by Christie LaBrash
Our Parkinson’s fundraising journey at Merrickville Public School began with a small goal of raising awareness for kids’ mental health through examining the beautiful book of Herman’s New Boots. We loved the book and decided to reach out to the author, Steven Burden, and ask his permission to help him promote his book through our local community. We also planned to raise awareness for Parkinson’s Disease, raise money and use our fundraising profits to donate to the Boxing for Health team and the SuperWalk in September. Our amazing students wanted to inspire and empower others to reach out to community partners to do some fundraising for a charity that is close to their heart. We wanted to make an impact across Ontario, Canada and the world. We chose Merrickville Cookies as our community partner and wow, they are the best cookie store ever! Mr. Denis Boudreau came to watch our ‘pitch’ powerpoint presentation that we created. He owns the cookie shop in Merrickville with his family, and he worked with us to create an amazing cookie fundraiser. We designed our own labels for the cookie too! Mr. Boudreau even put a QR code on the back label, which links right to our Merrickville Public School SuperWalk fundraising page! Mr. Burden gave us the opportunity to create a new cover for Herman’s New Boots, so now we have a special edition with our school’s name on it! From the cookie sales throughout May and June, we raised enough money for Mr. Burden to obtain his author’s license, so all the proceeds from the sale of his book can directly go to Parksinson’s Canada.
After all the cookie sales, our first goal was achieved and then we sold all the Herman’s New Boots Special Edition books and raised $1,872.65!
Our Principal, Mrs. Christie LaBrash, is so proud of what our students have achieved and has been so supportive in making our ideas come to a reality. We have more ideas to continue raising awareness for Parkinson’s with Herman’s New Boots throughout the next school year and hopefully for generations to come.
Parkinson’s Canada thought this was amazing! They supported us with the idea of our own SuperWalk at school that aligned with the timing of the official Canadian Parkinson’s SuperWalk weekend. They provided each student and staff with some wonderful swag including bandanas that we all proudly wore during our walk. Members of the Boxing for Health Team also came to walk with us, and we were proud to have Steve Burden join us along with a representative from Parkinson’s Canada, Krista Duncan. We even had family members from a former Merrickville Public School teacher who had left a great impression on the hearts of many in this community. What a magical way to start our second week of school together in the sunshine, our hearts were full, and we are so proud to have been on this amazing journey! We are looking forward to what comes next. Special shout out to Mrs. Rachel Murphy and her 2/4 remote learning class who planted the seed of awareness and guided the journey for our entire school. Way to go, Mustangs!