“Where do you get the money to fund your charity?
It’s a question many people ask Ray Brosseuk, who, along with his wife Jackie, ships dozens of containers full of clothes and other products to Africa every year through their organization Partner for Others.
The answer is by mining for gold in the Yukon every summer. “Mining is what has been supporting our charity work since we’ve been doing it in 1995,” said Ray Brosseuk.
Another question he gets asked often is, “How can I help?”
That answer is a little trickier, since Partners For Others isn’t a registered charity and Brosseuk funds it all himself. “When I first felt that I wanted to do something in this world to make a difference for people who are less fortunate, why would I have such a desire to do that and then turn around and expect the community or people around me to support my feelings.”
This Christmas season he is giving Revelstokians a direct opportunity to support the charity by selling some of his gold nuggets in town through jeweller Suzanne Spisani of Spisani Design jewellery store downtown.
The gold nuggets come from Brosseuk’s mining claim in the Yukon Territory. Every summer he and his family spend three months in the north mining for gold and the operation is successful enough to fund Partners For Others.
He uses a machine he developed himself to sift through gravel and sort out the gold from the debris. He said his operation can process 20 dump truck loads of gravel every hour.
About 70 per cent of the gold is fine powder that he melts down and pours into bars. The rest are gold nuggets that he sells to jewellers up and down the west coast, from the Yukon to California.
“This is gold that I just dug right out of the ground,” Brosseuk said. “It’s natural, it’s the way it comes out of the creek.”
Brosseuk said the gold he mines is 94 per cent pure – apprximately 22 carat, which is about as good as it gets. Spisani backed up his claim.
“It’s some of the best nuggets I’ve ever seen,” she said.
She will be selling the nuggets as pendants, earrings or as raw pieces. “I’m thrilled to be able to support a good cause,” Spisani said.
They will range in price from $60 for the smaller pieces to $3,000 for the biggest ones, said Brosseuk. A portion of the proceeds will go to the charity; the rest will pay for Brosseuk’s operations.
The sale begins this Friday, Nov. 25, during Moonlight Madness. The pieces will be on display at Spisani Design and available for sale until Christmas.