Area family gets accessible van through President’s Choice Children’s Charity

 

Phil Guerard and Kim Auer, along with children Frank Pelkey and Matthew Guerard, officially received a grant from President’s Choice Children’s Charity (PCCC) with Meloche’s No Frills the being the store to facilitate the grant. Chris and Tina Meloche stand with the Colchester family and their new van.

Phil Guerard and Kim Auer, along with children Frank Pelkey and Matthew Guerard, officially received a grant from President’s Choice Children’s Charity (PCCC) with Meloche’s No Frills the being the store to facilitate the grant. Chris and Tina Meloche stand with the Colchester family and their new van.

By Ron Giofu

 

An area family now has an accessible van to help transport their son thanks to a local grocery store.

Phil Guerard and Kim Auer, along with children Frank Pelkey and Matthew Guerard, officially received a grant from President’s Choice Children’s Charity (PCCC) with Meloche’s No Frills the being the store to facilitate the grant.

The grant helped cover the $20,000 cost of the wheelchair accessible van, which is a tremendous help in transporting the family, particularly Frank, around since Frank is in a wheelchair.

Auer said the conversion took less time than anticipated.

“It was done in a week-and-a-half,” she explained. “They expected six weeks.”

The new accessible van is a relief to the Colchester couple, as now they no longer have to worry about lifting Frank and his wheelchair into the van. Now, they can unfold a ramp and wheel him into the back of the van.

“We don’t have to lift him and hurt our backs. Our old van wasn’t accessible,” said Auer. “It’s a relief for (Guerard). It saves his back. He actually had to lift Frank’s wheelchair and put it in the old van. (The grant) is a big help.”

Frank is supported through the John McGivney Children’s Centre. The couple became aware of the grant program through President’s Choice Children’s Charity and after they received word of their successful application, they purchased the van at Racicot Chrysler.

“Leo was nice to let it go for $20,000,” said Auer.

No Frills franchise owners Chris and Tina Meloche were pleased to aid another area family.

“We are very excited to present another grant from PCCC to a deserving local family,” they said.

The Meloches note that President’s Choice Children’s Charity “is dedicated to making difficult lives a little easier by removing some of the obstacles that make every day life extremely difficult.” The program helps provide young people with renewed independence and freedom by providing funding for such things as adaptive equipment, environmental modifications, therapy and more.

“Administrative costs are absorbed by Loblaw Companies Ltd., so 100 per cent of every dollar raised goes directly to helping children,” the Meloches also state. “Meloche’s No Frills raises money through volunteer employee payroll contributions and various drives throughout the year. A huge thank you to our staff for their contributions and also to our customers for their ongoing support of our ‘Smile’ drives.”

A total of $72,000 has been granted to Amherstburg families, the local store owners add.

“We will continue to do our part in helping local families,” they said.

Meloche’s No Frills is also helping local families at the Ronald McDonald House in London as the Meloches say they are aware that it is “being used mostly by Essex County families.

“We have teamed with some other southwestern No Frills stores to provide major funds for the House,” they state. “Last year, an addition was built to accommodate more guests and we continue to provide food for the ‘No Frills Pantry.’”

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