BONVILLE, Ontario – The Cornwall Township Lions Club surprised Cierra Lalonde by presenting her with a cheque for $500 on Sunday October 30th for her team’s competition in Washington D.C.
The 15 year old St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School student is a member of the St. Joe’s Panthers ladies’ rugby team, as well as a student volunteer for their club.
Lalonde explained in September, the St. Joe’s Panthers had competed in the Cornwall Lions Club Bed Race, hoping to win and put the prize money toward their trip.
“Although we tried our hardest,” she said, “we didn’t win.”
When asked about receiving the equivalent to the prize money anyway she said, “I was really surprised, Al (Jodin, President of the Cornwall Township Lions Club) has done a lot for me and my family.”
With a team of 51 players on the roster and a cost of approximately $320 per person, Lalonde knows the funds will benefit the team greatly. She said, “Girls who can’t pay for the trip, can now go because the trip will be less
Andrew Maloney a member of the Cornwall Township Lions Club and a teacher at St. Joe’s, explained the partnership between the Lions Club and the girls’ rugby team started when he choose them to represent the Lions Club in the Bed Race.
With Lalonde working as a volunteer and because he works with Francys Harrison, the team manager, he knew the Panthers needed help to fund their trip.
Harrison says the fundraising is just getting started. There is a Christmas fundraiser involving St. Albert Cheese and a spaghetti dinner planned in February.
Casey Leger, Panther’s coach said that with school board (The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario) approval the team hopes to go to Washington D.C. to compete the last week of March 2017.