The Journée de la Marche du Rêve brings together seasonal campers, travelling campers and even visitors who are passing through the Camping Domaine du Rêve campsite for an activity-filled and, most importantly, hope-filled day. Since 2014, the event has raised funds for the Cancer Research Society with the aim of outsmarting cancer.
The name of the event is no coincidence. It was chosen because the walk takes place at the Camping Domaine du Rêve campsite in Sainte-Angèle-de-Monnoir. The Gingras family, who own the campsite has been supporting and promoting the event year after year.
At the time of the first edition, the event was a nighttime walk. A total of $3,800 was raised, much to everyone’s surprise, including volunteer committee members and Hélène Rochon who was the driving force behind the event back then.
As her mother and sister had been affected by cancer, she wanted to organize an event that would contribute to outsmart the illness.
For her, and for all those involved in the organization, it was clear that the funds raised should go to the Society as the research is the key to outsmart cancer.
The event has been held each year since then. In 2016, Hélène Rochon passed the torch on to Julie Duguay, her spouse Daniel Rousseau and her parents Reine and Bruno Duguay, all of whom have been involved in organizing the walk since the very beginning.
And at the end of the summer of 2016, as other volunteers joined the organizing committee (Liane and Viateur Beauregard, Lise Bernier, Sylvie Benca and Robert Dubé), the event took a significant turn; the nighttime walk transformed into a whole day filled with several activities including the walk, collecting cans and returnable bottles, a hot-dog lunch, a silent auction, a lantern flight of hope and more.
A number of volunteers from the campsite take part in this day, as do several important partners.
The following edition, in 2017, was an enormous success allowing them to raise over $12,500 which was more than double what had been raised in previous years. The campers and owners of the Camping Domaine du Rêve have their hearts on their sleeve and believe in the cause.
“Knowing that 100% of the money goes to research inspires us. When we raise money, we can tell that people trust the Society. Research is the way of the future; it is clear that if we want to prevent and hope to cure all types of cancer one day. We all believe in it.”
Just one year later, without any warning and just a few months before the 4th edition, cancer took hold of one of the committee members: Julie’s father was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. He passed away just 3 and a half months after receiving his diagnosis, precisely 4 days after the Marche du Rêve Day.
“I don’t think that things in life happen haphazardly, our involvement in the cause in some ways prepared us to face this challenge. My father wanted to take part in his last walk, in a wheelchair because he was no longer able to walk. The illness had progressed to that point, but the cause was etched in his heard since we first began to be involved. In his own way, he contributed to the cause until the very end. Now my family and I have double the reasons to continue being involved.”
The committee now awards the Prix Hommage Bruno Duguay award each year in his honour to acknowledge a volunteer’s commitment. Among the recipients have been Hélène Rochon, who initiated the event and without whom none of this would have been possible.
Since 2014, the Journée de la Marche du Rêve has contributed greatly to cancer research. It is with great enthusiasm that all the volunteers continue to organize the Journée de la Marche du Rêve’s future editions in order to continue to outsmart cancer.
You can learn more the Journée de la Marche du Rêve event by visiting the event’s official page.