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Halifax Man Turns 'Grabher' Licence Plate Saga Into Something Actually Helpful

It came out of an ongoing legal case.
The campaign has raised more than $2,000.
Andy Bowers
The campaign has raised more than $2,000.

A Halifax-based campaign has raised more than $2,000 in 24 hours for a group that supports women and children in response to an unusual legal case.

The GoFundMe fundraiser, called "HELPHER," was started by Andy Bowers to bring awareness to Adsum House, which helps women, families, youth and transgender people with housing, health, crisis support and poverty-related issues in Halifax.

It's in reaction to a case that began in 2016, when Lorne Grabher's personalized "GRABHER" Nova Scotia licence plate was revoked. An anonymous complaint from a woman who said the plate could be interpreted as misogynistic, CBC News reported.

Bowers told HuffPost Canada on Thursday that he wanted to counter the negativity surrounding the "GRABHER" case.

"I just saw all the press this story was getting and how it was being dragged out in court, the press and the escalating negativity around it, and decided to launch something that would result in some good," said Bowers, who is a volunteer fundraiser for various causes and charities via Twitter and GoFundMe campaigns.

Grabher, who purchased the plate as a gift for his late father in 1989, said it expressed pride in his family's Austrian-German heritage. However, the Transport Department said the personal context behind the plate name isn't known to the general public who view it.

Grabher is currently in court fighting to be allowed to once again use his vanity licence plate.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a non-profit public interest law firm, is representing Grabher.

The centre paid for a billboard that looks like Grabher's licence plate this month.

Grabher's case resumed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court this week. Debra Soh, a former sex researcher, testified on Wednesday as an expert witness. She said she doesn't believe that a licence plate bearing the surname of a retiree would promote sexual violence against women, as the provincial government has alleged.

Bowers said that he wanted to see if a 24-hour fundraising campaign would work and has been pleased with the results so far.

Adsum tweeted its appreciation for the campaign but did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

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