” said Monique Atherton,” who helped put the events together. “The workshops at Kaleden school attracted a big and diverse crowd.”

She recalled one woman at the school in the afternoon who really didn’t know much about Watson and Needoba’s situation but realized somebody needed help.

“I thought that really exemplified that sense of community that has been such a part of all of this,” said Atherton.

The couple remains in Hong Kong where Watson received a portion of his partner’s liver in March.

According Atherton, during the day the couple were kept in the loop and were able to enjoy videos and stories of the activities.

In her latest post, Needoba wrote: “We hope you all know how incredibly grateful we are for your support. We are trying our best to digest what has taken place here, but all of the layers to this situation have been nothing less than unbelievable.

“Without our friends and family who assured us ‘it’s only money,’ we never could have gone to the lengths we did. And the best part is — it worked. The tsunami of support we have experienced is mind-blowing, and we can only hope that our story will help others down the road.”

Atherton also expressed her gratitude to everyone who participated during the day from those who prepared the dinner to emcee and disc jockey James Chicalo, the entertainers and the four women who: “playfully paid homage to both the ‘black tie’ dress suggestion and Mike and Lisa’s obvious love for one another, who showed up in their wedding gowns.”

This money will bring the total raised so far to just over $180,000 of the $264,000 goal.

It’s hoped the couple will receive medical clearance to return home to their three children sometime in the next few weeks.