Squash CF com­pletes first fundrais­ing launch in Kentville

Long­time fundraiser ‘gives hope that a cure will be found’

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA KENTVILLE, N.S. Sara.Eric­s­son@kingscountynews.ca

It wasn’t a bird, nor was it a plane – it was a pump­kin, and it was rais­ing money for a good cause.

Pump­kins were thrown in the air at the Squash CF pump­kin launch event Oct. 27 in Kentville, where peo­ple lined up to shoot and squash tar­gets in sup­port of cys­tic fi­bro­sis (CF).

Event founder and or­ga­nizer Tim Vallillee said the day started off well – just a lit­tle wind and plenty of sun­shine – as he com­pleted the 7 a. m. pump­kin pick up with Squash CF vol­un­teers.

They as­sem­bled the tar­gets – the Kentville Kins­men put to­gether the event’s big launcher a few days be­fore – and suited up for peo­ple to pro­pel some pump­kins at the event’s first year in Kentville.

“The turnout, even though the weather is on the chilly side, has been con­sis­tent,” said Vallillee.

“Ev­ery­one has been par­tic­i­pat­ing re­ally well.”

Each con­tes­tant’s launch was touch and go, but that’s to be ex­pected, said Vallillee. Le­tizia Borello, 17, was among those who gave it her best shot. She likened the feel­ing to play­ing An­gry Birds in real life.

“It was fun – some­thing I’ve never tried be­fore in my life,” she said.

Vallillee said even though sev­eral prizes are at stake– peo­ple win what­ever is be­hind the tar­get they hit, and the point is to have fun and learn a lit­tle about CF.

“[This event] is a com­bi­na­tion of hum­bling, and also re­al­iz­ing it is crazy fun. If peo­ple don’t know what cys­tic fi­bro­sis is, that’s OK – this is our way of get­ting some aware­ness out there,” he said.

Vallillee lives with CF, and said many of the event’s vol­un­teers each have per­sonal con­nec­tions to the dis­ease. Vol­un­teer Anne Scott, whose sis­ter died of CF, and ob­server Rita Deal-Roefs has two grand­chil­dren liv­ing with the dis­ease.

Deal-Roefs has par­tic­i­pated in var­i­ous fundrais­ing events for CF for more than two decades, and said the event “gives hope that a cure will be found.”

“They say it takes a com­mu­nity to raise a child, but I say it also takes a com­mu­nity to help the child that has a health con­di­tion, and to find a cure for it,” she said.

Kate­lyn Green, 11, said she “thought it would be easy but it’s way harder than it looks.”

Dave Doucette vol­un­teered at the Squash CF event, and said it’s great, but “could al­ways use more com­mu­nity sup­port.”

Bil Scott also vol­un­teered along­side his part­ner, Anne Scott, whose sis­ter passed away as a re­sult of CF. “This event is fan­tas­tic – ev­ery­one is hav­ing fun. I re­ally en­joy sup­port­ing what Tim is do­ing,” she said.


Rhys Lelievre, 4, launches a tiny pump­kin with his dad Joel Lelievre at the first Squash CF pump­kin launch event in Kentville.

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