Speaking of Adventure

AdventureI recently watched an interview with Diane Sawyer and I really liked a piece of advice her father gave her. He said, “Do what you love, do it in the most adventurous place, and make sure it helps people.” I had a previous blog that was all about the importance of being more involved and helping as much as you can. Now, I am hoping to cover the adventurous part of Diane Sawyer’s father’s advice.

There will be a lot of people telling you what is best for you. I am sure there are lots of people who want to keep you inside a safe little bubble and tell you that because of your disability or some other limitation (money, education, etc.,) that some things just aren’t possible for you. Can I tell you something? Their wrong… Before my diagnosis was even confirmed, my parents were skeptical about sending me to school away from home because they knew some things would take longer for me to do and I would get tired more easily, but I did not want that kind of life. I did not want to not try. So despite everything, I went my own way. I had a feeling inside me, a light that was not ready to die down. At the end of the day, I did not want to stop living the life I dreamed for myself just because something was trying to slow me down. Yes, I have had to take some detours and maybe running the marathon isn’t in the books for me anymore, but it doesn’t mean I have to give up on all the adventures. Living on my own for five years, I learned to be who I was and learned to live with all that I was not.

If you want to go somewhere, do your research and know there is always a way. I find that no matter where you go, the world is very accommodating. I was at an airport in Germany a few years ago and the moment I stepped off the plane there was an employee that showed me the route to the elevators and to baggage claim. Going into a different country I thought I would be struggling, but everyone was very kind and I never had a problem. So if you want to have an adventure, go. This could be as simple as going to a part of the city you have always wanted to explore, or as elaborate as visiting a different country. Travel the world as much as you can because those experiences cannot be bought and you will be so grateful for all the adventures you take.

Do what you love, no matter how badly it starts off. Do what makes you happy because sometimes, what you do can make all the difference in the world. If you don’t have a plan, that’s okay! You are allowed to get lost because you will get through it. Be brave and believe in something bigger than you – something that you might even never understand. Work hard and risk it even if you don’t know what you are doing. You will not go empty handed. What you will discover, at the least, is yourself. I had a choice, just as you do: to live a life of conformity and have a peace of mind, or to let go of what you are holding onto so tightly- security. I do not know where I would be had I picked security. It would have been easy to say yes to everyone around me; however, I know it would have been more damaging. Adventure gave me time, it gave me hope, and I promise you, adventure will give you life.

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Ivana was born in Sanski Most, Bosnia & Herzegovina, but moved to Canada at the age of three. She was diagnosed with LGMD a few years ago, and it has forever changed her life/ She is a regular contributor, and her blogs will be everything she has learned along the way, and what she continues to learn today.

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How It Began

La version française suit.

Minden and GreenIn order for any organization to be formed, there must be a need. To be successful in filling the need, the organization must have strong leadership, and clear goals, in addition to a fueling passion. All of these apply to the forming of The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada (renamed Muscular Dystrophy Canada in 2003.)

Two good friends, Arthur Minden, who ran a law practice that grew to be a prominent firm, and Dr. David Green, an Otolaryngologist as well as a plastic surgeon, became aware of the need for research and resources for those with neuromuscular disorders when Dr. Green’s son was diagnosed at the age of seven with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Mr. Minden also had a son the same age, and wondered why Dr. Green’s son and not mine? It was hard to know that one boy had the whole world in front of him, while the other did not. Mr. Minden and Dr. Green, together with other friends and families with the same goals of finding a cure or control for neuromuscular disorders formed the MDAC in 1954. First meetings were held in the founders’ homes, and together they grew the organization with passion and dedication to the cause. The mission that drove the organization’s work, and still does, is to enhance the lives of those affected by neuromuscular disorders by continually working to provide ongoing support and resources while relentlessly searching for a cure through well funded research.

Mr. Minden was the President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada from its Minden being made Honourary Fire Chief of Torontoinception in 1954, through to the ten year anniversary in 1964. He brought Canadian Fire Fighters on board with our mission.  Fire Fighters have remained our number one supporters through all our 60 years. Mr. Minden was also instrumental in connecting Jerry Lewis to the Canadian Association, paving the way for the Labour Day Telethon to be broadcasted in Canada. Mr. Minden became Chairman of the Board until his passing in 1966.

