One very special Christmas helper  ŏđŏ

chocolate pops. The seven-year-old Rocklander figured a hot chocolate stand was just the ticket for his first major effort at raising money for the Make a Wish Foundation (Prescott-Russell chapter). His mother, Jennifer Cuillerier, noted that he is just taking a more active and personal part in what has become a family tradition begun in his name. “When I had him, he was so healthy, that it was important for us to give back to the community,” she said. Every year, instead of buying gifts for the newest member of the Cuillerier fam- ily, Noa’s parents and relatives and friends would pool their gift money together and donate it in his name. As Noa grew older he wanted to join in the tradition too some- how, watching TV commercials and specials about children in need and asking his par- ents what he could do to make things bet- ter. “He’s kind of grown up that way,” said Jen- nifer Cuillerier, “wanting to help others.” Noa tried to make a start this past sum- mer on doing his own fundraising for char- ity by doing what most kids do: set up a lemonade stand. He had a sign made up and ready but his parents knew that the quiet little neighbourhood where they lived wasn’t going to result in much business. That’s when the Christmas hot chocolate stand project was born. “He was all like ‘We can make this,’” Jenni- fer said, smiling. A family brainstorm session took place a few days before the weekend of the Santa Parade. It was understood from the start that Noa would be Management, manning the stand and taking the orders. “Just me,”Noa said, grinning. Come Sunday afternoon, Noa was set up along the sidewalk with his stand, hot chocolate in a pitcher with refills in an urn set back a little way, and plates of cookies and other treats courtesy of his aunt, Leslie. By the end of the evening, after the tail end of the parade had passed by, Noa had collected $704. Part of the money goes to the Make a Wish Foundation’s Prescott- Russell branch and part to the Ottawa Hu- mane Society on behalf of Noa’s dog, Sierra, a Golden Lab/Retriever cross who has an enzyme deficiency and needs medication to help her digest her food. Although busy serving his customers, Noa did manage to slip a couple treats to two special clients. “He ran out and gave Santa and Mrs. Claus a cookie,” said his mother, smiling.

Photos Gregg Chamberlain


R OC KL AN D | N oa C uillerier is a little boy with a big heart. If he has any kind of a special wish for the season, it just may be that all kids have a happy Christmas. For sure, he’s doing his part to help make that wish come true for other children in the Prescott-Russell re- gion. With a little help from his family. Noa became a very familiar figure for folks waiting around at the corner of the intersec- tion of Laurier Avenue and Edwards for the arrival of the Santa Claus Parade on a damp and chill Sunday afternoon. A very welcome figure too, with his pitcher of hot chocolate and plates full of homemade cookies and

Open for business: Noa Cuillerier knows location and timing are essential to success.

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Noa Cuillerier learned the value of helping others from his family.

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