Fundraising total wows organizers of first annual Neon Night

Participants walk around the circular driveway at Holy Trinity high school Sept. 25, 2015 during the Neon Night fundraising walk for childhood cancer research. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL/SOUTH GLENGARRY – Combining the brightness of neon, along with neon glow sticks under the cover of darkness has come through in spades for the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society.

An early total from the Neon Night walk at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School raised over $20,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society of SDG and Prescott-Russell.

“We are so excited…we had such a great turnout. Before tonight we had 153 registered and I know we had a lot of walk-ins and our total raised is over $20,000…just incredible!,” an elated Carolyn Bourassa told Cornwall Newswatch Friday night.

“I’m on a high. This was a whim and it was a great whim.”

The money raised from registrations and pledges from people who did the two or five kilometers walk will be used for childhood cancer research.

“It will definitely go to one of our pediatric programs. There’s no research that happens here directly but we fund the best research in Canada with funds from the Canadian Cancer Society,” Bourassa said.

The opening ceremonies included Jordan Coleman – a childhood cancer survivor. Coleman, 24, has been active with the cancer society for over a decade. “It’s because of research that he is where he is. He’s healthy…a university graduate…he’s moving on with his life,” Bourassa said.

Three other cancer survivors were also knighted in a touching ceremony. “People just seem to grasp it and hang on to it because it touches your heart. We had three little cancer survivors on our stage tonight…we knighted them. The knights of our Neon Nights and we gave them gold sash and a neon swords and it’s a touching moment. This is why we’re here…they’re brave, they’re courageous and we’re doing it for them.”

More money is expected to trickle in as sponsor Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt will be donating 15 per cent of their sales Saturday and Sunday to the cause.

The Cornwall Fire Department was on hand with eight of their men participating in the walk – three in self-contained breathing gear. Platoon 2B, called “Team 2B Perfect”, raised roughly $1,000 while the Cornwall Professional Firefighters Association added $500 to the cause.

Members of Cornwall Fire Department present Canadian Cancer Society of SDG & Prescott-Russell Manager Carolyn Bourassa with a cheque for $500 during the Neon Night walk for childhood cancer Sept. 25, 2015. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Members of Cornwall Fire Department present Canadian Cancer Society of SDG & Prescott-Russell Manager Carolyn Bourassa with a cheque for $500 during the Neon Night walk for childhood cancer Sept. 25, 2015. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

After their walk around HT, participants were treated to a performance from local band “Put it in Park.”

With the impressive results, Bourassa plans to have the event again next year.

The idea for the event came from a similar event in Kemptville, which is holding its second annual walk Saturday.

Local band "Put it in Park" performed at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School during the Neon Night evening walk, raising money for childhood cancer research. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Local band “Put it in Park” performed at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School during the Neon Night evening walk, raising money for childhood cancer research. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
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