Wow! What a beautiful day we had Saturday. I can not thank everyone enough. Without all of you, this fundraiser wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t be able to give this much back to help Shriners Hospitals help more kids defy the odds.
I was very excited to see our numbers growing again after a small showing last year. We had over 60 supporters show up to the walk and although we did lose the bulk of our Sinai Joe clown friends (thank you Mike for sticking around ) and a few others to the Claremont Alumni parade, we had 45 adults, kids and babies hit the Toonerville Trail to support this wonderful cause. Jack Snyde, John and Jane Waysville, Sam Putnam, Travis and Beth Putnam, “Fix It”, Tanya McAllister, Julie St. Sauveur, Rachel Harrell, Mike Bamforth and Jan Vann, Lori McElroy, Clyde and Diane Gallion, Darcy and Justin Gallion, and Mrs Ferland and the kindergarten class from Bethlehem NH Elementary School (thanks to Pitre and Julie) turned in 20 gallons of (aluminum can) Tabs For Taylor and all our walkers raised a grand total of $1600.00 for Shriners Hospitals for Children!
Once again, Darcy and Justin Gallion’s clan has smashed the competition. They raised $500 this year for our beloved hospital and I was told that it was mostly thanks to their son Jaxyn’s efforts. Way to go Jaxyn!
We also drew in a few more participants from far away: Our friends Shawn (2012 Potentate of Mt. Sinai) and Jaqi Kincaid made it down from Lyndonville VT, “Fix It” Gerald Ducharme came up again this year and brought his wife Tami and 3 of their kids followed by our new friend “Railz” Bill MacKinnon, both of Melha Shriners in Springfield MA. Candy and David Desrochers and Julie St. Sauveur made the trek down again from Alton NH and Lisa Boyle came down from Union NH. We also had our first international participants! Johanne Champigny, who was one of Taylor’s Occupational Therapists when we lived on the Canadian border, rode down with her husband Denis Dufour from their home in Canada to join us.
After our wonderfully successful walkathon, we headed down Route 5 to Herrick’s Cove for our Thank You BBQ. We lost a few walkers but held a strong turn out of 40 people. We had tons of food, a crazy water fight which started with itty bitty squirt guns then turned into squirt cannons and water ballons followed by buckets full of water being tossed around, a giant slip n slide, bubbles, wiffle ball and the always hilarious sack race.
A million thanks go out to everyone who helped behind the scene to make this event happen: my husband Jeremy for running my crazy errands, kidnapping Gram, setting up and cooking food, dealing with my craziness with this year after year and putting in the OT to be there Saturday. To Denis Chabot for stopping in to drop off a donation and a TON of fun toys for the kids to play with. They had a BLAST!! To my Dad Ray St. Sauveur and Linda Schettino for making the shirts a possibility again this year. To Doolittles PrintServ for making our awesome stickers and to the Shirt Factory for making our shirts again this year. To Clyde, Justin, Diane Gallion for all your help with getting water and ice, setting up and transporting stuff and cooking and oh my goodness, the list goes on and on! Darcy Gallion for your never ending help with food and drinks and your AWESOME, AWESOME desserts. The minion Shriners were so fantastic!!!! To my mom Candy and “Big Daddy D” David Desrochers for the food gift card, tshirt funds, tab transport and storage, games, toys and entertainment and all your support! To my grandmother Linda Drew for your help with food. To my aunt Lisa for all your help with getting support from Market Basket and the salads and always yummy whoopie pies. Many thanks to Demoulas Market Basket for the food gift card they donated for our cookout, to the Savings Bank of Walpole for their water donation and Rachel Harrell for all your countless hours of coupon hunting, shopping assistance and saving the day with the canopy to protect our food from the crazy tree ;)
Last but certainly not least, THANK YOU TO OUR SHRINE ON SPRINGFIELD 2014 DONORS:
Clyde and Diane Gallion
Wilson and Rosemary Gallion
Tonya and Shawn Waters
Tanya, Heath, Alexis, Lizzy and Ray
"Grandmama" Candy & "Pappa" David Desrochers
Glenn and Lorraine Eckert
Travis, Beth, Zane and Aiden Putnam
Linda "GG" Drew
Jane and Martin Deschaine
Jan Vann & Mike Bamforth
Shawn & Jaqi Kincaid
Kim and Darrin Stowell
Dan "Poppo" Putnam
Justin & Darcy Gallion & Jax & Jay
Jarrod and Jill James
Denis Chabot and Great Northern Comfort Home Improvement
Laurie Wallace and Kit 'N Kaboodle Consignments
Jim and Lisa Hayes
Ashtyn Ora and Taylor Marie Honeycutt
Taylor is now in her 6th “Armie” (and will be receiving her 7th in a few days) thanks to Shriners Hospitals for Children. She received her first 3 arms between 3 months and 22 months of age and now receives a new one about every 12 to 18 months depending how fast she grows. In 5 years, we have raised $10,849.00! That is awesome!!!! I also want you to understand that Taylor’s medical needs are about as small as they come when Shriners Hospital is involved. Most of the children treated there have serious spinal and orthopedic issues or cleft lip and palate, requiring multiple surgeries and years of follow up treatments. This doesn’t even include the kids who are treated at the Shriners burn hospitals like the one in Boston. I also want you all to know that $10,849 would cover maybe 1 1/2 of her “armies” or 1 leg prosthetic and it would barely dent the cost of a single surgery. The patients and their families never see a bill for any of it.
Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for admission and receive all care in a family-centered environment with no financial obligation to the patient or their families.
Shriners Hospitals rely on the generosity of Shriners, and donors like you, to deliver this mission every day and the need for these hospitals will always be there. We can not prevent children from being born with or developing the conditions that the Shriners Hospitals treat, and no matter how hard we try, we can’t always prevent kids from being injured or burned. Each year, the number of new patients grows, as does the cost to treat and, if possible, correct these ailments and I hope each year the number of supporters grows as well.
Shriners change the world by caring for kids and helping those kids defy the odds! All of us who have had a loved one treated at their hospitals are eternally grateful and forever in their debt. To everyone who has supported us both past and present and to all who rock their Fez with pride, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
We hope and look forward to seeing you all next summer for Shrine On Springfield 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!