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Saddling up for the cause

Tremblant Living

FNAP HAS HONED ITS MISSION TO PROVIDE DIRECT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO LOW-INCOME FAMILIES WITH SICK CHILDREN, TO COVER THE COSTS OF TREATMENTS, AND TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE.

Fondation Noël au printemps (FNAP) has been operating generously–and discreetly–for ten years now. The foundation, whose name means “Christmas in Spring,” was the spontaneous brainchild of a group of business people who gather regularly to spend a friendly evening together.

Over dinner one night, they were sharing stories and commenting on how lucky they were. At the same time, they were acutely aware that not everyone shared their good fortune in life. They decided on the spot to take action, and set up a foundation that would provide assistance to families with particular needs. Motivated by a desire to help people directly, the group of donors reached out to their family, business and other networks to contribute to the cause. “Spending happy time—like distributing Christmas gifts—with these families and your own loved ones makes you realize how important it is to help your fellow man and woman,” notes Éric Lemieux, patron of honour.

Over the years, FNAP has honed its mission to provide direct financial assistance to lowincome families with sick children, to cover the costs of treatments, and to improve quality of life. “FNAP is not yet well known among the general public, but that’s not what is important to us. We have made our commitment to the organization with the sole purpose of making an authentic contribution, even if our donations are not widely publicized. The real satisfaction is in the glowing eyes of family members when you do something for them that really makes a difference,” says Mike Cegelski, patron of honour. This group of philanthropic entrepreneurs now includes 13 patrons of honour. Supported by a board of directors, they are actively involved with families experiencing significant financial distress related to caring for a child with major health issues.

In this special anniversary year, FNAP ambassadors are hoping to help even more families by organizing a special fund-raising challenge with a horse racing theme. Twenty “stables” will be competing to see who can raise the most money in an event that can be followed on the foundation’s website and Facebook page (FNAP has the technology background of several of its members to thank for the digital nature of this creative campaign). The Grande Chevauchée (Great Ride) will launch on May 19 at the annual Don de Mai benefit evening at the Société des Arts Technologiques, and will end with a unique, family-oriented riding event in the fall. FNAP has definitely taken the reins to ensure that as many needy families as possible do not have to ride alone.

From left to right
Jean Desrochers, Sébastien Souligny, Luc Paquet, Jean Fontaine, Mike Cegelski, Guy Noël, Normand Bélisle, Éric Lemieux and Annie Comtois

fnap.ca

photo: blanchesbulles

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