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Estevan legion raises $20,000 for Darrel Tessier, who was injured in motorcycle crash

Local businesses helped with the fundraiser.
Many people came to the Royal Canadian Legion’s Estevan branch on Sunday for the benefit supporting Darrel Tessier, who was badly injured in a motorcycle crash in North Dakota in which his wife Leigh-Ann Tessier was killed.

ESTEVAN - The Royal Canadian Legion’s Estevan branch invited the community to come to support Darrel Tessier, who was badly injured in a motorcycle crash in North Dakota last month.

His wife Leigh-Ann Tessier was killed in the crash.

The benefit – a fundraising steak supper – was held Sunday, raising approximately $20,000 as donations kept coming in as of Monday, said legion treasurer Leonard Grube. The legion was able to sell 284 tickets at $50 each, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to Darrel.

The Southern Plains Co-op, where Leigh-Ann worked for nearly two decades, supplied the food at their cost, and Estevan Motors, where Darrel works, said they'd provide another donation to go towards the food. The legion handled organizing the supper, preparing everything and absorbing any remaining costs.

Leigh-Ann's parents, Sandra and the late Vince McGillicky, were life members at the legion, and Leigh-Ann and Darrel themselves also used to be involved with the organization.

"Darrel and Leigh-Ann both were members up until COVID and probably would have joined again when things got going," Grube said, explaining why the legion did their best to support the family.

"Not only that, but we also just thought that it was the right thing to do as a community organization. They are members of this community and Leigh-Ann and Darrell are both well known by all of us here at the Legion in particular."

The legion received a lot of support and positive feedback on the supper and how well the event was organized, and they were also grateful for the community support.

"We would like to thank the community for their support through meal tickets and through any donations that were given. And a special thanks to all of our volunteers that helped organize the event day," Grube said.

About 20 people helped make the event happen on Sunday.

Leigh-Ann Tessier, 43, was killed and her 42-year-old husband Darrel was seriously injured on May 28 in North Dakota when the motorcycle they were riding was struck by a pick-up truck east of Fortuna. Both Tessiers were wearing helmets when the collision occurred.

Darrel Tessier has been receiving care at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, N.D. Grube said as of Monday, Darrel was still in the hospital, being treated for his injuries, and another operation was planned for him before he could be moved to Canada.

Leigh-Ann is remembered for her enjoyment of being around people and her desire to live life to the fullest. 

The incident remains under investigation by the North Dakota State Highway Patrol, and charges against the pick-up truck driver are pending.