Com­mu­nity comes to­gether

March-Coates speech­less so many peo­ple have come for­ward to help make an ac­ces­si­ble van a re­al­ity

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY [email protected]

Rose March-Coates of Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay is de­lighted that so many peo­ple and com­mu­nity groups are com­ing to­gether to help her raise funds to pur­chase a wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble van for her six-year-old grand­daugh­ter.

Sophia Coates has spas­tic quad­ri­plegic cere­bral palsy and uses a walker and wheel­chair for mo­bil­ity.

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view with The Labradorian, March-Coates said, although her cur­rent ve­hi­cle is in good shape, it can­not be retro­fit­ted to be wheel­chair-ac­ces­si­ble.

As Sophia grows, she said, it’s get­ting more dif­fi­cult to trans­fer her grand­daugh­ter from her wheel­chair to the car and then pack away the wheel­chair and other items – in­clud­ing the child’s walker – that she also needs ev­ery day.

March-Coates said a wheel­chair-ac­ces­si­ble ve­hi­cle runs about $57,000. She has been ap­proved for a grant from the provin­cial govern­ment for $25,000 to­wards the pur­chase of the ve­hi­cle.

How­ever, she said, she must use – or lose - the money by Fe­bru­ary 2018.

March-Coates has raised about $9,000 with help from the com­mu­nity and is de­ter­mined to raise the rest of the money (over $20,000) by the cut-off date.

Step­ping up

The Lake Melville Shrine Club is among those step­ping up to help with the fundrais­ing. On a post on the Con­cern­ing Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay Facebook page, pres­i­dent Reg Bow­ers said the club will be con­tribut­ing $10,000 and will be hav­ing fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to achieve that goal.

“We will be look­ing to the com­mu­nity for all the help we can get. If you have any fundrais­ing events on the go please con­tinue. We will greatly ap­pre­ci­ate your con­tri­bu­tion,” Bow­ers wrote.

Bow­ers said the club will be en­sur­ing Sophia’s short and long-term goals are met with the pur­chase of the new ve­hi­cle.

Bow­ers said they’ve had peo­ple with ex­pe­ri­ence in deal­ing with the spe­cial needs Sophia’s has and the type of ve­hi­cle that would be “needed to make Rose’s and Sophia’s lives much eas­ier.” The club is wait­ing on a new quote for an ac­ces­si­ble van for Sophia and, once the quote is re­ceived, Bow­ers said, club mem­bers will can­vas all the busi­nesses in town, will host a spe­cial bingo and will do what­ever else is needed to raise the nec­es­sary funds.

The ladies of Our Lady Queen of Peace Par­ish have also come on­board with the fundrais­ing.

The par­ish is host­ing a lun­cheon for the fam­ily on Oct. 27. Those at­tend­ing the event are asked to use the church’s back en­trance. The event runs from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Fish and brewis or home­made soup will be served. Tea cof­fee and dessert is also in­cluded in the $10 cost — with both take-out and eat-in meals avail­able.

March-Coates said, she’s “speech­less” that so many peo­ple care and want to help. “(It) melts my heart,” she said. Any­one who would like to make a con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the pur­chase of the van can do so by vis­it­ing www.gofundme. com and search Sophia-Marie’s Mo­bil­ity.

Do­na­tions can also be made di­rectly to March-Coates at [email protected]­

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Shrine Club’s fundrais­ing ef­forts con­tact Bow­ers at 709-896-3022


Rose March-Coates is rais­ing money for a wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble van for her six-year-old grand­daugh­ter, Sophia, who has spas­tic quad­ri­plegic cere­bral palsy.

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