VOLUNTEER_Dr. David Green cofounderDr. Green acted as Vice-President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada from its founding until 1962. Dr. Green took on the challenge of introducing the MDAC into a market that many felt was already overrun with charities; however, a few years later in 1958, MDAC was recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 health organizations.  After this period, Dr. Green became President of MDAC after Mr. Minden retired from the position, and took over the Chairman of the Board position after Mr. Minden’s passing until 1976. During his period of being Chairman of the Board (1966-1976) beginning in 1967, Dr. Green was also the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board. In 2002, Dr. Green was awarded with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to Canadian society.  Dr. Green passed away in 2007. In 2010, the National Awards were re-named the Dr. David Green Awards, and they are rewarded to showcase the contributions of individuals or groups who inspire, motivate, and share their commitment with others, and foster Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s vision, mission, and values.

__________________________

Comment tout a commencé

Minden and GreenLa formation de toute organisation répond d’abord à un besoin et pour réussir à combler ce besoin, l’organisation doit posséder un leadership fort, avoir des objectifs précis et être alimentée par une grande passion. Tous ces éléments étaient réunis lors de la fondation de l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire (ACDM), qui devait prendre le nom de Dystrophie musculaire Canada en 2003.

En 1954, deux bons amis, Arthur Minden, qui dirigeait un cabinet d’avocats appelé à devenir une firme importante, et le Dr David Green, otolaryngologiste et chirurgien plastique, constatent le peu de recherches et de ressources disponibles pour les personnes atteintes de maladies neuromusculaires lorsque le fils du Dr Green reçoit un diagnostic de dystrophie musculaire de Duchenne à l’âge de sept ans. Cela pousse Arthur Minden, qui avait un garçon du même âge, à se demander pourquoi le fils de son ami et pas le sien? Il était difficile de savoir que l’un des deux garçons avait toute la vie devant lui et l’autre non. C’est à ce moment qu’Arthur Minden et le Dr Green, avec l’appui d’amis et de parents, soucieux comme eux de trouver un moyen de guérir ou du moins de contrôler les maladies neuromusculaires, fondent l’ACDM.

Les premières rencontres se tiennent aux domiciles des fondateurs qui, tous deux, assurent la croissance de leur organisme avec passion et dévouement à la cause. L’action de l’ACDM était guidée par sa mission, la même qu’aujourd’hui : améliorer la vie des personnes atteintes de maladies neuromusculaires en finançant adéquatement la recherche d’un traitement curatif, en fournissant des services et en assurant un soutien constant.

M. Minden présida l’Association de sa fondation en 1954 jusqu’au dixième anniversaire deMinden being made Honourary Fire Chief of Toronto l’organisme en 1964. C’est lui qui recruta l’appui des pompiers à notre mission et, tout au long de nos 60 ans d’existence, ceux-ci ont toujours été nos plus grands partisans. C’est aussi sous la présidence d’Arthur Minden que l’Association s’est associée à Jerry Lewis, ce qui allait ouvrir la voie au téléthon diffusé au Canada chaque fin de semaine de la fête du Travail. M. Minden fut président du conseil d’administration jusqu’à son décès en 1966.

VOLUNTEER_Dr. David Green cofounderLe Dr Green, pour sa part, a assumé les fonctions de vice-président de l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire de sa fondation jusqu’à 1962, relevant le défi d’insérer l’organisme dans un marché qui, selon plusieurs, était déjà saturé d’organismes de bienfaisance. Il ne fallut toutefois que quelques années pour que l’ACDM se classe, en 1958, au nombre des 10 organismes caritatifs canadiens en santé les plus importants. Le Dr Green devait par la suite succéder à M. Minden à la présidence de l’ACDM, puis au poste de président du conseil après le décès de celui-ci, et ce, jusqu’en 1976. À compter de 1967, le Dr Green préside aussi le conseil consultatif médical. En 2002, il reçoit la médaille du Jubilé de la Reine pour l’importance de sa contribution à la société canadienne. Le Dr Green est décédé en 2007. En 2010, Dystrophie musculaire Canada renommait les prix nationaux de son programme de reconnaissance pour honorer sa mémoire. Chaque année, les Prix Dr David-Green soulignent la contribution de personnes et de groupes qui inspirent et motivent les gens de leur entourage et partagent avec eux leur engagement envers la réalisation de la vision, de la mission et des valeurs de Dystrophie musculaire Canada.

To The Firefighters – an excerpt from the First Annual Report of The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada, 1955

Letter to FFLa version française suit.

