Marysvale fam­ily on its way to own­ing wheel­chair-ac­ces­si­ble van

Fundrais­ing ef­forts make dream fea­si­ble for Martin Croke, boy with cere­bral palsy

The Compass - - Editorial - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­

A cheque was re­cently pre­sented to Martin Croke and his fam­ily to­tal­ing over $18,000.

A Marysvale fam­ily’s life will soon be made a lit­tle eas­ier thanks to the gen­eros­ity of peo­ple from all over Con­cep­tion Bay North.

Martin Croke is an 11-yearold boy with cere­bral palsy. Ac­cord­ing to his fa­ther Gary Croke, it was get­ting to be more of a chal­lenge to man­u­ally lift the boy out of his wheel­chair and into his rear-fac­ing car seat. His mother, Carolyn Croke, is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing back pain as a re­sult.

It was only a few months ago the fam­ily started to in­quire about fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to sup­port the pur­chase of a wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble van, which costs ap­prox­i­mately $74,000.

“Peo­ple sug­gested — fam­ily and friends — why don’t you start a fundraiser, and we put it out on Face­book,” ex­plained Gary. “Once one or two peo­ple joined on board, it just went from there. It was un­be­liev­able.”

The fam­ily re­cently ceased all fundrais­ing ac­tiv­ity.

“We made a down pay­ment last Mon­day of $33,000 on a ve­hi­cle,” Gary said. The van will be con­verted into a wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble ve­hi­cle in On­tario be­fore mak­ing its way to New­found­land.

Fundrais­ing started in May, with a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent groups com­ing on board. Most re­cently, a cheque was pre­sented for over $18,000 to the fam­ily at Pow­ell’s Su­per­mar­ket in Bay Roberts. That amount in­cluded $5,000 do­nated per­son­ally from the busi­ness’s pres­i­dent and CEO Dave Pow­ell and $1,000 from Gary’s co-work­ers at At­lantic Gro­cery Dis­trib­u­tors.

Bri­gus’ E&E Drive-In proved to be a big sup­porter too early on. An ice cream day ded­i­cated to Martin’s cause raised $8,000.

Ac­cord­ing to Gary, there were more groups still con­tact­ing the fam­ily in re­cent days ex­press­ing an in­ter­est in host­ing fundrais­ers.

“There’s even more or­ga­ni­za­tions of peo­ple who’ve come to us want­ing to do fundrais­ers, and we put a stop to it. We’re not look­ing for $100,000,” he said, adding the time is right for those groups to find some­one

Once one or two peo­ple joined on board, it just went from there. It was un­be­liev­able.

— Gary Croke

else in the area need­ing sup­port. “First when we started, we fig­ured we would try to get half the money and fi­nance the rest. That was our orig­i­nal plan.”

Martin will take ad­van­tage of rear en­try with the new van, al­low­ing his younger sib­lings, Thomas and Jenna, to sit in the mid­dle row.

“When we go out, we can go as a fam­ily,” said Martin’s dad.


Martin Croke, an 11-year-old boy with cere­bral palsy, lives with his fam­ily in Marysvale.


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