(Greg Brown at the August 29 bottle drive held at Brown’s YIG is holding Zedno Chara’s 6 foot hockey stick. The stick is just one item being auctioned off during the Rock Out 4 Jack guitar raffle taking place December 18. Photo: Stittsville Central)
Who would have thought that a bottle drive would go viral? It has! The Stittsville community has been outstandingly generous in responding to and donating their empties for the “Rock Out 4 Jack” bottle drive for Jack Brown, the Stittsville boy with CHARGE Syndrome. In total, the Brown family raised $5,000 through returning donated empties from their August 29 bottle drive held at Brown’s YIG. The money will go towards alleviating some of the medical costs associated with the care for Jack, who was born in 2009 with CHARGE syndrome.
CHARGE syndrome is a rare and life-limiting disorder that arises during early fetal development and affects multiple organ systems. Jack, who turned 12 in June, is tracheostomy dependent, has a feeding tube insertion, and is deaf with vision impairment. Having spent more than two years total admitted to CHEO throughout his life, Jack has had twenty surgeries. Jack was also diagnosed with severe autism and continues to battle epilepsy. At one point, over 100 visible seizures daily were common.
Jack requires around-the-clock nursing care. His mom, Susan, is his primary nurse, so she hasn’t been able to work since Jack was born. Additionally, Jack’s father is battling guarded, high-risk cancer. The Brown family is without private insurance. Since the costs of Jack’s life-sustaining medical supplies alone (tracheostomy & enteral feeding) are astronomical, the family has relied on various festivals and events to raise funds for Jack’s medical needs. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, relying on these fundraising methods is not possible currently.
In addition to the bottle drive, roughly $7,500 has been raised through donation boxes set up at Brown’s Your Independent Grocer. Other boxes in the merchant community added $500 in donated funds. Jack’s father, Greg, is extremely appreciative of the merchants who have been giving their community spirit and displaying Rock Out 4 Jack donation boxes:
- Brown’s Your Independent Grocer
- Giant Tiger, Jackson Trails
- 4 Season Pool & Spa Care Inc.
- Gabriel Pizza, Jackson Trails
- Spiritleaf Stittsville
- Willys Pizza Stittsville
- Cabottos Restaurant
- Together Nails & Spa
- Stittsville Home Hardware
- Stittsville Glass and Signs
- Quitters Coffee
- Main Street Cafe Stittsville
- The Barley Mow, Merivale Rd
- The Beer Store Stittsville
- Hillary’s Dry Cleaners
Greg is also thankful for all of the hardworking volunteers who helped at the bottle drive: Lieutenant’s Pump British Pub, John Couse, Bob Easy, Frank Zrinyi, Linda Begin, Jean Lapointe, Irean Lapointe, Veronika Lapointe, Kory Healey, Noah Peterson, Jonathan, Julie Howes-Rousseau, Mark Rousseau, Pat Howes, and Derek Howes.
On display at the bottle drive, were four guitars (a Danelectro, Godin, Gretsch and EVH), the hockey stick that NHL player Zdeno Chara used in a game or two and other items, that Greg is auctioning off through raffle tickets. The auction takes place on December 18, 2021 when winners will be announced. While Stittsville Central visited to make a donation, a gentleman purchased $200 worth of the raffle tickets. To purchase raffle tickets visit the Rock Out 4 Jack guitar raffle Facebook page.
To follow and support Rock Out 4 Jack, check out the Facebook page. There is also a GoFundMe page set up to assist in fundraising – donate here. When you see the Rock Out 4 Jack donation box located at participating businesses, please make a contribution – no amount is too large or too small.
With the exorbitant medical expenses that the family faces for Jack, the bottle drive is an unending event. Greg will graciously accept your empties at 419 Montserrat Street and will pick-up empties from you. To contribute to this important cause, send an email to Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org, give him a call at 613-808-2169 or send a PM to the Rock Out 4 Jack Facebook page.
On Saturday, September 18, from 9:00am – 1:00pm, the Stittsville Lions Club are holding a bottle drive in support of Jack and his family.
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