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Gabrielle’s Ride – Presenting sponsor Dan Cooper
July 22nd 2012 was a challenging but emotional day for the many cyclists who took part in Oakville’s Gabrielle’s Ride. Hundreds of cyclists took to the streets starting from Appleby College to raise money in support of Cardiac Kids and the Pediatric Stroke Fund at The Sick Kids Foundation.
More than $75,000 was raised – an outstanding accomplishment for a great cause.
Gabrielle’s Ride is a charity event inspired by the life of Gabrielle Ide Cinanni, who died far too young from complications related to a congenital heart disease. She was only 5 years old when she passed away.
When she was two months old, Gabrielle was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. She had a unique form of coarctation of her aorta with no known treatment or cure and she struggled with the symptoms of heart failure. As an infant, Gabrielle was already fighting for her life.
Before her first birthday, she had undergone numerous invasive tests, hospital stays, frequent clinic appointments with several different specialists, therapists and had three angioplasties that the family hoped would save her life.
Within weeks of being diagnosed with heart disease, an MRI of her brain showed that Gabrielle had also suffered a stroke. She was too young to know exactly how this stroke would impact her life but it was clear that Gabrielle’s body was vulnerable and her future was uncertain. Surrounded by love and support and with her own will to live, Gabrielle’s health improved. For five and a half years, her passion for life and her laugh filled the family’s home with joy and inspired everyone’s hearts.
She was a special little girl and her story has touched the hearts of many. And so, on that Sunday, cyclists filled the streets – everyone from the accomplished cyclists who tackled the 100-kilometre route to the ambitious cyclists participating in the 50K to families and youngsters who did the 15K and the 2K “Tyke ride”.
It was a special day for Gabrielle’s mother Nikki, who created Gabrielle’s Ride and whose passion is to use the memory of her daughter to help children in the future.
“I’m proud to play even a minor role to help this worthy cause become one of the best attended events in the Oakville area,” stated Dan Cooper. “Dan has been a great friend to Gabrielle’s Ride since its inception in 2011,” adds Nikki. “He is a philanthropic pillar of the Oakville community and has graciously shared his experience with our team over these months of preparation.”
Building a stronger community means supporting great causes such as Gabrielle’s Ride. The Dan Cooper Team supports a number of organizations, everything from minor sports teams to major campaigns that will have a significant impact on the quality of life we enjoy here in Oakville and Burlington.
A giving and caring spirit makes our community stronger – a place in which we can all be proud to live and raise a family. How we treat those in need, how we support charities and organizations that are making a difference, shape our community’s character and reputation. Today we enjoy one of the most desirable locations in Canada in which to live – because we have built a safe and caring community.
Give back to the community in any way you can; whether it is with money or time or both. Your efforts and contributions help make our community stronger and a better place in which to live.
For more information about Gabrielle’s Ride visit www.gabriellesride.com.
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Featured in the photo is Dan Cooper with Nikki Ide
One small step can become a major movement that captures the imagination of a country, and that’s the hope of one mother who wants to inspire a nation to come together to remember the loss of a loved one.
I wrote about Nikki Ide just a few weeks ago. Nikki lost her daughter Gabrielle due to complications related to a congenital heart disease. She was only 5. In that article I encouraged everyone to take part in Gabrielle’s Ride on July 22, Oakville’s first and largest family cycling event. I’m proud to be the presenting sponsor for this important ride, which is raising funds for Cardiac Kids and the Pediatric Stroke Fund at The Sick Kids Foundation.
I continue to urge you to get out, spend a day with the family, get some exercise and help raise money for a great cause. But there is more to this story. Nikki’s hope is to have May 10 declared Canada’s National Grief Awareness Day. This day happens to be Gabrielle’s birthday – she would have been 7 this year – and while Nikki will be remembering her daughter, she asks that others join her on that day to make this a national day of remembering a loved one.
I have been so touched by this story that I am going beyond sponsoring Gabrielle’s Ride and will be presenting the Gabrielle’s Ride Exclusive Sponsorship Dinner at Gairloch Gardens Cottage on May 10. Guests will enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared by the renowned Kerr Street Cafe, enjoy beer by Cameron Breweries, wine with dinner, vodka by Tag Vodka, limousine service to and from the event, music supplied by DJ George Chaker and door prizes that will include an inclusive trip for four and a Bulova watch.
In addition, each guest will be provided with a unique paper floating lantern for the Remember Our Love Day celebration following dinner.
At that time, others are invited to join us and Nikki at Gairloch Garden’s at 8 p.m. when some special words will be shared and we will all let our lanterns float into the dark sky at 8:30 p.m. Lanterns will be available at a nominal cost for anyone who wants to participate. Proceeds will go to The Lighthouse for Grieving Children. If you would like to join Nikki for the ceremonial part at 8 p.m. or for more information, you can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nikki’s campaign to make this a national day of remembrance is being done in partnership with The Lighthouse for Grieving Children.
“Remember our Love Day is one of those creative ways for us to stay connected to Gabrielle and I wanted to share the experience with our community,” Nikki says. “The Lighthouse for Grieving Children and Dan Cooper loved the concept so much and have helped me to bring it all together and make it happen. The Lighthouse will be selling the floating lanterns and everyone in attendance will have an opportunity to connect with their loved ones by sending a lantern into the darkening sky and watch them illuminate as they lift into the night. My family has been using floating lanterns to express our love for Gabrielle since her death and it has been such a beautiful and meaningful experience. I can’t wait to share it with the community and watch the sky light up with love!”
Building a stronger community means supporting great causes like Gabrielle’s Ride and being engaged with worthy events such as Remember Our Love. The heart and soul of the community is due to the generosity, the caring and the giving of its residents. We enjoy one of the best communities in Canada – due to people like Nikki who remind us that there is more to living than having possessions. Our spiritual nurturing and charitable endeavours are what make us a stronger and better place in which to live.
I encourage all of you to give back to the community in any way you can; whether it is with money, time or both. And on May 10, float a paper lantern for a loved one and join me and my team for a day of family fun on July 22.
For more information about Remember Our Love Day and Gabrielle’s Ride visit www.gabriellesride.com.
Dan Cooper is an award-winning broker with Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., Brokerage – the Number 1 Royal LePage Team for Canada in 2009, 2007, 2005, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999. He can be reached at 905.338.3737, direct line at 905.849.3303 or through his innovative and interactive website at DanCooper.com. Be sure to catch the Dan Cooper Real Estate Series on DailyWebTV.com. For his free booklet How To Sell Your House For Top Dollar – Fast! or his Guide to Oakville Real Estate, please call the Dan Cooper Team.