Hat’s the way to do it for fundraiser

The Expositor (Brantford) - - NEWS - BRENDA DREDGE Brenda Dredge is a free­lance writer who lives in Water­ford. E-mail her at [email protected]­pa­tico.ca.

Last July, I in­tro­duced you to my 14-year-old grand­daugh­ter, Char­lotte Payne, who was in­spired by her sis­ter, Makin­ley, to un­der­take a fundraiser,

Born on June 11, Makin­ley spent the first two weeks of her life in the neona­tal in­ten­sive care unit at Hamil­ton’s McMaster Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal. Thanks to mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, doc­tors de­tected a mass on Makin­ley’s right kid­ney be­fore she was even born. She was de­liv­ered two weeks early due to the growth of the tu­mour. While un­der­go­ing tests and con­stant mon­i­tor­ing, Makin­ley was im­me­di­ately put in the NICU.

With two other chil­dren at home and still in school, Makin­ley’s par­ents, Brooke and Eric Payne, would split the hos­pi­tal and home du­ties, com­mut­ing be­tween Hamil­ton and Water­ford and try­ing to main­tain some sem­blance of nor­malcy in their crazy sched­ule. When help was needed in stepped Ron­ald McDon­ald House.

Thanks to sup­port from Ron­ald McDon­ald House, Char­lotte and her younger sis­ter, Lily, were able to spend time with their par­ents and new sis­ter. At RMH, they were put up in a beau­ti­ful room, with lots to do and great food. Their stay was made so much more pleas­ant by the car­ing and help­ful staff. And it is all pro­vided at min­i­mal daily cost, which helps to relieve a fam­ily’s stress over fi­nances at a tough time.

Char­lotte was so im­pressed with how her fam­ily was treated dur­ing their vis­its to RMH and McMaster that she de­cided to do some­thing to show her ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

After re­ceiv­ing sev­eral com­pli­ments on a hat that she had “loomed” for Makin­ley, Char­lotte de­cided she could sell the hats as a fundraiser. So, started what we called “Hats off for Makin­ley.”

After a do­na­tion by a Brant­ford cou­ple of dozens of balls of yarn in ev­ery colour of the rain­bow, Char­lotte’s cam­paign was off and run­ning.

Her hats were well re­ceived and sales were great.

She shared her hats on Face­book and at a booth at the Water­ford Farm­ers Mar­ket.

Orig­i­nally. Char­lotte hoped to do­nate $150 each to RMH and McMaster. In the end, she was able to raise $250 for each fa­cil­ity.

On a re­cent fol­lowup visit for Makin­ley at McMaster Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, Char­lotte was able to de­liver the cheques.

Per­haps the hap­pi­est of all in­volved with this is Char­lotte, who came up with the idea, did the work and fol­lowed through in pro­mot­ing and sell­ing the hats.

While no fam­ily ever wants to have a child need­ing these ser­vices, it is re­as­sur­ing to know that they are there if needed.

Our fam­ily will for­ever be grate­ful for all they did for Mak and her par­ents and sib­lings.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Mar­garet Jones (left), di­rec­tor of ma­jor gifts at McMaster Chil­dren's Hos­pi­tal in Hamil­ton, ac­cepts a do­na­tion pre­sented by Char­lotte Payne, hold­ing her sis­ter, Makin­ley, who was born with a tu­mour. They are the grand­chil­dren of colum­nist Brenda Dredge.

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