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Totty Open House for SickKids tops $9000

Totty Open House for SickKids tops $9000

In a phenomenal show of community spirit, the Totty Open House Fundraiser cleared $9,000 this year for charities related to the Hospital for Sick Children, about $2000 more than last year.

The event, which promotes itself mainly through Facebook and word of mouth, has been running for six years, most recently on October 14. It has been generously hosted by Acton daycare provider, Dana Totty. This year there were 21 vendors. The host gives over her entire home and garage to the event, clearing out the furniture and moving it back in afterward with the help of a band of dedicated volunteers. Local entrepreneurs and handcrafters donate a portion of sales from the event as well as contribute to a promotional draw, the proceeds of which are 100 percent donated.

It all came about when one of Totty’s young charges, Nathan Swackhamer, needed open heart surgery. It has grown from raising just over $1000 in 2013 to almost $7700 in 2017. That amounts to a total nearing $30,000 since it began.

The proceeds for 2018 will be dispersed as follows: the Labatt Family Heart Centre at SickKids - $6115; Ronald McDonald House Toronto - $1527; Ronald McDonald House Hamilton - $1550.

Nathan’s mom Janeen tells how the fundraiser began: “Dana Totty runs an in-home daycare where Nathan attended. She saw first hand what we had to go through with Nathan and all the times spent at Sick Kids and Ronald McDonald House in Toronto. That sparked a huge desire in Dana’s heart to want to give back, not just for our family but for all others who may need the services we did while Nathan had his surgeries. We are very grateful for all the love and support for Nathan from all of our friends and family. Honestly, if it was not for family, friends and this great caring community it sure would have made it harder to get through two open-heart surgeries.”

“Thank you Dana for opening your home and getting this started all because of the love you have for our Nathan.

“Also thank you to volunteers, vendors, family and friends for making these last six years grow and grow! Our love to all of you!”

A longtime supporter of the fundraiser is Bev Baddeley. She has single-handedly raised more than $3500 so far this year for Sick Kids through Bev’s Knits. Nathan helped her count out her donation in $100 bills. Sick Kids has a huge place in Bev’s heart for the care given to her son Jimmy during his lifetime.

The list of vendors this year included: Willow Lane Natural Foods, Tupperware, Scentsy, Sweet Legs, Arbonne, Epicure, Sheri Binsell Art & Photography, KMD Handmade Jewelry and Gifts, Avon, Regal, Thirty-one, Inspired to Action, Clara Clark Bedding, Bev’s Knits, The Dragonfly Healing Center, Homemade cards by Lois, Origami Owl Custom Jewelry, PJ's Garden, Majestic Water Buffalo, Bake Table, Lynn’s Butter Tarts and Brighten Up - Erin’s Centre for Life-Long Learning and Discovery.

The young man behind it all is now seven years old, and “doing great!” says mom Janeen. “You would never know he had anything wrong with him unless of course you already knew him! “

She notes that Nathan and Bev will be presenting the cheque to Sick Kids on Dec. 7. “This is always a very exciting time for Nathan and Bev. It’s so amazing to see what can happen when a community joins together to help a family.”

It seems the sky is the limit for this remarkable community event in years to come.


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