Nanaimo’s Daffodil Campaign off to a sweet start after lemonade stand donations

Canadian Cancer Society has begun a month of door-to-door fundraising

Six-year-old Cylus Tisserand, of Nanaimo, set up a lemonade stand on the weekend and raised $84, which he gave to the Canadian Cancer Society. The donation was a fitting start for the organization’s annual door-to-door Daffodil Campaign which runs until April 30. Photo submitted

Cylus Tisserand is just six years old, but he still found a way to support a cause.

The youngster spent the last weekend of school spring break selling lemonade, lemon bars, iced tea and Nanaimo bars from a roadside stand and managed to raise $84 which he brought to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Nanaimo office.

“We put the word out on Facebook and a bunch his friends from school and people we know came by and bought stuff and, you know, put $10 in instead of $1.50, kind of thing,” said Cylus’s mom, Julie Tisserand.

Cylus ran his little stand Saturday and made $6, but it was at the dinner table that night he decided to run the stand Sunday and donate all proceeds to the cancer society.

“He was sitting at the dinner table and he said, ‘I want to do it again tomorrow, but I want to give the money to cancer,” Julie said. “Just out of the blue. Then a little while later, maybe a day or two, he said, ‘Do you know why I want to give it to cancer? Because of Terry Fox.’ It was really neat.”

The six-year-old’s donation was a surprise kickoff for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Month campaign, which runs throughout April when canvassers go door-to-door in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Parksville and Qualicum to raise donations funds for research and support services for all cancers.

“They will have an official receipt book with them and … they should have their daffodils on,” said Sue Carlson, Canadian Cancer Society volunteer.

People will also find donation boxes with daffodil pins at cash checkouts and service counters in stores and businesses throughout the central Island region.

Daffodil Month, which runs across Canada, is the annual campaign that kicks off the start of other cancer society fundraisers, such as the Run for the Cure and Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, that run later in the year.

Carlson said people can make donations online too, but meeting with door-to-door canvassers is a good way to learn more about the society’s programs and services.

“It’s still the opportunity to talk to someone and find out what we do and how we do it,” Carslon said, citing peer match as one of the programs the society offers people might not be aware of. “It used to be called Cancer Connection. It’s when we connect two people with a similar cancer, which I still think is one of the best programs we have. It could be somebody in Newfoundland and someone on Vancouver Island that have similar cancers, but, you know, just so you can talk to somebody, ‘Been there, done that and we’re still here to talk about it,’ which I think is fantastic.”

Last year’s campaign raise about $35,000, Carlson said.

“We’d like to do at least that if not considerably more,” she said.

The society is looking for more canvassers this year as well.

“I don’t know how many canvassers we have this year, but I do know the number is down,” Carlson said. “We’re always needing canvassers.”

Anyone wishing to help with the door-to-door campaign is asked to call Hugh Baker, door-to-door campaign coordinator, at 250-741-8180.

People can also visit the Canadian Cancer Society’s Nanaimo office at 777 Poplar St. Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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