A mental health advocate in Newfoundland has launched a fundraiser that’s been successful beyond her wildest dreams, combining her favorite foundation with tickets to see her favorite artist.
Kristi Allan knew people would be clamoring for Taylor Swift tickets if she could get a pair, but she also knew full well that she would have to compete with millions of fans to get them.
How he got them is a story he still can’t believe.
“Once I had it in my head, I started looking in all the Facebook groups, on Twitter and everywhere,” he said. “For this one I went to eBay.”
He found two tickets to the opening night of the Toronto edition of the Eras Tour on November 14. Allan sent the seller a message saying he would appreciate it if he would leave the auction and sell them for a good cause.
I couldn’t believe it when the seller actually did it.
“Greed has gotten the better of a lot of people, but he could have made a lot more money with those tickets,” Allan said.
Allan has been raising money for the Jacob Puddister Memorial Foundation for three years. The foundation offers free counseling and peer support services to people ages 12 to 35. It was launched following the death of Jacob Puddister, a 21-year-old man who committed suicide in 2016.
His sister, Kelsey, said she is increasingly grateful to Allan for the work he has done to raise money and awareness for his foundation.
“Kristi has helped us as an individual more than I could ever imagine,” Puddister said. “For years now, we’ve been able to rely on Kristi for these important fundraising activities, which always amazes me when someone sees what we’re doing and cares so much about it. There really are no words to describe the gratitude.”
The foundation is selling around 2,000 tickets (unfortunately just under 1,989 due to rules set by provincial lottery legislation) for the grand prize. Allan said demand has been so high that his email inbox has crashed on several occasions.
“It makes me very, very happy,” he said. “The foundation does incredible, incredible work and makes it all worth it.”
Allan has spent one day a week for the last two years protesting for better access to long-term mental health support. She even protested on her wedding day.
He said it has been a frustrating experience at times. He used to protest outside Waterford Hospital, before taking it to politicians at the Confederation Building.
“I like to do something tangible, because I have to say it really discourages me to be in front of the Confederacy every Monday,” he said. “I always want to do something that makes a tangible difference and makes it more accessible. And I believe in everything the foundation does.”
There will be one more opportunity to purchase raffle tickets in person. Puddister said he will be at the St. John’s Farmers Market on Oct. 22 and hopes to sell out the last batch of tickets.
The drawing will take place on December 9.
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