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Hammonds hope to raise thousands in memory of late son

Kate and Kent Hammond are hoping to raise the bar for a third year in a row in memory of their late son Miles and in support of the Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. 

A fundraising goal of $25,000 has been set for the third annual fundraiser, which would allow the hospital to purchase new bassinets for its neonatal and pediatric units. 

“Miles received a lot of his treatment and care in Orillia and we were so blown away by the quality of the staff and care he received there,” explains Kate Hammond.  

Miles passed away in Feb. 2021, just shy of his first birthday, after battling a rare form of cancer. 

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Hammond says it will be an “evening full of lots of fun” at Canvas Brewing Co. in Huntsville on March 2. She adds there will be music from Sean Cotton and Friends, dinner, and a silent auction with locally sourced goodies.  

“When you lose a child, it can be a pretty isolating experience,” she says. “I think you have moments where you wonder if you’re alone.” 

However, since Miles passed, she says their family, friends, and members of the community whom they had never met have jumped at the chance to support them. “Community really is at the centre of our healing process,” adds Hammond. 

The first fundraiser, which was hindered by COVID-19-related restrictions, managed to raise $20,000 with only 50 guests while $25,000 was raised last year.  

Hammond says while it’s rare to lose a child so young, it does happen. The fundraiser, which she explains has also served as a way for them to spread awareness, has allowed them to connect with parents who went through something similar.  

“There’s a sense of connectedness and there’s a shared language,” she says. 

Tickets for the event cost $125 and can be purchased through the Soldier’s Memorial Hospital Foundation’s website. 

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