President of the NPA Melissa Lacroix stands with some of her executive – Brianne Lavery, Shane Eickmann, Sylvain Lepine (NPA executive and 2nd Officer SCRC), and Officers of the Southern Cruiser Riding Club Peter Hildebrand, Maryann Bliss, Chris Horacks and First Officer Jamie Lee – and presents a cheque to kick off the Ride for Smiles to Bertha Bertrand from Help A Child Smile.
Photo by Cory Brunarski
Life for a child threatened by cancer is filled with pain, sacrifice, hospital visits and treatments. “Help a Child Smile” was born out of the need to bring some joy into the lives of these victims of childhood cancer.
The Niagara Paramedic Association was proud to present a Cheque for $2000 to Help a Child Smile to kick off the annual Southern Cruisers Ride for Smiles an event to raise money for the organization. President Melissa Lacroix says “it is a great feeling for our Profession when we can give back to our community in this way. We hold our annual golf tournament to assist local charities and Help a Child Smile born right here in Welland does not get any closer to home for us.”
The hopes and dreams of children with cancer are sometimes fleeting. “Rainy day, sunny day, any day… to us, it’s just an extra day, an added bonus to our short lives.” said one of the Help a Child Smile kids with cancer. HACS exists to support families through each of those precious days and to give them many opportunities to smile. Help a Child Smile programs include:
- Annual day trips to events such as: Canada’s Wonderland, Marineland, African Lion Safari, more.
- Bravery Bead Program
- Room rentals for families needing to stay at Ronald McDonald House
- Teen Group Outings
- Bereavement Counselling
- An all-expense paid trip of a lifetime to Florida’s Give Kids The World Village, including Disney World and Sea World
- A Welcome Package that contains useful items like a parking pass and phone and gas cards
- Pay for Oncology Sperm Banking
- Provide the hospital with DVD players and DVD’s for the kids’ entertainment
Sylvain Lepine, NPA Executive member and 2nd Officer for the Southern Cruisers Chapter 129, said “It is a great personal feeling when we can bring smiles to these very brave children. Some of these children will never see a cure for their illness and today we will do our part to bring as many smiles to their faces as we can. It was a personal honour to see the Paramedic Association kick off the event in this way, it gave us all a huge boost of excitement.”
This event raised just over $10,000 dollars in 2012 and this year was no exception. At the end of the ride The Officers of Chapter 129 Erie Shores Southern Cruisers Motorcycle Riding Club were proud to announce they had again raised over $10,000. First Officer for Chapter 129 Jamie Lee expressed his thanks to all riders stating “this ride is not about politics it is about normal hard-working people doing the right thing for a great cause. All of the riders here today give it their all to support this Charity and this year was a huge success because of their hard work.”