Audrey’s Star fundraiser supports Roger Neilson House

Even when we're crying, we're happy to talk about our kids who passed away, Audrey's mother says
Photo: Zhiqi Zhou
Algonquin College public relations students at the Audrey's Star launch event.

Kathleen Ramsay remembers how helpful Roger Neilson House was when her young daughter Audrey was sick. The four-year-old girl died from a terminal illness at the age of four.

“One of the hardest things when you’re a parent, when your child is very sick, is that we want to talk about them, we want to remember them,” said Ramsay. “So even though it’s sad to talk to a parent about a sick or passed away child. In fact, even when we’re crying, we’re happy to talk about them.”

The Algonquin College public relations program’s charity fundraiser Audrey’s Star was launched on March 15 in the Student Commons as a tribute to Audrey. The event fundraiser in partnership with the Senators Community Foundation, collected charitable donations for Roger Neilson House.

Public relations students seek out charitable organizations to help each semester, and Ramsay told her classmates about her daughter, and they were deeply moved.

Roger Neilson House is a pediatric inpatient hospice located on the CHEO grounds. It has provided care for over 600 critically ill children to date. It offers a home-like environment for children who are at high risk of dying before adulthood.

The initiative consists of nine different fundraisers, with Twinkle Twinkle Little Book Fair and Thriftopia being non-ticketed events, and Swings4Smiles, Tropical Fusion, Amps and Arts, Carnival for a Cause, Dodgeball Under the Stars, In Audrey’s Memory: Paint for Joy, and Clash of Cues being ticketed events.

These nine different fundraisers will run from March 26 until April 8. This charity event not only gives public relations students the opportunity to practice their public relations skills, but also benefits charities in the community.

“Today we’re here just trying to promote our events and get people interested in our events and also talk to them about Roger Nielson House, and how they can be involved,” said Liam Mckillen, a public relations Level 2 student at Algonquin College.

The launch day of the charity event had already received donations and ticket purchases from a number of students since the morning.

“There’s been a lot of like students in and out, and this morning, we started off at $25. Now we’re up to $320 in just donations from people scanning the QR codes,” Mckillen said.

In addition to attending these fundraising events, students can scan the QR codes on the Audrey’s Star posters to learn more about ways to donate.

“No matter how big or small your donation is, you will make a big impact on RNH, and we will appreciate it,” said Meagan Jones, client liaison of Twinkle Twinkle Little Book Fair.

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