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Classics in the Country Car Show

Car owners from Northumberland and beyond gathered in support of the Grace Bowen Tribute Fund at the Classics in the Country Car Show.

Organizers Paul and Kerri Hicks along with a small army of volunteers put together the car show. Classics in the Country Car Show is a fundraiser for Grace Bowen childhood cancer research fund at Sick Kids Hospital. For Paul and Kerri the connection is personal, their son was a classmate of Grace. There were 223 registered vehicles and raised $5300.

Though in many ways Classics in the Country was just another car show, it was also a celebration of the courage of a little girl and her family.

In 2014 Grace Bowen was just another typical 8 year-old. She went to school, played with her friends, and enjoyed hockey. All that would soon change however.

Andrea Bowen, Greg Bowen, and Paul Hicks.

Andrea Bowen, Greg Bowen, and Paul Hicks.

Bumps and strains are just part of the game of hockey. Grace come off the ice with an apparent strain and like most parents Andrea and Greg Bowen were concerned, but felt that it would pass. It did not. Over the course of the next eight weeks Grace saw several doctors and even a chiropractor to resolve her persistent pain. The ah-ha moment came when Grace saw a doctor in Peterborough who had experience with childhood cancer.

Grace was immediately referred to Toronto’s SickKids, Dr. Sevan HopyanShe was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.  Osteosarcoma is most prevalent in teenagers and young adults and is the most common form of primary bone cancer.

Community support for Grace soon rallied and fundraisers at her school (Grafton Public School) and her community were started. Initially $60,000 was raised. Andrea and Greg Bowen felt that the funds would better serve childhood cancer research and created a trust fund.

Andrea and Greg Bowen with their daughter MacKenzie have chosen to honour Grace’s memory by continuing to tell her story and raising awareness of the need for pediatric cancer research. Better than $200,00 has now been raised for pediatric cancer research by the Grace Bowen Tribute Fund.

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photos and story by Bill Samuel

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