Squash CF completes first fundraising launch in Kentville
Longtime fundraiser ‘gives hope that a cure will be found’
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.