Hearts for Hayden event raises $20,000 for family

Saturday was Hayden Foulon Day here and organizers of two “Hearts for Hayden” fundraisers are confident they exceeded their goal of raising $20,000 for her family.

Hayden is the four-year-old daughter of Jon and Lindsay (Rawn) Foulon of London and granddaughter of Wayne and Ruth Ann Rawn of Mount Forest.

At the age of two Hayden was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She was given a clean bill of health in the spring, bu, in October she relapsed.

On Feb. 11 over 700 people from far and near descended on the Mount Forest Community Center for a meet and greet with Paw Patrol characters.

At one point the line-up to meet the characters extended across the community centre and foyer, out the door and across the parking lot to Princess Street.

“Mount Forest knows how to throw a fundraiser,” said one woman standing patiently in line with her grandchildren.

It was “an unreal turnout,” said Michelle Matheson, a member of the Hearts for Hayden organizing committee. “We were overwhelmed by the turnout.”

Entrance was by donation and Matheson said about $6,000 was raised.

Hot dogs, juice/water and chips were available for purchase and there were plenty of activities, including crafts and face painting by Laura Lee Melton.

An evening Hearts for Hayden dance with DJ Steve Leaske, featuring  live and silent auctions and a photo booth, was attended by 300 people.

The photo booth “was the a highlight” for many people at the dance, Matheson said.

Shelby Tanfield of Utopia is a former Mount Forest resident who went to school with Hayden’s mother. Owner of SpotLightphotobooth.ca, she donated the photo booth and gave people photos in exchange for a donation. Nearly $100 was raised.

Tanfield also donated a photo booth gift certificate in the evening’s silent auction. Her mother, Dawn Tanfield, who owns the I’m Sooooooo Bad adult novelty store in Mount Forest, donated a gift basket to the live auction. It sold for $110.

Organizers of the Hearts for Hayden fundraisers were Michelle Matheson, Patty Sinnamon, Allyssa Moyer, Jenny Young, Chloe Brogna, Tricia Fawcett and Amie Pardy.

“But we couldn’t have done it without our many volunteers – face painting by Laura lee, Spotlight Photo Booth, DJ Steve Leaske, auctioneer John McPhee and of course the entire community who came out to support this little girl and her family,” Matheson said.

Birmingham Retirement Community joined Hearts for Hayden by selling cans of Crush and handmade Valentines between Feb. 6 and 17. Members of the community were urged to purchase a can or a card for a senior.

About $600 was raised in the initiative in the days leading up to Saturday’s events. A total was not available by press time.

Meanwhile, downtown on Saturday, M&M Meats was selling cans of Crush pop for Hearts for Hayden and a portion of all sales at the store that day were donated to the cause. Tina’s Sugar Shoppe featured paw print cookies in honour of Hayden and the visit by Paw Patrol characters.

Last month Mayor Andy Lennox and Wellington North council officially declared Feb. 11 Hayden Foulon Day in Mount Forest.