• James Armstrong

Rigaud sugar shack helps a courageous child’s dream come true


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Making a child’s wish come true brought together members of the Sucrerie de la Montagne team, a Children’s Wish Foundation representative, and the Ricard and Girard families. Seen here, left to right, Stefan and Justine Faucher, Alexia Girard and Vicki Ricard holding her son, William Girard, Patrick Girard, Madeleine Godard, and Pierre Faucher.

It was a proud moment for Pierre Faucher last Saturday, February 3 as he announced Sucrerie de la Montagne’s support of the Children’s Wish Foundation in making the dreams of the daughter of a Rigaud family become a reality.

“We want to share our success with the community by helping make a child’s dream happen,” said Faucher who owns and operates the landmark Sucrerie de la Montagne located on Rigaud Mountain. He said the family enterprise, now in its 40th year of operation, is committed to contributing part of the proceeds from the 2018 sugaring-off season ticket sales to Alexia Girard’s cause in collaboration with the Children’s Wish Foundation/La Fondation Rêves d’enfants. “Some of our suppliers are joining us in this effort,” added Faucher noting that information about the fundraising venture will be available to visitors to the venue during the upcoming sugaring-off season.

A family vacation

Six year old Alexia is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of cancer in which bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Alexia’s dream is to vacation with her family on a beautiful, warm, sandy beach with palm trees and ocean waves.

“Every child and family face different circumstances,” said Madeleine Godard, Development Coordinator for the Western Quebec Division of the Children’s Wish Foundation. “When a child begins to think about their dream and sees that it can happen, it gives them something to look forward to, something for the future,” she added. “A vacation wish that includes the whole family gives them a chance to reconnect with each other.” Godard added that in a family with more than one child, the focus tends to be on the child with the illness and the others may feel left out.

A dream coming true

For Alexia’s parents, Vicki Ricard and Patrick Girard and her younger brother William, the vacation wish is coming true at the right time. “Alexia has been in remission since the beginning of January 2018,” said her mother. The battle began when Alexia was diagnosed at the age of four-and-a-half, said Ricard describing the many trips to hospital for treatment during the ensuing two-year period.

As residents of Rigaud, the young family discovered they have a personal connection with the Sucrerie family. Alexia and Rose Faucher, one of Stefan Faucher’s daughters, became friends when they both attended the same preschool.

“We are really lucky this is happening because we would never be able to manage a trip for all of us at once,” added Ricard of the support of Sucrerie de la Montagne and the foundation.

Supporting the cause

The Children’s Wish Foundation is a Canadian non-profit registered charity created to grant the wishes of children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Godard said the foundation does not receive government funding. According to information distributed by the foundation, more than 25,000 children across Canada, including 8000 in Quebec, have seen their greatest wishes come true since it began granting wishes in1984. The foundation relies on donations and fundraising to make these dreams reality. For further information, visit www.revesdenfants.ca.

To enjoy the traditions of the Quebec sugaring-off season and support the fundraising efforts of Sucrerie de la Montagne, visit www.sucreriedelamontagne.com and make a reservation for your family or group.

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