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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Kids Curing Cancer hosts annual pasta dinner

by Kyle Reid

Organizers of Kids Curing Cancer (KCC) hosted a fun-filled evening, featuring food, music, and superheroes, on Saturday evening at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. The event was held in an effort to raise funds to help in the fight against childhood cancer.

The annual pasta dinner event has become KCC’s biggest fundraiser, and Saturday was the biggest to date. Some 250 people attended for an enjoyable evening of live music, entertainment, and, of course, pasta.

For the children, notable superheroes were on hand to take photos, with a number of smiling faces, who were eager to meet the two comic book characters.  

Of course, the main goal of the evening was not lost on anyone - finding a cure for childhood cancer. For this year’s pasta dinner, KCC chose to support the Fight Like Mason Foundation, a charitable organization set up by Chantelle Bacon and Iain Macri, the parents of Mason Macri, who passed away from cancer in 2016 when he was just four-years-old.

Through various events this year, KCC has raised a record amount in support of the Fight Like Mason Foundation. The grand total is expected to be announced early next month during a cheque presentation.

“It was shocking when we found out how much we were going into the [pasta dinner] fundraiser with,” KCC founder Lauren Baillargeon said.

Lauren, an Amherstburg High School student, founded KCC nearly five years ago in memory of her grandfather, Dan Gerard, who passed away from cancer in 2014. This year’s event was the sixth pasta dinner hosted by Lauren, her brother, Ty, her sister, Kierstyn, her parents, and a small group of volunteers.

Both Ty and Kierstyn are eight-years-old, nearly the same age as Lauren when she began KCC with the help of her mother, Jodi Baillargeon. Now, the two are going to follow in their sister’s footsteps and take on a larger role with the group. All of the Baillargeon’s took to the stage on Saturday to showcase their musical ability, and Ty and Kierstyn both took to the microphone to thank everyone for contributing to the evening’s success. Ty even helped to organize a raffle to see who would win the honour of shaving his head on stage.

It’s going to start being more of the norm to see the two younger siblings in a bigger role, Lauren said.

“I’m still going to be involved in everything, playing the music and getting everything organized,” Lauren said. “But they’re going to start talking more, like they did up on the stage, probably singing some more, and they’re going to start getting some of the credit some more.”

And both Ty and Kierstyn are eager to jump on board.

“It feels a lot better than, usually, like, just sitting there,” Ty said. “It feels really good just going up and doing the songs with them.”

The Baillargeon’s thanked Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, which hosted the event free of charge as well as donating the evening’s meals. Some 120 door prizes and live auction items were also donated, including a jersey signed by former Windsor Spitfires goaltender, Michael DiPietro, and a stick signed by Edmonton Oilers winger, Zack Kassian, who is also a Spitfire alumnus.

The many donation items contributed to this year’s biggest fundraiser to date, the Baillargeon’s said, and the hope is that they will have many more.

“It just keeps going, bigger and bigger,” Jodi Baillargeon said.

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