Edmonton’s comic book community rallies for the Stollery

Click to play video: 'Art For Heart fundraiser sees local artists battle it out for the Stollery' Art For Heart fundraiser sees local artists battle it out for the Stollery
WATCH: David Tuff, the organizer of the Art For Heart event, speaks about the importance of raising money for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation – Oct 12, 2019

An Edmonton-based comic artist has rallied the local superhero scene to raise money for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.

David Tuff organized the third annual Art For Heart event at Happy Harbor Comics on Saturday afternoon.

Tuff first launched the fundraiser when his youngest daughter, Calla, was diagnosed with a rare heart defect, and he realized first-hand how much support the Stollery Children’s Hospital provides.

“We’ve had a million different specialist appointments. We’ve pretty much lived at the Stollery,” Tuff said.

At the event, artists battled it out in rounds about 30 minutes long, with themes and characters chosen by the audience. Their art was then auctioned off live.

“The response is incredible. It’s really nice to be able to share a story like this and then have support from the local businesses,” Tuff said.

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Calla was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect before she was even born, around 18 weeks into the pregnancy.

Now four years old, Calla has faced multiple heart surgeries, stomach surgeries, and complications that have led to six-month hospital stays.

“In all that hardship and that terrible time, the Stollery was [the] one amazing thing,” Tuff said.

“It was a second home. The nurses are amazing, the doctors are amazing. Everyone makes a really tough time easier.”

The event also has a tie-in silent auction that extends past Saturday. Artists from around the world have donated pieces for the cause, which are on display at Happy Harbor until Oct. 19. You can bid on the event’s Facebook page.

Over the past two years, the event has raised a total of just under $10,000. Tuff hopes this year he’ll be able to add another $5,000.

“I appreciate every last cent that’s donated,” Tuff said.

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