When the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada approached you to help in out first ‘March on Muscular Dystrophy’ we were aware of the Fire Fighters’ outstanding record in relieving human need and suffering, not only in the course of their daily work but on all other possible occasions.

We trusted implicitly that if the Fire Fighters of Canada knew of the crippling and suffering  that is endured by those who are afflicted with muscular dystrophy, particularly the misery of the small children who are the chief sufferers from this disease, they would respond wholeheartedly to the challenge offered to them.

The Fire Fighters of Canada conducted a magnificent campaign. In a house-to-house drive they collected more than $200,000 in many districts from coast to coast. This money is now being used to sponsor research work in universities across Canada.

You have rendered invaluable assistance to the battle against this disease and brought new hope into the hearts of all those who are so afflicted. Our heartfelt thanks to you all who helped to make this drive a success.

May we express the hope that we may look for your further interest and continued support of our cause.

 ______________________

Aux pompiers (extrait du premier rapport annuel de l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire, 1955)

Letter to FFLorsque l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire a sollicité votre aide pour sa première « Marche pour la dystrophie musculaire », nous connaissions déjà la générosité exceptionnelle des pompiers à soulager les besoins et la souffrance humaine, non seulement dans le cadre de leur travail quotidien mais en toute autre occasion possible.

Nous étions confiants que si les pompiers canadiens connaissaient les infirmités et la souffrance qui sont le lot des personnes atteintes de dystrophie musculaire, particulièrement la misère des petits enfants qui en sont les principales victimes, ils répondraient de tout cœur à ce défi.

Les pompiers canadiens ont mené une magnifique campagne. Dans une sollicitation porte-à-porte, ils ont recueilli plus de 200 000 $ dans de nombreux districts d’un océan à l’autre. Cet argent est maintenant utilisé pour parrainer des travaux de recherche dans des universités partout au Canada.

Votre aide à la lutte contre cette maladie a été des plus précieuses et vous avez fait naître un nouvel espoir dans tous les cœurs de ceux qui en sont atteints. Nos remerciements les plus sincères à vous tous qui avez contribué au succès de cette campagne.

Permettez-nous d’exprimer l’espoir de pouvoir continuer à compter sur votre intérêt pour notre cause et sur votre appui.

 

Thames Valley One Day Fun Day

ThamesValley2I am writing a quick post to tell of a wonderful opportunity I had in October 2013; I  shared a fun filled day with the staff, and families of the Thames Valley Children’s Centre (TVCC) in London, Ontario.

“On October 19, 2013, TVCC NM Clinic Team held our first One Day Fun Day at Easter Seals Camp Woodeden. We had ten campers attend,” says Occupational Therapist Cheryl Scholtes. “We played games in the gym, made chocolate chip cookies – YUM! – had a scavenger hunt, dressed up – we looked pretty silly – and finished with a campfire with skits and songs. Moms and Dads, Grandparents, and siblings joined in the fun at the campfire too. I especially liked the campfire songs! The day and the venue were terrific.”

It was a pleasure to attending this wonderful day which aimed to give young people an opportunity to attend ‘summer’ camp for a day.  The event was held at Easter Seals Camp Woodeden, which allowed the campers to experience a true summer camp, as the ten campers were able to see the sleeping cabins, access the kitchen and craft area, and do many activities in the gym.

Wonderful games and activities were provided: from games to break the ice so the staff and young people could get to know each other a little better, a relay course, interactive games, and a basketball game.

Parker Tessier is 11 years old, and made the trip from Windsor, Ontario. Parker’s favourite activity of the day was the scavenger hunt! He also enjoyed the opportunity to make new friends. Parker was lucky enough to have visited this Easter Seals Camp during the summer, and the One Day Fun Day brought back all those amazing memories! Parker said, “I had a great time and hope that this happens again next year!”

As Cheryl mentioned, we also had the opportunity to bake some yummy cookies! This ThamesValley1was a perfect opportunity for everyone to experience moving around a kitchen and working together to bake something – the cookies were truly some of the best I have ever tasted!

The camp ran from 10am to 3pm, but parents, grandparents and siblings were invited back for 2pm to participate in the campfire activities.  This was a perfect opportunity for the young campers to show off the crafts they had made,  lead their families in a sing-along, and of course demonstrate their keen imaginations by offering a glimpse into their many varied talents which included: skits, story telling, and of course joke telling.  The camp fire was enjoyed by all, and everyone was quite impressed with the level of talent.  The cookies paired particularly well with our pizza lunch and other snacks – don’t worry though, amongst all the yumminess we did manage to serve some fruit as well.

