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eugenieAngela Richard and her daughter Eugenie.

Hub Staff

A fundraiser to assist Port Elgin mother Angela Richard with her goal of fundraising $30,000 (plus a pending $15,000 from the March of Dimes) is just over $10,000 away from reaching the goal for a new accessible Dodge Caravan that will help lift and transfer Richard’s 16 year old daughter Eugenie, who is living with Cerebral Palsy and is also non-ambulatory as well as non-verbal.

Eugenie loves to swim, ride horseback and dance, she loves music and movement, and has a smile that can light up the room, said her mother Angela in a January interview. “Her laughter is contagious,” said Richard. “She has taught me all of my big life lessons...patience, and ‘don't sweat the small stuff’. Her life goal? To be happy and healthy, to be able to participate in as many fun activities as possible and to be surrounded by people that love her.”

In essence the new vehicle will belong to Eugenie. “It will go with her when she goes to a caregiver's home or when someone else is taking her to an activity,” explained Richard.

President’s Choice Children’s Charities have donated a grant of $10,000 to the cause which Richard has included towards the total. If Richard fundraises enough for the new vehicle the March of Dimes will guarantee to cover the cost of modifying the vehicle for Eugenie to a maximum of $15,000. Richard said that the companies that make accessible changes to the vehicles recommend the Dodge Caravan as they are the most common and the most economical. “So that's what we are looking at,” she said.

Richard has been a single mom for the past 12 years and is only able to work part-time as she is the primary caregiver for Eugenie. Over the years she has been constantly fundraising for her daughter, to the tune of $200,000 which went towards therapy camps, summer camps, specialized therapies like conductive education, equipment that is not covered such as a $2,000 tricycle and a $3,500 duet bicycle. “People often say they don't know how I do it... you just do it, that's what we do as moms,” she said. “When you are exhausted and depleted, you just dig deeper and deeper, that's what love is... and it's instinctual,” she added.

“I have had to work hard, fight, beg and plead to get my daughter what she needs and rightly deserves,” said Richard.

The family of two currently drives a 2006 Kia Sedona and Richard said she has made several attempts to apply to have that vehicle retrofitted with a Turney seat for Eugenie, however March of Dimes did not believe it to be a good long-term viable solution. “It's very exciting...knowing we shall soon have an accessible means of transportation,” said Richard. “It has been a concern and worry for some time now. With Eugenie's weight and length, it's getting more and more challenging to lift her out of her wheelchair and get her up and into my van seat,” she said, adding that she has thought a number of times that she was going to lose hold and drop her daughter.

Richard said that she is already humbled by the amount in donations that has come from the community through a GoFundMe account. “It's a wonderful feeling to know that our friends, family, neighbours and perfect strangers are behind us in this endeavour.” Richard said that she will also be approaching local service clubs this week for their assistance.

A trust account has been set up at Meridian Credit Union in Port Elgin or donations can be given through Eugenie’s van fund at

eugenie richardsEugenie.


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