NEWS

Alberta shooting survivor gains fundraising support

12/29/2011 06:23 EST | Updated 02/28/2012 05:12 EST

Prince Edward Islanders are busy organizing fundraisers to help Shayna Conway, the only survivor of a murder-suicide that took the lives of four young people in Alberta earlier this month.

Conway's doctors are calling her survival from several gunshot wounds a miracle, but she still has a long recovery ahead. During that recovery she and her families are facing bills for travel and other expenditures.

Islanders are pitching in to help. Richard Haines, one of Conway's former teachers at Charlottetown Rural High School, is helping organize a fundraiser at the school, one of several being planned.

"She affected the lives of a great many people around her," said Haines.

"As soon as I heard what happened, I knew I wanted to be involved."

More than 130 people have signed up for the Courtside Sneakers Raider Run at the school. Alumnus Hilary MacDonald has also signed on to help.

"Because this is a Charlottetown Rural run, I wanted to be there as a student alumni and support all Raiders, past and present and hope they can all get involved in this great cause and this event," said MacDonald.

The run is one of several fundraisers planned or already completed. The University of Prince Edward Island is hosting a skate to raise money for Conway and the other victims' families. There will be a concert for Conway next week and a benefit dance later in January. The Food and Warmth Show, an annual fundraiser for the food bank held just before Christmas, set aside a bowl for people to make donations and send messages of support to Conway.

Pastor Rob Dale has been acting as a spokesman for Conway's family. He said Shayna was surprised to hear of all the support.

"The biggest thing for her was that they were doing it for her," said Dale.

"It was like 'Why?' And we were telling her these people were doing this, strangers were doing this, and I think she absolutely felt the love and support of that."

Conway's family is hoping she'll be back on the Island sometime in the next several weeks.

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