I think the highlight of the day for me, truly, was the scavenger hunt.  The staff from TVCC dressed up and hid in various places of the camp.  When each group came upon them, they were given a rhyme, riddle or clue that allowed the campers as a team to solve it, and then move on to the next area, where hopefully – if you had solved the riddle or clue –  it landed you with the next person and another clue.  It was wonderful fun, and a great opportunity for everyone to work together, and share their many wonderful skills and talents.

It was a wonderful opportunity for Muscular Dystrophy Canada to partner with Thames Valley Children’s Centre, neuromuscular clinic and provide support.  As Rhonda, the Social Worker of the neuromuscular clinic says:

“I just wanted to sincerely thank you and Muscular Dystrophy Canada again for your support to our One Day Fun Day. The day went very well and not a bad turnout for the first time of doing it! Karen it was a blast having you join us for the activities – thanks for making the drive in the rain – it meant a lot.”

Because of the huge success of this “One Day Fun Day” the staff are planning to have their Neuromuscular Education Day for Families and Children with neuromuscular conditions at the same location this spring. So mark your calendars for May 3rd, 2014! For more information contact Cheryl.Scholtes@tvcc.on.ca.  Of course Muscular Dystrophy Canada will be a part of this wonderful day.

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Karen Dunbar is the Services Specialist for the Ontario and Nunavut for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. 

Our first group of Chapters, excerpt from the first Annual Report

La version française suit.

Chapters

ALBERTA

  • President: Mr. J. Murray Davis, Calgary, Alberta
  • Secretary: Mr. J. L. Hunt, Calgary, Alberta

HAMILTON

  • President: Mr. Joseph Hodos, Ancaster, Ontario
  • Secretary: Mrs. Joseph Hodos,  Ancaster, Ontario

LONDON

  • President: Mr. William Jarvis, Strathroy, Ontario
  • Secretary: Mrs. Don Vosbourg, Alvinston, Ontario
  • Lambton County Representative: Mrs. Merrill E. Brown,  Camlachie, Ontario

MONTREAL

  • President: Mrs. Elsie Furman, Montréal, Québec
  • Secretary: Miss. J. Stark, Montréal, Québec

TORONTO

  • President: Mrs. S. A. Heward, Toronto, Ontario
  • Secretary: Mr. W. A. Houghting, Queensway PO, Ontario

VANCOUVER

  • President: Mr. Ernest Swan, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Secretary: Mrs. R. Banford, Vancouver, British Columbia

WINDSOR

  • President: Mr. K. C. Hortop, Windsor, Ontario
  • Secretary: Mrs. W. F. Thomson, Windsor, Ontario

 ________________________

Nos premières sections locales (extrait du premier rapport annuel)

ALBERTAChapters

  • Président : M. J. Murray Davis, Calgary, Alberta
  • Secrétaire : M. J. L. Hunt, Calgary, Alberta

HAMILTON

  • Président : M. Joseph Hodos, Ancaster, Ontario
  • Secrétaire : Mme Joseph Hodos,  Ancaster, Ontario

LONDON

  • Président : M. William Jarvis, Strathroy, Ontario
  • Secrétaire : Mme Don Vosbourg, Alvinston, Ontario
  • Représentante du comté de Lambton : Mme Merrill E. Brown, Camlachie, Ontario

MONTRÉAL

  • Présidente : Mme Elsie Furman, Montréal, Québec
  • Secrétaire : Mlle J. Stark, Montréal, Québec

TORONTO

  • Présidente : Mme S. A. Heward, Toronto, Ontario
  • Secrétaire : M. W. A. Houghting, Queensway PO, Ontario

VANCOUVER

  • Président : M. Ernest Swan, Vancouver, Colombie-Britannique
  • Secrétaire : Mme R. Banford, Vancouver, Colombie-Britannique

WINDSOR

  • Président : M. K. C. Hortop, Windsor, Ontario
  • Secrétaire : Mme W. F. Thomson, Windsor, Ontario

A Message from the President, an excerpt from the first Annual Report

La version française suit.Arthur Minden

Less than one year ago The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada was granted a charter by the Secretary of State. This event climaxed the efforts of a small group of men and women in various centres across Canada to awaken public interest to the need for a crusade against muscular dystrophy.

In November 1954, the Association embarked on its first nation-wide campaign to raise funds. We were extremely fortunate to enlist the help of the Canadian Fire Fighters in this drive. The Canadian people generously donated more than $200,000 to our cause.

