RCMP donates to Make-A-Wish

Members of the Prince Albert RCMP present a cheque of $46,115.90 to Make-A-Wish Saskatchewan's Allyson Toye (third from right). (Prince Albert RCMP/Submitted)

Prince Albert RCMP, Submitted

On November 19th, 2019, the Prince Albert RCMP held a Regimental Ball which took place at Plaza 88 in Prince Albert, SK. It was a well-attended evening, with over 250 people, both police officers and community members, coming out to show their support. The Regimental Ball Committee selected the charity Make-A-Wish Saskatchewan as the recipient for the funds raised at the event. A grand total of $46,115.90 was raised for the foundation.

This incredible donation will allow Make-A-Wish to grant four wishes. The average cost of one wish is approximately $10,000.00. Make-A-Wish grants four types of wishes. I wish to meet…, I wish to go…, I wish to have…, and I wish to be…. Make-A-Wish Saskatchewan is currently working on eight wishes in Prince Albert & Area. In Saskatchewan, Make-A-Wish relies on funds donated by generous individuals and corporations in order to grant those wishes.

The Regimental Ball Committee began planning the event back in August of 2018. The committee consisted of RCMP members: Sgt. Lyle Korczak, Cpl. Janelle Samoila, Cpl. Ashley St. Germaine, Cst. Sharri Martin, P/S Kim Laird, and P/S Christy Jutras, Regional Manager of Make-A-Wish Saskatchewan: Allyson Toye, and local community members: Kim Thomas, Monica Bonneau, Tiffany Pandila, Saron Kulczycki, Christie McDonald and Jodi Gabrielson.

Proceeds from the Regimental Ball, which took place in November, were donated to Make-A-Wish Saskatchewan. (Prince Albert RCMP/Submitted)

Several fundraising events were planned including two Paint Nights, three Purdy’s Chocolate fundraisers, a Christmas plant and wreath fundraiser and an RCMP/Make-A-Wish Challenge Coin fundraiser. These fundraising events helped the committee secure the venue, the caterer and entertainment.

Much effort was put forward by the committee, in conjunction with Make-A-Wish Saskatchewan, to secure sponsorship and donations for other costly items, such as venue decorating, liquor donations, the “Donut Bar”, silent auction/raffle items and delicious baked items for the live Cake Auction. A photo booth was also won by one of the committee members and donated to the event to add to the fun of the evening.

The committee worked hard to ensure the program for the evening honoured the history and traditions of the RCMP, including the ceremony to honour our fallen comrades. Local Make-A-Wish families participated in the evening as well, sharing their family’s stories and experiences with Make-A-Wish. It was mentioned by those in attendance, that the history of the RCMP was truly honoured, all while touching many hearts with the stories of the sacrifices of the wish families.

Prince Albert local, 15-year-old Anthony Chester, was in attendance at the ball. Anthony is a previous wish recipient. Anthony suffers from cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism. His mother, Mireille, shared Anthony’s story and there wasn’t a dry eye in the hall. She explained his struggles and challenges but also expressed his love for fishing, his family and the colour red. Anthony’s story was inspiring and left a lasting impression with everyone in attendance.

Make-A-Wish Saskatchewan granted Anthony Chester’s wish to have a red fishing boat in June of 2019. (Prince Albert RCMP/Submitted)

Make-A-Wish Saskatchewan previously granted Anthony’s wish, where he received a red Lund fishing boat and trailer from Rally Motors in Prince Albert. Anthony struggles with public settings, so fishing is the prefect activity for him and his grandpa.

During the evening Cpl. David Chamberlain, from Prince Albert Rural Detachment, let Anthony wear his Red Serge for a little while and to have some photos taken. While Anthony was wearing the Serge, he and Cpl. Chamberlain got to trade some fishing stories.

After the evening, members of the committee were in touch with Mireille, and she shared how touched they were by the evening. She said that Anthony had a great time and loved wearing the Red Serge and that it has always been his dream is to be a police officer. He even refers his dog as his “police” dog. After the ball, the committee purchased Anthony some fishing supplies to go with his boat. He was also given some RCMP items, which included a red RCMP travel mug for his hot chocolate. The committee visited Anthony at his home and presented him with the gifts. Anthony even got a chance to sit in the police truck!

The event was a huge success and we are all touched by the generosity of the community and of all those in attendance who are helping to make wishes come true for four local children.

“The Prince Albert RCMP Regimental Ball was an amazing event that I was honoured to be a part of. The level of support from community members, local community and indigenous leaders, and the RCMP members from the area was impressive. It was clear from the outset that we were all there to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation and having families present to speak about the impact the foundation has had on their lives left a lasting impression on all of us. The three mothers that spoke at the event each had a powerful story of the resilience of their children who are facing medical challenges. It gave us all a much better appreciation of the lasting impact that the granting the wishes had on their children and their families. The night started off with a $5,000 donation from Vice Chief Joseph Tsannie from the Prince Albert Grand Council and continued on from there with some of the guests paying over $1,000 for a cake and $450 for a box of cookies. The organizing committee did an incredible job of mixing our proud traditions with a community effort to increase awareness and raise money for a great cause. It was one of those nights when we were all so proud to wear the uniform. The dedicated RCMP employees on the organizing committee should be proud of their success in raising over $40,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” said Assistant Commissioner Mark Fisher, Commanding Officer of “F” Division.