If you’re looking for a snack tomorrow, you may want to consider a sundae at Dairy Queen.
All proceeds of those sundaes at the Duncan location are going towards an accessible playground that is in the works in Fuller Lake.
It’s a project run through Anya’s Journey Foundation, which was started by Bruce Findlay, whose daughter Anya has been diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Lamb-Shaffer Syndrome. It’s a condition that is so rare that only 12 people in Canada and less than 550 people worldwide have been diagnosed with it.
On the condition, the Lamb-Shaffer Syndrome Organization says, “The most common symptoms of Lamb-Shaffer Syndrome are, but not limited to, significant speech delay, hypotonia, gross motor delay, fine motor delay, global developmental delay and vision issues.”
13-year-old Anya’s favourite place in the world is the playground, according to her dad. That led him to look into getting an accessible playground built in the Cowichan Valley where Anya could play. He says he spoke to the mayor and North Cowichan’s Director of Parks and Recreation Don Stewart about the project.
“I had a brief conversation with him and he said, ‘Can you meet me in Fuller Lake?’” says Findlay of Stewart. “I met him there and he said, ‘How about this park?’”
That led to a proposal to upgrade the park which needed to go through North Cowichan council, who have since given the project the go-ahead. It’ll not only benefit Anya but add an option where those other children with diverse needs can play in the Cowichan Valley. The nearest accessible playgrounds are in Nanaimo and Victoria which, as Findlay points out, is quite the hike.
Findlay says this fundraiser is a great opportunity for those who want to contribute to do so at a low cost, while enjoying Anya’s favourite snack a Dairy Queen sundae, with her favourite being the fudge sundae.
This is the first of several fundraising efforts to come, on the quest to reach their ultimate goal of $500,000.
“Anya knows there’s a playground coming and she wants it to be tomorrow. But a part of her condition is that she doesn’t really understand the timeline,” Findlay says. “I think when she starts to see it coming together she’ll be really excited.”
You can learn more about Anya and her journey on their website.