Home Sacha's Park
Champlain Township helps the dream become a realityOn June 9, 2014, the Chenier family suffered a tremendous loss: one of their sons, Sacha, died following complications from his medical condition. Jacquelyn, Jason and their other son Sebastien were devasted but they decided to do something for all people, not just those who face similar challenges. The idea of Sacha’s Park was born.
The Cheniers bought a parcel of land in the La Seigneurie residential development in L’Orignal. The plan is to transfer this land to Champlain Township and to tranform it into an accessible park, one fitted with adapted – and interactive – play structures and which will be easily accessed, for users of all abilities. Hence, children of all ages and their adult friends and relatives would use the premises. No longer would those who are challenged remain on the sidelines and merely watch the others play.
Fundraising driveThe Chenier family approached Champlain Township to help in fundraising efforts. Purchasing the special play structures is expensive and a maintenance program will be required to preserve the premises. This project will be done in stages and donations will be of utmost value. On March 11, 2015, the elected officials agreed to support a fundraising drive for « Sacha’s Park » (the Chenier family has created a Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Sachaspark.)
There are two ways to contribute to « Sacha’s Park ». The first will prove useful for those contributors who are not residents in this region. The Chenier family has set up an account on GoFundMe.com. Please be advised that people wishing to donate through this method of payment will not be issued receipts for tax purposes. Link to GoFundMe.com: http://www.gofundme.com/EveryoneCanPlay
The second way is to donate to a fund which Champlain Township has created for « Sacha’s Park ». The Municipality will issue tax receipts for donations upwards of $20.00 CDN.
Please show your generosity and help create this innovative and inclusive park with its play structures. Donate when you can in memory of Sacha.
Who was Sacha Chenier?
Sacha was born in 2002. He suffered from cerebral palsy, blindness, epilepsy and cognitive delays. Despite these challenges, the yound boy lived life to the fullest with the loving support of parents Jason and Jacquelyn and older brother Sebastien. He was also popular at his school, École élementaire catholique Paul VI in Hawkesbury.
In 2010, the Eastern Ontario chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation granted the Chenier family a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. The whole family enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime trip. However, it was during an off-premises moment that the spark for “Sacha’s Park” was ignited.
Father Jason Jason Chenier recalled that older brother Sebastien stated that one of the best times he had while on the trip was the opportunity to push his little brother’s wheelchair in a specially-adapted park at a special resort, not far from the world-renowned amusement park. Sacha’s delight was obvious as his brother made him tour the premises; the young boy also had a try on a special swing. Sadly, it was the only time Sacha got to try this all-time popular ride.
The Chenier family turned their grief into positive action. A Facebook page simply called “smiles for Sacha day” was created which attracted thousands of visitors. On December 19, 2014, which would have been Sacha’s birthday, his schoolmates honoured his memory during “Smiles for Sacha” day. The Facebook page encouraged readers to do something kind for people in order to make them smile. Over 1,000 friends, family and strangers took up this challenge.
As “Sacha’s Park” gets closer to becoming a reality, Sacha Chenier’s memory will live on, to the delight of those who were touched by him, but also for all generations to partake in simple fun… that of playing together. “Sacha’s Park… Where EVERYONE can play”.
Suggested reading:“Sacha’s Park: Where EVERYONE Can Play” (PDF document explaining the playground project)
Sacha's Park - How you can donateIf you would like to donate to Sacha’s Park, there are two ways to do so: