Since my last update, Cole has encountered many more obstacles along his road to rehabilitation. Each day still presents a new challenge that may not have been there the day before, or may have become more troublesome.
He is determined to become independently mobile and wants to be home with his siblings now more than ever, and so he continues to be courageous and show incredible strength. Some days are not all that good and others are simply awesome.
It’s a roller coaster of highs and lows, and this boy is simply going for the ride. He endures the hard times by looking forward to his next goal, his next step, his next task, or his next fun activity. Over the past two weeks, he has taken a trip to the Space Centre, went to a mall via SkyTrain, made dinners at my home-away-from-home here in Vancouver, and just this Tuesday, (Feb. 22) he was able to go out to a Canucks game. This was his first time ever at an NHL game!
Another turning point on the same day was that he was able to try out his next wheelchair, although he wasn’t all that excited about the chair because it is not ideal, it marks another step forward. He struggles every day, he has pain every day, and he toughs it out — but there is always something to look forward to and another goal to achieve. We are hoping to be able to bring Cole home on Easter weekend, but it will depend on his progress and our ability to have everything ready for him to come home.
To realize the goal of readiness, Kootenay communities have come together like something I’ve never seen. You never really know the true meaning of ‘home-town’ until you live in a place like Castlegar, and unfortunately something happens where you need your community’s support. This past month has been a true showing of community spirit, as two events raised generous contributions towards Cole’s trust fund at The Heritage Credit Union.
The funding raised at these events (as well as those held in January) will make Cole’s transition back home much less difficult and afford the family costs of renovations, mobility equipment, therapies, travel, and recreation that will enable Cole to lead a healthy, full life with the care that he needs. The first, at the Arlington Hotel on Feb. 10, featured a small silent auction and 20 per cent of all food and beverage sales for the entire day were donated for Cole’s recovery and homecoming needs. In total $1,313.33 was raised!
I would like to thank Gord Hatch, Cole’s uncle, and the Arlington owners Caroline and Jeff as well as the staff, for coming forward to put together the fundraiser. Family, friends, volunteers, and businesses who donated time, auction items, or door prizes all helped to make the event a success.
The second event, “Robson Rocks for Cole Hoodicoff,” was held at the Robson Community Hall on Feb. 19. The event was organized by Cole’s aunt, Ruby Perepolkin, and hosted by bands Thunder N Lightning, and Amusing Yours Truly. The drummers, Greg Walters, and Steve Stefoniuk, played their hearts out for their nephew Cole. Over 130 people came to celebrate Cole’s strength and success thus far along his journey. The highlight of the evening was a video that Cole, himself, helped create.
I would like to say a special thank you to Rob Leggett for spending countless hours compiling, editing and finishing the video for Cole; and to Lynn Davis, Ken Walters, and Judy Anderson for making the awesome homemade chili. Robson Rocks raised a total of $2,668.06 to put towards Cole’s trust fund!
Additionally, three local businesses, HTR Designs, Wesley Construction and Slim Jim Contracting had a different idea for Cole, they put together a load of firewood that measured 2.6 cords and auctioned it off at the event. The wood fetched $500! Their only request was that the money be deposited into Cole’s personal bank account for his personal use — a very cool idea!
I would like to say a special thank you to Justin Evin of HTR for also providing safe rides home with his limo service by donation and for putting together a very cool package which I delivered to Cole on Tuesday.
The following is a list of thanks to all the businesses and people who helped make these fundraisers a success by donating auction items, door prizes, or significant time and energy:
Businesses: A&P Furniture (Trail)
The Black Rooster
Castlegar Minor Hockey Association
Johnny’s Grocery & Gas
The Plaza Bakery
Red Mountain Resort
The Wholesale Club (Nelson)
ReMax Realty (Trail)
Robson Community Hall
Slim Jim Contracting
Sound West (Trail)
Mountain FM (Drex and Johnson)
Jay & Donna Walters
Jeff & Caroline – from the Arlington
Hayley & Sandra – from the Duck
Lana Paulson McCreight
Don & Darrell Anderson
Peggy & Carl Perepolkin
Mike & Deb Christie
Alex Fasthuber & Dena Pereverzoff
Rob & Nikki Leggett
Chris, Mike, & Steve – Amusing Yours Truly
Mike & Greg – Thunder N Lightning
Thank You Everyone!
— Amy Walters (Cole’s Mom)