The eighth annual Bentley 4 Babies fundraiser takes place Saturday, August 4, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Aldergrove Legion, 26607 Fraser Hwy.
Every year at this time Shelly Bligh and Jeff Dixon and their family hold the fundraiser for BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre Foundation in gratitude for the hospital intensive care unit’s compassionate care in trying to save the life of her infant son, Bentley.
“We experienced the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at BC Women’s Hospital on a very personal level and we ask our community to help us say thank you every year,” said Shelly.
Bentley was born three months premature in April of 2011 and was rushed to the hospital’s NICU where he received the best care.
“We watched our tiny baby boy fight and fight hard,” said Shelly, in an interview with The Star in 2011.
“The specialists, doctors and nurses went above and beyond in many ways. They shared with us Bentley’s 28 beautiful days of life that will never be forgotten.”
Bentley was not able to overcome his difficulties of premature birth but the family decided to raise funds for the hospital as a way of saying thanks and also in support of other families undergoing serious medical issues.
The new NICU at BC Women’s Hospital opened last year and Shelly said her family were given a tour of the shiny new facility.
“We had all our kids with us and it was incredible to see how our hard work contributed to a NICU that is helping other families; to see that we’re making a difference,” said Shelly.
The family, which has now grown to six, recently moved from Aldergrove to a larger home in the Clearbrook area of Abbotsford, but still have ties here. Shelly works part-time at Del Pollo Restaurant and Jeff’s business, J. Dixon Plumbing and Heating Ltd., keeps him busy throughout the region. They are also very grateful to the Aldergrove Legion for allowing them to use the facility at no charge for the annual fundraiser and they intend to keep the tradition going here in Aldergrove in Bentley’s memory.
The family started the event in 2011 and have raised over $14,000 for the cause since that time. All of the family members — Shelly and Jeff, and children Ava, Dylon, Kassy and Maci — participate every year by washing cars, collecting recyclable bottles and cooking up food on a barbecue.
“Come out and help us continue to raise funds,” said Shelly.
“Drop off your bottles, get your vehicle cleaned and enjoy a hot dog or hamburger. Everything is by donation.”