The Birtle Ag Society hosted a community auction sale last week Friday to raise funds for local area farmers, Ben and Nicole Mitchell.  The Mitchell's 8 year old daughter, Addison, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and is now taking treatment at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.

The community auction was part of the Ag Society's annual summer fair - this being their 139th of celebrating everything community!  Ag Society President, Jim Lane, turned the annual Friday evening auction into a fundraising benefit for the Mitchell family.

$161,000 was raised for the family as they undertake travelling, food and lodging expenses over the next 6 months of Addison's treatment program in Winnipeg.

Rae-Ann Kryshewski is a member of the Birtle Ag society, and aunt to 8-year-old Addison.

Kryshewski says they're overwhelmed with the support from their own community, as well as from beyond the Birtle-Rossburn area from the many people who heard about the Mitchell family and little Addison's diagnosis.

"I was just hoping we would make a little bit of money for them to get by," she explains.  "When everything was just going through the roof we had so much support from family, friends, the community, and surrounding communities.  We had people reach out from not even around the Birtle area.  So, it was just phenomenal that we were able to raise that much money."

Addison is responding well to her treatments, and the family hopes she will be allowed to have out-of-hospital outings starting this weekend.  "She's been there for a couple of weeks now, in her room, and maybe by the weekend she'll be able to actually get outside and possibly stay in an apartment there, because she'll have to be in the hospital for at least once during the day," shares Kryshewski.

After the initial 6 months of treatment, the family is hoping the hospital visits will go down to once a month over the next 3 years.  "That's [the plan] as of now, but she's doing way better now, so we're very hopeful that she's going to continue getting better," she adds.

"Everyone has been so very generous. They're for every family that is need of help."