One local group had a bright debut at the Richmond Hill Farmers Market last Tuesday.
Festooned with orange banners and ribbons, the Dollars for Dylan booth made a colorful statement for its cause: raising funds and awareness for Dylan Moore, the 10-year-old Richmond Hill resident who is battling Leukemia.
A hand-written sign with the words “Hope for Dylan” hung from the booth’s table, calling Dylan “strong and courageous” in his fight against the blood cancer.
Betty Ospina, a neighbor of the Moore family, organized the effort. She and neighbor Rachelle Maricle created orange necklaces, hair bows, pins, t-shirts and other items – all with the logo and message “I wear a ribbon for Dylan,” designed by Ospina – to sell at the market.
“I’m hoping to raise the money for the Moore family, but I’m also hoping to raise awareness,” said Ospina. “I want people to know that Dylan is still fighting this, I want them to sport the logo and I want kids to wear the ribbons on their backpacks at school. I just want people to still be praying for him and thinking about him, and know that he is still battling and it’s going to be a long battle.”
For both women, who have children the same age as Moore, it’s about helping a family in need.
“I have five kids, so anything to do with helping children is fulfilling to me,” said Maricle. “It feels good to help.”
Ospina’s mother, Barbara Houghtby, also helped man the Dollars for Dylan booth.
“Dylan is just so strong … he still smiles through everything,” Houghtby said.
Moore has just finished his first of three years of Chemotherapy. He and his mother, Nancy Moore, made a visit to the booth to thank the group for their work.
The day of the farmers market also happened to be Dylan and his twin brother Dean’s 10th birthday. Ospina felt it was a happy coincidence.
Dollars for Dylan had a successful day at the farmers market, according to Ospina.
“We had a lot of support and we sold tons of t-shirts and jewelry. Many of the people that came out and bought were teachers from the local schools,” she said.
One hundred percent of proceeds from Dollars for Dylan sales benefit the Moore family.
“I felt like it was very successful, like the whole purpose of going out there was achieved,” Ospina said. “A lot of people were asking who Dylan was, others knew who he was and asked for updates … many said they’d be praying for him.”
“The whole community has just been so supportive,” she continued. “Everybody has given so much.”