Campaign creates legacy for accident victim

Garrett Paquette's family took up Mo-vember fundraising, earning top spot in the world

Garrett Paquette’s family raised more than $116,000 during the Movember fundraising campaign, creating a lasting legacy for the young man who died in an ATV accident last month.

Paquette was 11 days into Movember and raising money as team captain for the Nanai-MO RBC Stallions when his ATV tumbled over a ledge, falling seven metres into Hardy Creek, near Lantzville.

Despite their grief, his family members wanted to create a positive legacy for the avid sports fan, said Paquette’s brother, Michael Hildebrand.

“We knew he’d want us to do something like that in his name,” Hildebrand said.

Donations from friends and family, plus a raffle from Paquette’s father’s business Hub City Fisheries, helped push Paquette’s individual fundraising total to more than $115,000 – the most worldwide.

As a team, the total placed in top 5 in Canada and within the top 10 in the world.

Movember is a month-long event in November in which men grow moustaches and raise money for research into prostate cancer.

Paquette’s team even beat Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, led by former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Wendel Clark – slightly ironic since current members of the team signed a banner in support of Paquette and the Nanaimo team’s efforts.

“People from all over Canada really supported him,” Hildebrand said.

Paquette’s motivation for participating in the campaign stemmed from the death of a family member from cancer. Although it wasn’t specifically prostate cancer, which Mo-vember money targets, Paquette wanted to join the fight against all cancer, said Hildebrand.

“He really believed in the fight against cancer,” Hildebrand said. “Any cancer is a terrible thing.”

The team’s accomplishment this year means that the mo’s will grow again next November.

“Garrett will again be our team captain,” Hildebrand said. “He’s our inspiration for this whole thing.”

For more information, please visit http://ca.movember.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com