Cameron Jaquith raises money for sick kids for the third year in a row

Montreal Times - - News -

Cameron Jaquith is back for the third year in a row do­ing what she does best, rais­ing money for sick kids at the Mon­treal Chil­dren's Hospi­tal. The en­er­getic 9-year-old was di­ag­nosed with Stra­bis­mus, an eye con­di­tion known as Crossed Eyes a num­ber of years ago, re­quir­ing surgery. She's been fol­lowed by Dr. Aye­sha Khan at the Chil­dren's ever since and her con­di­tion has grad­u­ally im­proved.The ex­pe­ri­ence left her with the re­solve to do some­thing to help chil­dren less for­tu­nate than her­self. "I had an op­er­a­tion on my eye. It helped me. I wanted to help other peo­ple - to help the hospi­tal," she says. "There are much worse things than a weak eye or a crooked eye. There are chil­dren who come to the hospi­tal and never leave."

Over the past two years, the grade 3 stu­dent at Edge­wa­ter El­e­men­tary School in Pin­court has raised more than $7500 through her an­nual spring raf­fle at the Edge­wa­ter Spring Shop Fest.The first year she raised $3015, and the sec­ond $4,520 by sell­ing raf­fle tick­ets to her fam­ily and friends who can also do­nate prizes.The an­nual event helps raise money for the school as ven­dors must buy a ta­ble while al­low­ing par­tic­i­pants to use the oc­ca­sion to fund-raise for an­other cause. Some of the prizes truly daz­zle. In the past peo­ple have do­nated di­a­mond ear­rings and di­a­mond pen­dants, so Cameron's raf­fle gen­er­ates a fair bit of ex­cite­ment.

This year for the first time Cameron has her own foun­da­tion: CAMERON COL­LECT­ING FOR KIDS at camerons­foun­da­ Mom Chanel Nolan says it is eas­ier to fund-raise this way. In the past, Cameron re­lied mostly on word of mouth and her mother's Face­book page to get the mes­sage out but this ap­proach only goes so far. So­cial me­dia is still the best driver Nolan says. So many peo­ple were ask­ing her, "Where's the web­site?" Nolan has been cheer­ing her daugh­ter on for the past two years so she thought, "Why not cre­ate a web­site?" Well, she did and it has been up for a few months now. "It's not per­fec­tion. I'm not com­puter-savvy. I con­cocted some­thing," she says, laugh­ing.That 'some­thing' is ac­tu­ally quite pre­sentable, the con­cept sim­ple: "It's $2 per ticket - tell 2 friends - and there is PayPal," Nolan says.

Last fall Cameron was fea­tured on Global News Morn­ing Mon­treal for pay­ing it for­ward. Global's Laura Casella praised the lit­tle girl with a big heart for her on­go­ing ef­forts to help sick chil­dren call­ing her an "ev­ery­day hero". Guy Car­bon­neau, the for­mer cap­tain of the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens was on hand to present Cameron with a $1000 cheque on be­half of Sco­tia­bank. Each year the bank se­lects one child per prov­ince to rec­og­nize them for com­mu­nity ser­vice. He also gave Cameron and her fam­ily game tick­ets at the Bell Cen­tre. Car­bon­neau, who lead Les Cana­di­ens to win the Stan­ley Cup in 199293 urged Cameron to cheer on the home team. Later she con­fessed to be­ing more in­ter­ested in fol­low­ing the ac­tion of the team's mas­cot. "I was ex­cited when they scored, but they didn't win (against the Toronto Maple Leafs). I was more in­ter­ested in stalk­ing Youppi."

Cameron is a mem­ber of the Young Am­bas­sadors Club, a group of 200 chil­dren be­tween 1-18 years of age at the Chil­dren's who raise money to help other sick chil­dren. One out of three has a chronic con­di­tion or has been hos­pi­tal­ized.Their av­er­age age is about 8. "These young cham­pi­ons have cho­sen to give up birth­day presents or or­ga­nize fundrais­ers in their com­mu­ni­ties to help make our hospi­tal an even bet­ter place for sick kids to get well," says An­ge­lika Maselli, Trib­ute Pro­gram Co­or­di­na­tor for the Mon­treal Chil­dren's Hospi­tal Foun­da­tion. "We are grate­ful for their con­tri­bu­tions and very proud to have these ex­cep­tional young peo­ple rep­re­sent­ing the Chil­dren’s in their schools and neigh­bor­hoods," she says. Once they are ready to de­liver their cheques they are in­vited to a cheque pre­sen­ta­tion at the hospi­tal. A photo with a prop cheque is then posted on the club’s web­site and the chil­dren and their fam­i­lies are en­cour­aged to share it on Face­book.The Chil­dren's Foun­da­tion rec­og­nizes the Young Am­bas­sadors by host­ing a fun event for the kids in the spring. "The event in­cludes fun ac­tiv­i­ties like a magic show, photo booth, arts and crafts, and of course loot bags," Maselli says. The Young Am­bas­sadors re­ceive a book­let ex­plain­ing how their do­na­tions were used to help pa­tients and lists all the names of ac­tive mem­bers.They also re­ceive a club badge and are en­cour­aged to wear it on their school bags so that their friends can ask about the pro­gram.

This year Cameron is par­tic­u­larly ex­cited about her raf­fle and wants to thank all the in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies that have con­trib­uted over the last few years to mak­ing it so suc­cess­ful. "Just buy tick­ets and come to the

$13.99 event," she says. All pro­ceeds from the April 7th raf­fle will go to the Mon­treal Chil­dren's Hospi­tal Foun­da­tion for home and school ac­tiv­i­ties for sick chil­dren.There is a record num­ber of 31 prizes this year and Cameron is half­way to­wards her goal of beat­ing last year's to­tal. "My raf­fle tick­ets are $2 each but you can buy as many as you like! You can also make a do­na­tion of any amount you would like. It's al­ways ap­pre­ci­ated by the Chil­dren at the Hospi­tal," Cameron says. "We are al­ways on the look­out for prize do­na­tions for the raf­fle too."

Cameron Jaquith hold­ing a large check for sick chil­dren at the Mon­treal Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal

Guy Car­bon­neau, the for­mer cap­tain of the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens was on hand to present Cameron with a $1000 cheque on be­half of Sco­tia­bank

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