Melanie’s Angels walk for something they know matters.
Melanie Freeman has been living at the Carefor Civic Complex retirement home since the fall of 2022. If anyone understands why raising money for the Civic Complex is important, it’s her. And so, she led a team she called Melanie’s Angels to take part in The Grand Parade on September 16th at the Kiwanis Walk in Pembroke.
In the weeks leading up to the Grand Parade Melanie would leave Carefor on her weekly trips around town with her father, John, and a pledge sheet that slowly filled with names of past neighbors, friends, family, and other people she met on her walks. “It was all Melanie,” said Mr. Freeman. “All I did was drive her from place to place to collect pledges.”
John Freeman explained, “We as a family have seen a total change in Melanie since she moved to Carefor. It is like night a day, the way she has integrated into the community with the help of staff has been great. She loves being able to help run activities with the rest of the residents. We are very grateful to the staff at Carefor.”
The Grand Parade is a walk hosted in 29 locations across Canada with the goal of raising money for organizations which support seniors. For the first time, the Grand Parade was hosted in Pembroke and raised over $17,000 for services offered at Carefor’s two retirement homes, Civic Complex and Mackay Centre and well as community based services including meal delivery and non-urgent medical transportation.
“What we love about The Grand Parade is that it’s made up of people who know how important our programs and services are,” says Carefor CEO Steve Perry. “It’s our staff, donors, supporters and residents who are spreading the word and helping raise money for services which they know have a real impact.”
Grand Parade participants joined teams to raise money, creating friendly competition between one another to raise the most. Top teams were Run PRC with $2,300, the Whitewater Region Walkers led by Whitewater Region Mayor Niel Nicholson with $1,815, and Team Zion raising $1,575.
On the morning of race day with over $700 in pledges, Melanie and her Angles made their way to the starting line and on they went, marching in this year’s Grand Parade. With her nephew Jackson in tow along with his parents, Melanie's father, stepmother, and aunt, Melanie’s Angels made their way along the paved path beside the water parading their support of seniors in our community like Melanie.
Melanie says she’ll continue to walk in the Grand Parade as long as she’s living at Carefor Civic Complex, because she knows whether it be in support of the retirement homes or via Carefor’s community-based programs, there’s someone out there who really needs it.