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Mother’s Day lunch raises thousands for family of slain Lumby mother

ACE Building Centre event helps with legal costs for Tatjana Stefanski’s family
Lumby’s ACE Building Centre held a Mother’s Day lunch in support of the family of Tatjana Stefanski Sunday, May 12, 2024. (Dayton Ricketts photo)

The Lumby community continues to support the family of Tatjana Stefanski, this time by turning out in droves to a Mother’s Day fundraising event.

Stefanski, a Lumby mother of two, was found dead following an alleged abduction by her ex-husband in April. Police are investigating her death, though charges have yet to be laid.

In the wake of the tragedy, Lumby’s ACE Building Centre decided to pivot its annual Mother’s Day lunch event on Sunday into a fundraiser for Stefanski’s family.

ACE Building Centre was already planning a Mother’s Day event to celebrate its new Sunday hours, but when staff heard the news about the loss of a local mother, the team decided to put all proceeds from the event towards covering the family’s legal costs and other finances associated with Stefanski’s death.

“The expenditures associated with the loss of a loved one are often complex, time-consuming, and costly,” said marketing manager Dayton Ricketts, one of the people who organized the event.

“The community really showed up,” Ricketts added, saying there was a steady stream of people coming in and the parking lot was packed the whole day.

The event raised over $3,000 for Stefanski’s family, “which is pretty awesome for a small town,” Ricketts said.

“It’s important to acknowledge and support the people in our small community when and where we can, especially in these exceptional circumstances,” he added. “You don’t get to disappear into the masses like you can in a big city so a different level of connection is possible in towns like Lumby.”

News of Stefanski’s death a month ago sent pangs of grief and anger throughout the community, and many have called for changes to the justice system, which saw a suspect released 24 hours after they were arrested because charges had not been laid.

Stefanski’s boyfriend, Jason Gaudreault, has been advocating for change since her death while the family continues to live in hiding.

“One month and still no justice,” he said, urging community members to continue writing letters to government officials. “We are no closer and I have no details of the investigation to give. It’s absolutely outrageous that we have to live our lives the way we are.”

He posted on social media on Monday that the family is auctioning off Stefanski’s motorcycle, with the bidding starting at $4,000.

The latest funds raised and this auction will help as Geaudreault explains, “legal costs for guardianship are on the rise and also costs for extra security so we need to liquidate some items.”

READ MORE: ‘Justice for Tatjana’: Vigil honours memory of slain Lumby mother

READ MORE: Women’s self-defense workshops planned following Lumby death

Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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