Orin Wattley and Alexandra Lapierre demonstrate what happens when two Skyza bubbleballs collide. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Luke Harvey-Benoit thought he would be safe from Serena McMillan inside the Skyza bubbleball. He was wrong. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
On July 23, Skyza Ottawa Valley hosted a bubble ball event with all the proceeds going towards Colby’s Crusade. Owners Orin Wattley and Alexandra Lapierre, Gloria Audette, Luke Harvey-Benoit and Colby Audette pose amongst the bubbles. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Bubble Ball Sumo Match supports Colby’s Crusade
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2016
Nestled inside a Skyza bubble ball, people forcefully threw themselves against one another, hoping to knock the other down - all in good fun as part of a fundraiser for Colby’s Crusade.
Colby’s Crusade arose from a family’s need to raise funds to help their son combat a cruel disease. The young teen is afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a condition that deteriorates the muscles, robbing the patient of their mobility and ultimately, their lives.
To stay as independent as possible, Colby Audette now requires a specialized van with a lift for his wheelchair. The $75,000 price tag is not covered by insurance or the government. The family has already used up all the equity in their house to make it accessible for their son, and events such as the one held on July 23 are crucial to allowing Colby to stay comfortable and independent.
When Skyza Ottawa Valley owners Orin Wattley and Alexandra Lapierre heard about Colby’s plight, they knew they wanted to host a fundraising event. On Saturday, they took five of their bubble ball suits, set themselves up at the Petawawa Civic Centre and presented a $150 prize for the winner of the “sumo matches”.
“It’s catered to about ten years old to anybody who can get in the Skyza ball,” said Wattley.
The couple strongly believe in giving back to the community and are looking to host as many fundraisers as they can. “The community has been helping us a lot, so we wanted to give back as well,” said Lapierre. They typically provide their services for private events such as birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, as well as public events and fundraisers. As time goes on, they hope to start a league as well as a variety of different competitive games featuring the bubble balls.
For Colby’s mother Gloria Audette, it is incredible to see people willing to give their time and services to help raise funds for her son. “For them to do this for Colby, it is just a wonderful feeling,” she said. “We are so blessed with good people and good friends.
“I just met Orin and his wife and they are wonderful people,” Audette added. “Words can’t say enough.”
There is still a long way to go before the family can purchase the accessible van for Colby, but the community has been generous. At their 4th Annual Colby’s Crusade Walk to end Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy on May 21, they raised about $11,000. Their GoFundMe page has currently secured $2,170 towards their goal. “We expect that we are going to have to make that purchase before the end of the year so every penny counts,” said Audette.
The Colby’s Crusade GoFundMe page is looked at www.gofundme.com/qgu6yguk and people can also make a donation at the TD Bank in Pembroke.