Lola Bower was born with a heart too big for this tiny world. She lived 16 days, back in 2015.
Her parents, Geoff and Ofelia, and big sister Mar, miss her everyday and throughout the years have made it an annual commitment to celebrate her life and contribute to SickKids Hospital in her memory.
The first year they walked on Queen Street East towards her memorial bench at the bottom of Kenilworth Avenue white pulling Mar, who was 3 years old at the time, in a wagon.
They told people about Lola while Mar would offer her candy in exchange for donations to SickKids.
Over the last six years the event has become a little bigger.
On Saturday Oct. 23, a large group of friends and community members, about 150 people, met at her bench, where they sang Happy Birthday to Lola while children released balloons to the sky.
Then Geoff and Ofelia both spoke and introduced nurse Felicity Barons, who was with them the moment Lola passed away, and they spoke about the humanity that Felicity and SickKids Hospital brought to this very difficult time for their family.
It is now their wish to continue to help other kids and give them a better chance through this fundraising effort, the Lola Dip.
Approximately 50 people braved going into Lake Ontario, without wetsuits, as a symbol of being able to get through challenges with community support and strength.
Mar’s music teacher from St Denis Catholic School, Marie McBride, volunteered to sing a couple of songs. Her performance of Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love had people in tears, and the Beatles’ Hey Jude got everyone singing and dancing along.
Pizza was donated by Sud Forno (Terroni) and enjoyed by all.
To date $9, 155 has been raised for Lola Dip 2021 taking the total fundraising efforts over the years to $24,738.
When her fund reaches $25,000, a plaque with Lolas name will be placed in the lobby of SickKids.
For tax deductible donations, please visit her memorial page at https://bit.ly/2TiOtxI
— By Ofelia Loret de Mola, Lola’s mom