8 year old Cameron Jaquith raises to Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation

8 year old Cameron Jaquith raises to Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation

Deborah Rankin – mtltimes.ca

For a typical 8 year old, the good life is about staying on Mom and Dad’s good side, getting good grades, and squeezing out every last drop of fun when school’s out. But for Cameron Jaquith, a little girl with a big heart, it’s about giving back to the community and giving it her all. Last year when she was only 7 Cameron raised more than $3000 for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation and she’s already topped that figure in her current fund-raising campaign to aid sick kids by selling raffle tickets for a draw which will take place on Saturday April 8th at the Edgewater Spring Shop Fest in Pincourt between 10 am and 3 pm (raffle time: 2 pm). The annual event helps to raise money for the Edgewater School.

Four years ago the grade 2 student was diagnosed with Strabismus, a muscular eye condition affecting vision, commonly known as Crossed Eyes. “She used to have to wear a patch over her left eye all day, every day, to make the right eye stronger,” Mom Chanel Nolan says, “but she’s recovering well now.”  She’s been followed at the Children’s ever since and the experience has made her want to help others with more serious problems than her own.

`My doctor’s name is Dr. Khan,” Cameron confides, her voice barely above a whisper. “I had an operation on my eye. It helped me. I want to help other people.” Eventually, the patch would come off, after the mandatory number of hours she had to wear it was gradually reduced. Now she can see clearly, albeit with glasses, but that doesn’t stop her one bit from playing soccer or doing hip hop dancing. “She’s very active,” Nolan says.

With her mother’s help and the support of family, friends, and neighbours, plus the extra exposure from Facebook and other social media, the ticket sales have really taken off. “We’re lucky,” she says of the word of mouth effort to sell the tickets. Cameron had set the price at $2 per ticket last year and Mom Chanel wanted to boost it to $5 this year, but Cameron held her ground and the price remained fixed at $2. ”Some people we know through work, the parents of friends of Cameron, will buy 20 tickets,” Nolan says.

And – voilà ! – with still a week to go, the mother and daughter team have already sold more tickets than last year. “I wanted to sell a lot of tickets and beat last year’s score,” Cameron says, matter-of-fact. “One of our neighbours won last year. That’s good publicity,” Nolan adds, chuckling.

The rules are that relatives can’t participate in the raffle but they can still buy tickets to help raise money. “We don’t sell the tickets to strangers,” Nolan says. “It’s always friends, friends of friends.” And then there are family members – lots of them. “She’s got 13 grandparents,” Nolan says, laughing heartily this time. My parents are divorced. My ex-husband’s parents are divorced. We’re all divorced.”

“My father just got back from down south and Cameron hasn’t even contacted him yet. She’s going to have to hustle,” she says. “He’s back for raffle madness week!”

“He was at Myrtle Beach,” Cameron pipes in. She seems confident that she can sell a “bunch more” tickets this last week, what with “Poppa’s” friends to be hit up too, while her mother plans to push the sales right up until the 2 o’clock cut-off on Saturday afternoon.

The prizes may have something to do with the brisk sales. They include diamond jewellery pieces, all donated by friends. “The diamond earrings and diamond pendants are pretty interesting,” Chanel says, musingly, of the top prizes – 21 in all.

In addition to raising money through the raffle, Cameron will be selling gently used clothing and accessories at her booth at the Edgewater Shop Fest. “It’s like an indoor garage sale,” Nolan says. People buy a table for $25 which goes to raise money for the school. They can use the opportunity to sell items for other causes as well. Some private vendors set up shop for the better part of the day there too, usually to sell products and services that aren’t readily available. There are also artists selling unique articles at the Shop Fest. “Last year we had a sock monkey woman,” Chanel says, laughing again. The lady sold all her stuffed animals.

Cameron’s Dad Anthony Jaquith and step-father Michael Smith will both be there cheering her on. As for Cameron’s friends: will there be any besties helping her out on the big day?  “Probably,” says Cameron, pondering the BFF prospects, before gathering her resolve to sprint to the finish line.  Cameron will also be donating her birthday money to the Children’s Hospital Foundation like she did last year.  A check from all of the proceeds will be presented at the hospital sometime in April at a date to be determined later.

The best way to contact  Cameron is by e-mail: misscameronjaquith@gmail.com

We are working on having a website soon. So if you would like to donate or help out or buy tickets you can send Cameron an email. Or to be advised next year when tickets go on sale. Also if anyone is interested in donating prizes for next year…..

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