By Nick Zacharias
PHOTO COURTESY CAROLYNE GAGNON
Even with a recently broken arm, six-year-old Cali Goodwin’s spirit is evident and she is determined to come to the aid of a family friend in need, one glass of lemonade at a time.
In light of the weather forecast, the Town of Saint-Lazare has decided the Market is moving to parc Bédard, 1591 Avenue Bédard, on Sunday June 27th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A kid with a lemonade stand in early summer is always a wholesome and cheery sight, and normally touted as a great way for children to learn the value of a dollar. Sometimes though, the values run a little deeper, as is the case with young Cali Goodwin of Saint-Lazare. The six-year-old is planning a lemonade stand for June 26, and hers is a stand with a cause.
A family friend in need
Longtime family friend Maizie Olivier (known to Cali as ‘Aunt’ Mazie, according to Cali’s mom Carolyne Gagnon) suffered a devastating cardiac arrest just before last Christmas, collapsing on her driveway on December 23, 2020. The 41-year-old was saved by her husband Travis Yakimishyn, who performed CPR until an ambulance could arrive.
With her brain deprived of oxygen for a protracted period, saving Olivier meant she had to be placed in an induced coma, and spend six weeks in the intensive care unit. She emerged physically stable, but in need of neurological rehabilitation as she struggled to speak and regain mobility.
“Unfortunately, doctors said her responses meant she didn’t qualify for the neurological rehabilitation centre,” said Gagnon. Olivier’s family has been pursuing other therapies in the hopes that she will improve to the point where she does qualify, or at least has the best possible quality of life. “Her family wanted to give her the best chance and come home,” said Gagnon, “but all the renovations to make the home safe for her, the bed, the shower chair, plus all the private therapies, all of that is very expensive.”
“When Cali heard there was a GoFundMe campaign set up because Maizie needed money to help her get better, she said right away that she wanted to do her own thing to help,” said her proud mom. “She said she wanted to have ‘a lemonade stand with a flag’ to help because Maizie and Travis are so good, and because they’ve been there so much for us.” Gagnon described how Olivier and her husband have always been supportive and present in times of need for her family and others. “Maizie has really touched a lot of lives.”
Councillors on board
Moved by the generous spirit of her daughter, Gagnon approached Saint-Lazare District 1 Councillor Geneviève Lachance to see how they could make it happen and Lachance invited them to set up the stand at the local market in front of City Hall Saturday, June 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for added visibility.
“Our local councillor Geneviève Lachance has been so great, helping get signs made and everything, and (District 4 Councillor) Michel Poitras has also donated to help get materials. We’ve had so many people donating and helping already to help Cali get her lemonade stand going because it’s for such a good cause,” said Gagnon. She’s hoping the added visibility will help her succeed even more and invites people from all around to come support the young lady in her quest to help.
Says Gagnon, “Cali broke her arm last week, so now she’s in a cast, but she’s determined to press on.” Cast notwithstanding, Cali will be selling lemonade this Saturday to lend a hand to a family friend in need. You can drop by her lemonade stand at the local market located at 1960 Chemin Sainte-Angélique. Those interested can also visit the GoFundMe page at: gofund.me/a201fae6.