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Local teen starts fundraiser for Sick Kids

By Martin Irvine [1] and Taylor Broderick [2]

QUINTE WEST – Ten thousand dollars is a lofty fundraising goal for anybody in a small town, but a 13-year-old girl in Trenton is making her way there.

Cheridan Richardson is raising the money to donate gifts to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

“I just thought about how sad and lonely it would be over the holidays,” she said, adding that daily parking for a month at some hospitals costs more than a mortgage or rent payment for many families.

The fundraiser [3] will end on December 12.

Cheridan is also planning to donate her hair, which is long enough to reach her lower back, to 360 Hair [4] in Vancouver. The hair she donates will be enough to make two wigs. She said she remembers having head lice when she was younger and having to have her head shaved. “I didn’t like going to school like that,” she said, and said she doesn’t think anybody else would either.

Her mother, Colleen Richardson, said they’ve been busy. “Well, you have to be busy if you wanna raise $10,000 in a month,” she said.

Cheridan has a lot going on – she’s starring in a movie being produced by Loyalist’s Television and New Media program, she’s working on schoolwork, and now she’s working on a fundraiser.

She said her family is behind her all the way, though. Her mother takes her where she needs to go and helps take care of social media and promotion; her dad tries to spread the word at work; her older brother, 18, does her chores at home; and her younger brother, nine, wants to chop her hair off for her.

Cheridan has been handing out posters and business cards since Nov 14. “Sometimes it’s that easy,” she said as she stepped out of a downtown Trenton business. The business took her poster and her card, agreeing to put her poster up in the store.

She said she won’t be upset if she doesn’t make the $10,000 goal. “I won’t feel too bad,” she said with a shrug, “I would probably do it again next year, and maybe start it earlier.”

Cheridan said even if she does make her goal this year, she plans to do the fundraiser again next year.

Cheridan Richardson next to one of the posters she's been handing out to businesses in downtown Trenton. Photo by Martin Irvine. [5]

Cheridan Richardson next to one of the posters she’s been handing out to businesses in downtown Trenton. Photo by Martin Irvine.