Jayla Singleton, daughter of Travis and Amy Singleton, spends a lot of time at the rink, but on May 31 she was surprised and excited to see all her friends and bouncy castles there instead of a hockey game.
However, the biggest surprise was yet to come.
Jayla held her hands to her face, while Shawna Cudmore rolled out the lime green bike, complete with a purple helmet and festooned with helium-filled balloons. With a wide smile, she climbed on the bike and was quickly riding around the rink as her family and friends watched, many with tears in their eyes.
A 13-year-old girls, Jayla was born with 1P36 Micro Deletion Syndrome and her disability makes riding a regular bike difficult. Jayla rode a bike for a period of time last year, provided by Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, but it was needed by others throughout the province.
Cudmore, a playschool teacher in Wawota, shared how much she enjoyed watching Jayla on the bike last year and decided to see if she could start fundraising for a permanent solution.
She approached community groups and with the help of Wawota Lions ($1,000), Kenosee Lions ($250), Mountney Ladies ($200), OneChurch.ca (donating bouncers and food), Jayla’s Grade 6 class bake sale ($689.05) and a supper at the arena on May 31 ($1,472.75), they were able to cover the cost of the bike and have a little left over.
With the help of Wascana, PH Mobility and KNR courier, Cudmore ordered the bike and arranged to have it at the rink in time for the fundraiser Friday night. Kyla West, Jennifer Greenbank, Brandy Russill, Jenn Prince, Tami Dovell, Barb Swanson and Trevor Latham all helped with the supper, as well.
The leftover funds will be put towards Jayla attending a 1P36 Micro Deletion conference in the United States.
Cudmore said the best part of the night for her was when the rink was empty and Jayla asked if she could ride the bike again. She had the whole rink to herself and her friends were in the stands cheering her on while she made lap after lap with the biggest smile on her face.