The primary purpose of our national organization is to foster research into the causes of muscular dystrophy. In the short interval since funds became available for this purpose six research projects have been begun in Canadian institutions. Much of this work is of necessity of a basic nature and eventual benefits may accrue only after a long period of waiting and experimentation. Nevertheless it represents the surest way towards success in out fight against muscular dystrophy.

Our programme has been instituted. It must be maintained and expanded. The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada looks forward to another successful campaign in 1955. The help of the Canadian public will again be needed to sustain and strengthen the battle against this disease. The success of the campaign will depend entirely upon the amount of assistance we may receive from individuals and organizations. Volunteers will be needed in large numbers to carry our message into every household. Contributions, large and small, are the only way to ensure the maintenance and expansion of our research programme.

We are confident that this challenge in the crusade against muscular dystrophy will be met.

ARTHUR MINDEN

President

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Message du président (extrait du premier rapport annuel)

Arthur MindenIl y a moins d’un an, le Secrétariat d’état accordait une charte à l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire. Cet événement représente l’aboutissement des efforts d’un petit groupe d’hommes et de femmes dans divers centres au Canada en vue d’éveiller l’intérêt du public à la nécessité d’une croisade contre la dystrophie musculaire.

En novembre 1954, l’Association entreprenait sa première campagne nationale de collecte de fonds. Nous avons eu la très bonne fortune d’avoir pour celle-ci le concours des pompiers du Canada. La population canadienne a donné généreusement plus de 200 000 $ à notre cause.

Le but premier de notre organisation nationale est de favoriser la recherche sur les causes de la dystrophie musculaire. Dans le court laps de temps depuis que des fonds sont devenus disponibles à cet effet, six projets de recherche ont démarré dans des institutions canadiennes. La plupart de ces travaux sont nécessairement de nature fondamentale et leurs bénéfices éventuels pourraient n’apparaître qu’au terme d’une longue période d’attente et d’expérimentation. Toutefois, ces travaux représentent l’avenue la plus sûre vers le succès de notre lutte contre la dystrophie musculaire.

Notre programme a été institué et doit à présent être maintenu et étendu. L’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire espère mener une deuxième campagne fructueuse en 1955. Nous aurons encore une fois besoin de l’aide du public pour soutenir et renforcer notre lutte contre cette maladie. Le succès de la campagne dépendra entièrement de l’aide que nous recevrons de particuliers et d’organisations. Nous aurons besoin de bénévoles en grand nombre pour porter notre message à tous les foyers. Les contributions, quelle que soit leur importance, sont la seule façon d’assurer le maintien et l’expansion de notre programme de recherche.

Nous avons toute confiance que nous saurons relever le défi de cette croisade contre la dystrophie musculaire.

ARTHUR MINDEN

Président

From the Very Start: Helmer Reddick, Fire Fighters and Muscular Dystrophy Canada

La version française suit.

Helmer ReddickThe Edwardsburgh/Cardinal Fire Department Station #1, in the Leeds and Grenville county of south-eastern Ontario,  was formed in October of 1951. About 25 of the township’s 400 residents joined up to be Fire Fighters, Helmer Reddick was one of those 25. Helmer recalls some of his first colleagues’ day jobs:  an Ottawa Roughrider, electrician, plumber and a politician. Now retired, and 90 years-old, Helmer still gives his time to help with administrative duties and to organize the Department’s Fill the Boot campaigns for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

The Edwardsburgh/Cardinal Fire Department Station #1 has been fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy Canada since our first year in 1954-1955 to, “help out a good cause,” and, “it’s paid off with all of the progress in research.” One of the challenges Helmer found over the first few years was that people did not know where the money was going. This has changed for the better with improved communication and more awareness, especially through the Jerry Lewis Labour Day Telethon.

Though Helmer retired in 1988, he still found that he had the desire to help out around the Fire Department and with the fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Over the years he has found some good tricks to make sure the Fill the Boot Drive goes off without a hitch – one involves getting your granddaughters to sort coins, and the other is to make sure you get the strongest Fire Fighters to hold the boots because they can get heavy:

“One time I had collected in a picnic basket. I went to lift up the basket, and the thing weighed so much that the handles broke off! I had to pick up the coins, get them sorted and rolled, and took them to the bank in a wheelbarrow,” Helmer remembers.

