When Raymonde’s husband, Justin, 47, passed away from an aggressive form of colon cancer, she was devastated. But, she was committed to keeping his memory alive for their children Chloe and Jasper.

She started by asking friends and family to honour Justin’s memory with a donation to the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Camp Pine Crest.

“Justin truly loved the outdoors and his passion for canoeing was sparked during his days at Pine Crest.” explains Raymonde fondly.

Justin attended Camp Pine Crest in the mid-1980s as a Counsellor in Training, counsellor and canoe guide. Raymonde says camp helped Justin, a contractor by trade, developed entrepreneurial and leadership skills.

This year, Chloe and Jasper were excited to follow in their father’s footsteps as campers at Pine Crest. Raymonde says they were proud to see Justin’s staff photo on the wall.

“They loved camp and have wonderful memories to share. Justin gave them the foundation -- the love of the outdoors and nature. They have the opportunity to pick up where their dad left off.”

As for Raymonde, she says it’s easy to get stuck but is adapting and the kids are propelling her forward.

“This is my Everest to climb.”

“I just hope more kids have the chance to experience Pine Crest because of Justin.”

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