Allergy/Asthma Information Association

Ring Toss Tournament
Peanut Allergy Research Fundraiser

On June 17th, 2006, Deb and Jim LeVangie, AAIA volunteers from Afton, Nova Scotia, spearheaded a 'Washer Toss Tournament' to raise funds for peanut allergy research. The Tournament opened with the singing of O Canada by Matthew LeVangie's grade two classmates.

Matthew LeVangie with Louise Boyle who was the top fundraiser, collecting approximately $800
Matthew LeVangie with Louise Boyle who was the top fundraiser, collecting approximately $800

Deb and Jim's son Matthew, age 8, has a life-threatening allergy to peanuts and they realized how important education and awareness are in dealing daily with peanut allergy and the other allergies their son must deal with from day to day.

According to Deb LeVangie “Our son developed a peanut allergy, having his first and only anaphylactic reaction to peanuts in August, 1999 at 18 months old. Our lives changed forever on that day. Matthew saw Dr. Kapur in October of the same year and an allergy test was done to confirm, what is, a lifetime anaphylactic peanut allergy. Matthew is also allergic to cats, dogs, horses, dust mites, molds, trees, grass and tree nuts. Matthew also has asthma which is well controlled. Our son is fortunate to be with the same classmates since grade primary. He attends a “Peanut Smart” school which just this past year has made the P-4 wing peanut free. We've taught Matthew “Nowhere is completely safe, Always have your EpiPen®, Wear your MedicAlert® bracelet and Make sure all ingredients are safe before you put it in your mouth.

Matthew and Justin LeVangie with tournament winners Brian and Charlene Kelly
Matthew and Justin LeVangie with tournament winners Brian and Charlene Kelly

“Jim and I decided it was long overdue to start increasing awareness, educating and focusing a fundraiser on hopes for the future” says Deb LeVangie. “We targeted our fundraiser toward peanut allergy research. Under the wonderful guidance of Gloria Shanks, Atlantic Coordinator of the AAIA, we became the Peanut Allergy Research Team (PART). The fundraiser we chose was a Washer Toss Tournament played much like horseshoes. The glory of this game is that anyone of any age can play. The contestants at the tournament ranged in age from 10 years to 79.”

Several executive meetings were held with great support deriving from extended family members and close friends. The Afton Ball field was acquired for the tournament and after much work by these great volunteers to improve the conditions of the field the tournament plans were well on their way. Volunteers went to local businesses to request donations. Smaller gift donations went to a door prize draw. Bigger donations went to the Silent Auction.

Deb LeVangie and Ken Boyle, who raised the second highest amount of pledges, $700
Deb LeVangie and Ken Boyle, who raised the second highest amount of pledges, $700

Many other businesses donated their time and supplies free of charge including all the trophies that were given out that day were donated by a local business. Four local teens provided their services under supervision of one of the adults to run the canteen facilities and a local DJ Trevor Boudreau and his wife Crystal supplied the musical entertainment for the day.

Deb LeVangie reports that “The Peanut Allergy Research Team raised $7600.00 for peanut research and education. Jim and I ended the day with a well deserved ‘THANK YOU’ to all, as we held back our tears of joy. Special thanks to Gloria Shanks for her direction, encouragement and tremendous support. You were definitely a God-send.”

NOTE: On behalf of the Allergy/Asthma Information Association, I take this opportunity as Atlantic Coordinator to personally thank Jim and Deb LeVangie, long time members of the AAIA, for their tireless efforts put forth on a wonderful and successful fundraiser in this region. You are to be commended for the hours you and your wonderful volunteers put forth for peanut allergy research and education.

Thank you,
Gloria Shanks, AAIA Atlantic Coordinator

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