The Kemptville Cancer Support Group capped off their fundraising event in reaching $10,000 to adopt a wish for a child, with a dance Saturday December 2. The group decided to get involved with Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario, to honour Canada’s 150th birthday. They started canvassing on October 10, and were able to raise $4,000 in just a few days, with the generous donations of $2,000 each from Gerald Tallman and Fran Thompson. In nineteen days, the group and friends were able to raise the $10,000 needed to grant a child’s wish.
A lot of anticipation built in the community in the days leading up to the dance. B&H Your Community Grocer in Kemptville had a poster advertising the event, with a running total of how much had been collected, and the local radio station, Juice FM, also played their part in informing the public about the dance and fundraising progress.
The dance itself was a roaring success, thanks to everyone involved. The music was supplied by local musicians, Ron Donnelly and the Marlboreens, and they had everyone up on the dance floor. Norma Fisher, Honorary Member of the Cancer Support Group, (and no mean dancer herself) greeted all guests upon arrival. Norma was also celebrating her 96th upcoming birthday that evening. Lynn Mann, another member of the group, and her husband Rob, collected all the tickets and made sure names were on the back of the tickets for door prizes later.
Robert Carmichael organized a wonderful silent auction, with lots of items donated by individuals and businesses in the community, which raised almost $400 for the cause. Other Cancer Support Group members made over 400 cookies, and member, Sandra Kelly, and her team helped make the sandwiches. To top it all off, volunteer Nancy Wilkinson made tons of homemade fudge.
Another amazing contribution to the evening was a donation of almost 100 angels from a lady in Aylmer. She heard about the event and wanted her angels to go to everyone who participated in making the fundraiser a success in adopting a wish for a child in need. Cancer Support Group member, Theresa Stevason, was given the happy job of handing the angels out at the dance.
Perhaps one of the best parts of the evening was that they were able to share it with the little girl, Abigail, whose Make-A-Wish was granted. She was at the Legion with her Dad, Drew, Mom, Marina, big brother Aiden, and little sister Amelia. Abigail will be 8 years old on December 18. She has been diagnosed with a very rare form of Lymphoma. When she is able to travel, she has three wishes to choose from: a Disney Cruise, a trip to Disney World, or a trip to Jamaica to swim with the turtles. Drew says it was very humbling to walk into the room full of people who were supporting them. “It was amazing” he says. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without their help to look forward to”.
Not only was a cheque for $12,051 given to Make-A-Wish at the dance, Abigail also got a giant card with the names of all the donors, complete with messages of love, strength, courage, prayers, and happiness to help her on her way to recovery. Ron Donnelly also sang a song by Marty Robinson specially for Abigail.
Overall, it was a wonderful evening and a great way to close out the fundraising effort. Make-A-Wish and the family have promised to keep the Kemptville Cancer Support Group updated on Abigail’s journey.