It takes about a week to prepare for a Fill the Boot campaign, the most prominent being during the parade at the Spencerville Fair which draws about 25,000 people now, and has been an annual event since 1855. Some of Helmer’s tactics for donations include going on air at the local radio station, show off the Fire Fighter equipment, and decorating the Department’s first fire truck for the parade. Six Fire Fighters walk on either side of the truck and gather donations. After the boots are full, the money is counted over a span of about four to five hours (with some breaks in between.) Once all the money is rolled and delivered, Helmer sets up a thank you dinner for all the Fire Fighters who volunteered – a nice BBQ feast!

Though both fire fighting and Muscular Dystrophy Canada have both changed over the past 60 years, the partnership between the organization and Canadian Fire Fighters remains strong. The Edwardsburgh/Cardinal Fire Department Station #1 has raised $91,980 to date and has worked 60 years with us to help make muscles move!

Thank you Helmer for sticking with us for 60 years!

 __________________

Une collaboration de la première heure : le pompier Helmer Reddick et Dystrophie musculaire Canada

La caserne no 1 du Service d’incendie d’Edwardsburgh/Cardinal, dans le comté de LeedsHelmer Reddick et Grenville du sud-est de l’Ontario, a été formée en octobre 1951. Quelque 25 des 400 résidants de la municipalité se sont alors joints aux pompiers. Helmer Reddick était l’un de ceux là. Il se souvient du travail régulier de certains de ses premiers collègues : un joueur des Rough Riders d’Ottawa, un électricien, un plombier et un politicien. Aujourd’hui âgé de 90 ans, Helmer a pris sa retraite, mais continue de donner son temps pour aider aux tâches administratives et organiser les barrages routiers de ce service d’incendie pour Dystrophie musculaire Canada.

La caserne no 1 du Service d’incendie d’Edwardsburgh/Cardinal recueille des fonds pour Dystrophie musculaire Canada depuis la fondation de notre organisme en 1954-1955, « question d’appuyer une bonne cause et d’aider à faire avancer la recherche », de dire Helmer. L’un des problèmes qu’il rencontrait au cours des premières années, c’est que les gens ne savaient pas où allait l’argent. Depuis, cette situation a changé pour le mieux grâce à de meilleures communications et une plus grande sensibilisation, et plus particulièrement avec le Téléthon Jerry Lewis qui se tient le week-end de la fête du Travail.

Bien qu’Helmer ait pris sa retraite en 1988, il voulait encore donner un coup de main à son service d’incendie et continuer à aider à la collecte de fonds pour Dystrophie musculaire Canada. Au fil des ans, il a trouvé quelques bons trucs pour faire en sorte que les barrages routiers se déroulent sans problèmes, par exemple demander à ses petites-filles de trier la monnaie ou s’assurer de recruter les pompiers les plus forts pour tendre leurs bottes, parce qu’avec tous ces dons, celles-ci peuvent devenir très lourdes.

« Une fois, j’ai ramassé les dons dans un panier à pique-nique. Quand j’ai voulu le soulever, il était si lourd que la poignée s’est cassée! J’ai été obligé de ramasser les pièces de monnaie, de les trier, de les rouler et de les amener à la banque en brouette », se rappelle-t-il.

Il faut une semaine environ pour préparer un barrage routier. Le plus important est celui qui se tient à l’occasion du défilé dela foire de Spencerville, un événement qui a lieu chaque année depuis 1885 et qui attire aujourd’hui quelque 25 000 personnes. Helmer utilise toutes sortes de moyens pour recueillir des dons, comme passer sur les ondes de la station de radio locale, inviter le public à voir l’équipement d’incendie et décorer le premier camion d’incendie du Service pour le défilé. De chaque côté, six pompiers défilent et recueillent les dons. Une fois que leurs bottes sont pleines, il faut environ quatre à cinq heures pour compter l’argent, en prenant quand même quelques pauses. Une fois que tout l’argent est roulé et livré à la banque, Helmer convie tous les pompiers à un grand festin BBQ pour les remercier d’avoir participé au barrage routier!

Tant les pompiers que Dystrophie musculaire Canada ont bien changé au cours des 60 dernières années. Mais le partenariat entre l’organisme et les pompiers canadiens demeure toujours aussi fort. À ce jour, la caserne no 1 du Service d’incendie d’Edwardsburgh/Cardinal a recueilli 91 980 $, une collaboration à notre action musclée qui dure depuis 60 ans!

Merci Helmer d’être resté à nos côtés pendant toutes ces années!