Jodi Baillargeon

Kids Curing Cancer holds fourth annual fundraiser

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The fourth annual Kids Curing Cancer event looks to be well on its way to a record fundraising total.

The main fundraiser was held Saturday evening at the Fort Family Fun Centre (formerly known as the Verdi Club) with over 200 people in attendance. It featured a pasta dinner, live entertainment from the Baillargeon family and raffles.

The event was spearheaded by Lauren Baillargeon, a Grade 7 student at Malden Central Public School, as well as her younger siblings Ty and Kierstyn. Mother Jodi Baillargeon noted that in addition to the over 200 tickets that were sold, they had over 70 door prizes.

Lauren Baillargeon plays the violin during the “Kids Curing Cancer” event she helped organize last Saturday.

Lauren Baillargeon plays the violin during the “Kids Curing Cancer” event she helped organize last Saturday.

“It makes me feel good. It helps the community,” Lauren said of the event.

It also helps keep her grandfather’s memory alive. Kids Curing Cancer started in 2014 when Lauren’s grandfather – and Jodi’s father – Dan Gerard was sick with cancer. It started with the idea of Lauren wanting to raise $50 and they sold bracelets to help generate the money but the first fundraiser ended up raising $3,860.

The 2015 was the first at the Verdi Club and that raised $6,230. Gerard died shortly after the second event and that left doubts at the time of whether they should hold a third event but it went ahead in 2016 and raised $6,850.

A fundraising total from last Sunday’s event is not yet available.

The family is a musical one and they provide the live entertainment at the events.

“A lot of the songs they are going to be performing tonight are songs (Gerard) taught the kids,” said Jodi, prior to Saturday evening’s performance.

There were a mix of new and familiar faces at Saturday’s fundraiser with it growing by word-of-mouth as the years go by.

“Every year, it seems to be getting bigger and bigger,” said Jodi.

Lauren credits her mom for helping out but Jodi pointed out it was Lauren’s idea to get more kids involved this year as many of Lauren’s friends and relatives helped sell raffle tickets and get the hall set up. Lauren also recorded a five track CD in which proceeds also go to Kids Curing Cancer.

The Baillargeon family performs during the Kids Curing Cancer event held at The Fort Family Fun Centre (formerly known as the Verdi Club) Feb. 25.

The Baillargeon family performs during the Kids Curing Cancer event held at The Fort Family Fun Centre (formerly known as the Verdi Club) Feb. 25.

Saturday’s event was the second of three being held this year as a kickoff event was held at the Libro Centre Feb. 5 in conjunction with the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association, the General Amherst girls hockey team and the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals. That day raised $4,341 with the third event being this Sunday as the Windsor Spitfires have become involved as well. The Spitfires host the Sudbury Wolves at the WFCU Centre this Sunday at 2:05 p.m. with $5 of every $16 ticket purchased through www.spitsgear.com/kidscuringcancer being donated to the cause.

The event raised over $16,000 for the patient assistance fund at the Windsor-Essex Cancer Centre Foundation with a plaque being installed at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Metropolitan Campus recognizing that feat. This year, the Baillargeons wanted to share their proceeds with another organization and decided on the Ronald McDonald House after a recent tour.

Pamela Sahli, community relations associate with Ronald McDonald House, was impressed with what she saw last Saturday evening.

“This is just so amazing. These kids are so inspirational. They are blowing me away,” said Sahli. “We love all of our community support but it’s even more special when it comes from kids.”

Sahli said Ronald McDonald House has been open in Windsor for ten months and is the first one in Canada to be contained within a hospital as it is part of the Windsor Regional Hospital Metropolitan Campus. Support from the Kids Curing Cancer fundraiser helps them aid more families, said Sahli.

The Ronald McDonald House in Windsor currently had five long-term rooms and two short-term rooms.

 

“Kids Curing Cancer” event starts with hockey fundraiser

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The annual “Kids Curing Cancer” event put on by the Baillargeon family has received a head start on its fundraising thanks to a hockey-themed event Sunday.

The family and its dedicated group of volunteers teamed with the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA), the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and the Windsor Spitfires Sunday for “Kids Curing Cancer Day” at the Libro Centre.

It raised $4,341.

Minor hockey players from junior and senior tyke up to bantam participated with players sporting an arm band on their uniforms in observance of the event. The arm bands were supplied by Accurate Creations with students from Western Secondary School helping with them as well.

Senior tyke players gather after playing on “Kids Curing Cancer” day last Sunday.

Senior tyke players gather after playing on “Kids Curing Cancer” day last Sunday.

Jodi Baillargeon, mother of event founder Lauren Baillargeon and siblings Ty and Kierstyn, said the regular fundraiser that has been held the previous three years will still happen Feb. 25 but Sunday’s event was a way to get fundraising started.

The Admirals have always been big supporters of the event, said Jodi, with AMHA joining in to also support the cause. It was originally just going to be for junior and senior tyke teams but AMHA wanted to make it for all age groups.

“The team that brings in the most money gets a team set of Windsor Spitfire tickets,” said Jodi.

A March 5 Spits game will also see discounted ticket prices with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the cause. For those tickets, people have to go through a special website to purchase them. The link is www.spitsgear.com/kidscuringcancer.

Lauren was happy to see the players wear the arm bands, stating it was the realization of the work she put in with her family and others.

“I felt really happy and proud of myself,” the youth stated.

Jodi said Lauren wanted to see more children involved with the fundraiser and the hockey event helped accomplish that.

Admirals co-owner Matt Fox said they jumped at the chance to get involved. He noted that Lauren plays “O Canada” on the fiddle before some of the team’s home games.

“Any time we can get out in the community and show some support is a no-brainer for us,” said Fox.

Fox said one of the team’s goals is to get out in the community and back community initiatives like Sunday’s “Kids Curing Cancer” day.

Kierstyn Baillargeon shows her arm band worn during the "Kids Curing Cancer Day" Feb. 5 at the Libro Centre.

Kierstyn Baillargeon shows her arm band worn during the “Kids Curing Cancer Day” Feb. 5 at the Libro Centre.

“It’s a great event,” Fox added. “It’s going to a great cause. It’s a win-win for us.”

Proceeds from this year’s Kids Curing Cancer event go to the Ronald McDonald House inside of Windsor Regional Hospital’s Metropolitan campus. Volunteer Paul Couvillon said such fundraisers are important as it allows them to pay their bills and operate their service.

“We appreciate what they are doing,” said Couvillon.

Couvillon said businesses and others have been very generous from the very beginning and that Ronald McDonald House headquarters are thrilled with what is happening at this area of the province.

Kids Curing Cancer’s fourth annual fundraiser is scheduled for the Fort Fun Centre (formerly the Verdi Club) Feb. 25 with doors opening at 3 p.m., music starting at 4 p.m. and a pasta dinner at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for kids under 10 and can be purchased by calling Jodi Baillargeon at 519-551-5606.