Young Pincourt resident pays it forward with annual fundraising campaign
PHOTO COURTESY CHANEL NOLAN
Cameron Jaquith’s annual fundraising campaign for the Montreal Children’s Hospital is approaching its fourth anniversary and continues to grow in popularity.
Like most young kids, Cameron Jaquith is looking forward to her upcoming 10th birthday in March. But this young Pincourt resident has been celebrating the day of her birth in an original way for the past three years by holding an annual raffle to raise money for the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) and, to date, has helped raise over $13,000.
First diagnosed with the eye condition strabismus at two years of age, Cameron had a series of therapeutic treatments before undergoing surgery at age four to correct the eye’s alignment.
“When she was going through her diagnosis and treatment, she learned that there are children who don’t leave the hospital,” said Cameron’s mom Chanel Nolan.
When she was approaching her seventh birthday and was discussing celebration options with her parents, Cameron decided to forego presents in favour of giving back to the hospital in some way to help make other patients’ time there a little more comfortable.
Being a fan of games and raffles, Cameron reasoned it would be a great opportunity to engage others by holding a raffle and for a nominal $2 fee towards a booty of donated prizes, the initial event raised over $3,000.
“We’re trying not to fixate on a specific dollar amount,” said Nolan. “But every year, she’s determined to sell more tickets. She wants more people to know about it.”
Now approaching its fourth year, the raffle has become a staple at the spring time Shop Fest event held at Cameron’s school – Edgewater Elementary in Pincourt – where she sells tickets along with gently-used clothing and accessories in her fundraising efforts.
The amount raised grows every year and Cameron is determined to outdo her 2018 raffle ticket tally of $5,060 which doesn’t even include the $400 raised in August, 2018 at a good old-fashioned lemonade stand.
Cameron is especially excited for some of the raffle prizes that are being offered this time around. “Something new this year we’re trying is we will have five surprise prizes available only to people who come to Shop Fest,” she said. “My favourite prizes are the jewelry from Bijoux Majesty Montreal. They’ve supported me with prizes every year. And a gift certificate to my second home Academie de Danse Elite where I’m part of the competition team.”
The money raised by Cameron’s raffle goes into a trust fund at the MCH.
“When the hospital is ready to allot funds for something, they contact us,” said Nolan. The last time Cameron’s fundraising money was used, it went towards a project centered on a new technology for detecting early blindness in children, technology that only recently became available in the public healthcare system.
“The hospital also brings in magicians and does a lot of things to provide comfort and a bit of normalcy to the patients’ lives,” said Nolan.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who donates prizes and buys tickets,” Cameron added.
In recognition of her continued efforts to help the hospital, Cameron was awarded the Danielle Hebert Friendship Award in June, 2017 by her school that highlights friendship, sharing, perseverance and cheerfulness.
“There are many kids at my school who also give back in different ways,” Cameron pointed out. “Our Grade 4 classes visit La Manoir Sapinois retirement home in Pincourt to spend time with the seniors.”
The next Shop Fest event at Edgewater Elementary School takes place Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 220 Cardinal-Léger Boulevard.