The final dory has been rowed for a major fundraiser started in memory and honour of two Cape Sable Island grandmothers that has been in support of the Rosalin Nickerson CARE Fund.
Row for Nannie’s Cure celebrated its 10th and final year on July 13 on the North East Point waterfront, raising an estimated $7,100 for the Rosalin Nickerson CARE Fund, which supports cancer patients in the Municipality of Barrington and the Town of Clark’s Harbour financially, spiritually and emotionally. Over the years, Row for Nannie’s Cure has raised more than $100,000 for the fund, which has supported 362 cancer patients to date.
Row for Nannie’s Cure was started in memory of Melvina Nickerson, who lost her battle with cancer on March 28, 2010, and in honour of Joyce Swim, who passed on Nov. 30, 2018 after fighting the disease for years.
“It was just a way to honour them and give back,” said organizer Bethany Nickerson, whose mom was Melvina. “I know both ladies worked hard in the community doing things as well. It was a great way to keep their memory alive.”
Nickerson said many family members and close friends have helped throughout the years organizing the row and collecting sponsors. “We have an amazing group of volunteers,” said Nickerson. “Some of the group have grown up in it. They’ve been doing it since they were five or six years old and now they are teenagers and young adults and still working just as hard. To me that’s pretty amazing to see teenagers and young adults that have grown up volunteering for the community and are willing to keep doing it. Hopefully that is instilled in them throughout their adult life.”
For Shelley d’Eon, founder of the Rosalin Nickerson CARE Fund, Row for Nannie’s Cure “has meant everything” to the fund and her, raising a “huge amount of money” in the past 10 years. “These guys have put a lot of effort and work into helping the numbers each year,” said d’Eon. “It’s always good to see the blue team” at Walk for a Cause, the fund’s annual fundraiser, “because my goal is to have as many teams representing and fundraising and doing stuff in this community to help people with cancer as possible.”
This year’s Walk for a Cause is being held on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Barrington Regional Curling Club on Sherose Island. The doors open at 12 noon with the event starting at 1 p.m. “This year we will be honouring the memory of Joyce Swim and Melvina Nickerson,” said d’Eon. “The theme is Everlasting Love which is the love of a grandmother.”
Just because there will be no more Row for Nannie’s Cure events, doesn’t mean the fundraising for the Rosalin Nickerson CARE Fund will cease, said Nickerson. “We are planning to come back with something else,” she said. “We’re going to take a little break and regroup this fall. I have an idea…another event I would like to do,” hinting “there will always be a dory involved at some point because that’s what started it all, so we will continue to raise money for the Rosalin Nickerson CARE fund, but in a different way.”
Nickerson said she is “extremely thankful” for all the support Row for Nannie’s Cure has received over the years. “It’s been amazing what the community has done for us. The businesses have been phenomenal each year. They’ve donated food and prizes, and so many of the businesses have sponsored the rowers, its just been amazing. The Scott Timber Show, you couldn’t ask for a better group to come out and help you with something. It’s pretty overwhelming to see the support from the community. It makes you very thankful for where we live.”