Jam at Jackson’s Point Gazebo with Live Bands

Event raises funds for Give Miracles a Chance charity

By: Heidi Riedner, Georgina Advocate

In the famous words of Abraham Lincoln, you never stand so tall as when you stoop to help a child.

Denton Webster-Marles is living proof of those words.

His grandmother, Lynn Marles, started G.A.M.E., the Give Miracles A Chance organization which raises funds for children with Cerebral Palsy.

When Denton was born, doctors told his parents, Steve and Courtney Marles, their son was born with CP with 85 per cent brain damage and would not survive past 48 hours.

“He was in an incubator at Sick Kids and we didn’t know what to do,” said Lynn, the executive director of G.A.M.E.

“By some miracle, he survived, but they were told that he would live the rest of his life in a wheelchair.”

Determined to make it better, Lynn recounts calling everyone she knew, knocking on doors, sending out letters and anything else humanly possible to raise money for her grandson after his mother found an ability camp offering hyperbaric oxygen treatments in Picton.

The treatment, which involves an intensive five-week, eight hour a day, seven days a week schedule, was, and still isn’t, covered under provincial health care and costs $10,000.

After raising the money through a charity barbecue at Sobeys and donations from just about every service organization in the area, including the Pefferlaw Lions, Kinsmen and Kinettes, on Jan. 1 Denton went to Picton.

“When he started, Denton could barely move or hold his head up. I said if he’s successful, we’re going to make this into a charity. Nine months later, we were a charity,” she added.

The festivities continue from noon to 4 p.m. with the jam at the Jackson’s Point gazebo and family day at the park

The festivities continue from noon to 4 p.m. with the jam at the Jackson’s Point gazebo and family day at the park

To date, G.A.M.E. has helped 10 children with CP towards independent therapy treatment programs and it currently has 10 on a waiting list. It has contributed a total of $90,000 to ongoing rehabilitation.

Now at the age of five, Denton is able to sit independently, take steps on his own with a kaye walker and sit up in the bathtub by himself. He attends Sutton Public school and can drive a motorized, four-wheel Gator.

“He’s made remarkable progress,” Ms Marles said. “Here’s a child who wasn’t supposed to be able to move on his own. He’s made significant gains.”

Access to therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen, TheraSuit and conductive education is funded through events such as this weekend’s first-ever walk for Cerebral Palsy and Jackson’s Point Jam on Saturday.

Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at the Jackson’s Point gazebo for the six-kilometre walk through some of the area’s most historic and scenic views along Hedge Road.

The festivities continue from noon to 4 p.m. with the jam at the Jackson’s Point gazebo and family day at the park featuring Laura Lee and The Tequila Rocking Birds, Marlene Clark and The Band Called US, and The Shane and Shawn Show with Dean the Conga Machine. Musical celebrity Freddy Will, rapper, producer, song/screenwriter and author will be joining local celebrities to light up the stage.

Children’s authors, Boston Pizza’s Lionel, Sparky the Fire Dog and Morris the Moose mascots, face painting and other exciting activities will entertain the kids. There will also be a barbecue and draws throughout the day.

Soul Asylum and Poetry Inc. and children’s authors Kenneth William Cowle and Margaret Hefferman will sign their published children’s editions with a portion of the profits being donated to the cause.

Stoop to help a child, lace up your running shoes and walk six kilometres in a physically challenged child’s shoes.

“We take it one step at a time,” says Lynn, whose long-term plans include the creation of a regional treatment centre even though she acknowledges that dream is a long way off.

Following the Jam at Jackson’s Point, everyone is invited to the Top Spot Pub for a night of entertainment starting at 8 p.m.