GRATEFUL: Levi, Jamaica, Deisha and Summer Magic Stevens will benefit from the community’s generosity.
GRATEFUL: Levi, Jamaica, Deisha and Summer Magic Stevens will benefit from the community’s generosity. Trevor Veale

Funds roll in to help family

COFFS Harbour people have opened their hearts to the family of David Stevens, raising more than $32,000 in about two months.

The joint 2014 Coffs Harbour Citizen of the Year, 2011 Carer of the Year and national and international community advocate and activist passed away on June 20 after a battle with cancer, leaving his wife Jamaica to raise their three young children.

Jamaica said the amount raised was "incredible".

"It is completely awesome and I want to thank everyone who has contributed.

"It shows everyone cares so much for Dave and our family.

"David would be so happy to see all the love and support from the Coffs Harbour community," Jamaica said.

The man who threw all his time and his energy into working for others was remembered by a capacity crowd at his memorial service on June 25.

Among the many speakers who praised his work was Dr Andrew Katelaris, who spoke of David's determined and successful fight for relief of his daughter Deisha's seizures through the use of medicinal cannabis, bravely taking on the medical establishment to help his child.

Coffs Coast residents also threw their support behind the young family, raising funds through crowdfunding; donations through BCU; a Pink Walk organised by Shell Crawley; a come-and-try stand-up paddleboard day organised by Geoff, Dean and Cheryl Vigors of Coffs Jetty SUP; and a major trivia night at C.ex Coffs co-ordinated by Karen Jackson with assistance from a small but determined committee kept on track by Deb Ellison.

The business community responded magnificently, providing 80 prizes, auction and raffle items, plus in-kind help, support and publicity.

C.ex Club came on board as a major sponsor through its community grants program and the C.ex Club auditorium was at capacity for the trivia night on June 27.

More than 400 people came together to pit their wits against the quiz masters, buy raffle tickets and bid for a huge range of items from sporting memorabilia and surf gear to artworks, holidays and beauty treatments.

Television personality and filmmaker Helen Kapalos, who has featured David and Deisha in her soon-to-be released documentary A Life of its Own, emceed the night, which raised $24,193.

Fundraising co-ordinator Karen Jackson said this was an "awesome" amount and she wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful support and all the people who helped, as well as the staff of C.ex Coffs and committee members.

"We have raised quite an amount to help the family through this difficult time and to help fulfil David's wish that his family was looked after," she said.

"Donations and help are still coming through to the family, which is great to see."

Park Beach Plaza and Woolworths PBP donated $1000 worth of gift cards the family can use for groceries.

To support the crowdfunding drive, search for David Stevens on YouCaring.

Cash donations can also be made to BCU BSB 704328, account 228 196, name DJ Stevens and JK Magic.

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