Chantelle Bacon

Kids Curing Cancer sets another fundraising record

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Kids Curing Cancer (KCC) revealed its 2018-19 fundraising total Friday night and it was the best yet.

KCC announced that they had raised $14,906 at various fundraisers, the biggest of which was a Feb. 16 pasta dinner fundraiser at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and the proceeds will be donated to the Fight Like Mason Foundation.

The Baillargeon family – led by children Lauren, Kierstyn and Ty – also held a concert at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in December and partnered with the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) and the Amherstburg Admirals on a “Hockey Day” in January at the Libro Centre.

This year’s efforts brings the overall total in the six years of events to $53,911.

“Nine-year-old me would not believe it if you were to tell me what the six-year total would be,” said Lauren, during Friday night’s announcement that was also held at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery.

Lauren called it “our second favourite day of the year” and noted the announcement came on a special day for the family. KCC was founded in memory of Dan Gerard, the grandfather of the Baillargeon children and father to their mother Jodi. March 8 was Gerard’s birthday.

“It’s grandpa’s birthday,” she said. “We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate and honour him.”

Lauren noted she started fundraising shortly after Gerard died, with the initial goal in 2014 being $50. That ended up blossoming to where she raised $3,860 for the Patient Assistance Fund with the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Foundation.

The next year, KCC grew again and donated $6,280 to the Patient Assistance Fund and it grew again in 2016 as another $6,850 went to that cause, mainly from proceeds that came from pasta dinners that were held at the then-Verdi Club.

Kids Curing Cancer (KCC) made the official donation to the Fight Like Mason Foundation last Friday night at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. This year’s total was $14,906, bringing the six-year total to $53,911 though previous donations have included the Patient Assistance Fund and the Ronald McDonald House. Lauren, Kierstyn and Ty Baillargeon were joined by Mason and Morgan Gerard (left) as they made the
donation to Iain Macri, Chantelle Bacon and Miller Bacon-Macri.

In 2017, Kids Curing Cancer decided to donate to the Ronald McDonald House and that was the year it expanded to include concerts and the Hockey Day. That year, they donated $8,304.

The pasta dinner was moved to Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and in 2018, the Fight Like Mason Foundation was chosen as the charity of choice with last year’s total being $13,708.

This year’s total was yet another record.

“We are blown away by the generosity of family, friends and even strangers and we can’t thank (everyone) enough,” said Lauren.

Representing the Fight Like Mason Foundation were Iain Macri and Chantelle Bacon, parents of four-year-old Mason Bacon-Macri, in whose memory the foundation was started. Mason died of a form of childhood cancer in June 2016.

Iain noted there was a connection with the Baillargeons after originally meeting them and told the three youths that he was convinced their grandfather would be very proud of them for what they’ve done in raising over $50,000 for charity over the last six years.

“I don’t know how many different ways we can say thank you,” he said.

Macri praised the family for their hard work and said they are more than just partners now.

“It’s not just a team. You are part of a family now,” he said.

Chantelle noted the proceeds will not only decorate IV poles with superhero themes for sick children, but be invested back into the foundation’s community programming.

“We’re lucky enough (KCC) picked us and it’s definitely helped us to expand our programming,” Chantelle said.

Iain said it was amazing to see what the Baillargeon children have done and believes that their grandfather and Mason have become “buds” now. Chantelle added that while Mason didn’t get to go to school, he is still growing up around friends thanks to fundraisers like the ones Kids Curing Cancer presented.

Kids Curing Cancer can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kidscuringcancerforgrandpa. The Fight Like Mason Foundation website can be found at www.fightlikemason.org.

Kids Curing Cancer donates $13,750 to Fight Like Mason Foundation

 

By Jonathan Martin

 

It’s not very often a 13-year-old deals with $13,750.  It’s even rarer that they decide to hand it off to someone else.

Nonetheless, 13-year-old Lauren Baillargeon, along with her younger siblings Kierstyn and Ty, did just that last Sunday when they revealed the amount they’d raised for local non-profit Fight Like Mason.

“There are so many other things a 13-year-old would rather be doing,” said Fight Like Mason co-founder Iain Macri.  “I know that at 13, this isn’t what I was doing.”

Together, the three siblings make up Kids Curing Cancer (KCC).  Over the past five years, they, along with their mother Jodi, have donated more than $39,000 locally to combat the disease.

“We’re not going to stop now,” said Lauren.  “Until cancer is cured, we won’t.”

This is KCC’s most successful year to date.  Over the past five years, its response has grown steadily.  The Baillargeons attribute that to a successful awareness campaign.

“Before we even had a venue (for KCC’s fund raiser night), we had people calling and asking us to save them tickets,” Jodi said.  “We’ve also partnered with Fight Like Mason, which is huge in our area.  Everybody’s heard their name.”

Lauren Baillargeon, Kiersten Baillargeon and Ty Baillargeon of Kids Curing Cancer stand beside Fight Like Mason co-founders Chantelle Bacon and Iain Macri at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery last Sunday. Kids Curing Cancer presented $13,750 to the charity.​

The Fight Like Mason Foundation was created by Iain Macri and Chantelle Bacon after losing their four-year-old son, Mason Bacon-Macri, to rhabdomysarcoma, a form of childhood cancer.  Fight Like Mason funds cancer research and provides custom palliative care supplies to youths suffering from the disease.

KCC was created in the memory of Dan Gerard, the Baillargeon siblings’ grandfather.  KCC raises and donates money to cancer-fighting initiatives.  In the past, recipients have been the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation and Ronald McDonald House.

Both organizations said they do what they do for the same reason.

“We’ve taken the loss of the kids’ grandpa, who they were incredibly close with, and turned it into something positive,” Jodi said.  “Obviously, we still miss him and wish he was here with us, but for the kids to be able to hold up his picture and be proud and know that he would be proud of them is incredible.”

“We thought we would do Mason no greater honour than to carry on his name, way of life and legacy in the form of a foundation,” said Macri and Bacon.  “To turn this life-shattering tragedy of losing a child into something positive.”

The charities exchanged gifts after the reveal of funds.  KCC brought a book for Fight Like Mason about “loving and caring about someone you have lost.”

Fight Like Mason handed each of the children a pendant in the shape of an M to commemorate the work they’d done together.

Both charities expressed an appreciation for the other and said they hope to work together again in the future.