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Fundraising efforts underway for Northern Peninsula girl with rare congenital heart defect


Published on July 7, 2017

Four-year-old Sara Smith shares a laugh with her mom, Danielle Galgay Smith and her dad Dave Smith at the hospital.

©Photo submitted by Danielle Galgay Smith

NORTHERN PENINSULA, NL – Four-year-old Sara Smith is the kind of child who “you just automatically take to,” said Roddickton-Bide Arm resident Michelle Lidstone. 

“She’s full of joy. She’s so precious,” Lidstone said.

Now communities on the Northern Peninsula are rallying together to help out young Sara, who spreads so much joy to everyone she meets.

Sara was born with a rare congenital heart defect. In just four years, this little girl from Main Brook has endured three open-heart surgeries. She has been staying with her parents, Danielle Galgay Smith and Dave Smith, at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children for the past few months after complications arising from the latest surgery.

To help Sara and her family in her recovery, the area Tupperware consultants – including Lesley Reid, Alexandra Rowsell, Renee Humby, Betsy Jenkins, and Helga Parsons, all of Roddickton-Bide Arm; Nikita Randell of Main Brook and Loretta Canning of Englee – have engineered a fundraiser with the help of local businesses in the area.

Little Sara Smith’s smile can light up a room.
Photo submitted by Danielle Galgay Smith

The group has put together a Tupperware basket, on which they are selling tickets, $5 each, with all proceeds going to Sarah and her family. The group has been placing the basket at different businesses in Main Brook, Roddickton-Bide Arm, and around the area to generate as many ticket sales as possible. The bastket stops at each business for two to three days before moving on to the next place.

The ticket draw is tentatively scheduled for July 14. Its retail value is estimated at over $500.

According to Leslie Reid, they started advertising the prize on Facebook and accepting donations themselves through email on June 29.

Then they brought the basket to Western Petroleum in Roddickton-Bide Arm, and there they also raised money for Sara through their coffee sales.

From Wednesday until today, the basket has been located at Lidstone’s Irving in Roddickton. Yesterday and today, they also sold ice creams with all the proceeds from the sales also going to Sara.

As of this morning, the store, which is owned by Michelle Lidstone, had raised $432 on ticket sales for the basket and $150 dollars from ice cream sales.

Lidstone knows the Smith family and said whenever Sara visits the store, she brings so much joy to the people working there.

“Little Sara comes in when we’re working, and she’ll come over and she’ll grab us by the two fingers – and I just had Robin’s (Donuts) opened up in my store, so I got a little fireplace in there on the wall and the music is playing – and she’ll take us by the hand and she wants us to go in and dance,” said Lidstone.

The next stop for the basket was to be Foodland today. More businesses in the area are expected to help out as well.

Reid estimated the total raised as of noon today was around $1,400 with the number steadily rising.

“The support has been overwhelming,” said Reid. “Donations have just been flooding in.”

She noted that donations have been received from outside the area as well, as far away as Labrador City.

For anyone wishing to help Sara and her family, the group is accepting donations through email transfer to lesleyjarvisreid@hotmail.com.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca