Island tour

PEI Easter Seals school fundraising tour ends ‘with tears of joy’

It’s been an exciting week for Easter Seals PEI Ambassador Vaeda Matheson.

She wrapped up her Island school fundraising tour on Wednesday with her final stop at her own school, West Kent Elementary in Charlottetown.

“We just finished the tour and I’m really sad,” Matheson said. “It’s really fun and exciting.”

She said her favorite parts of the tour were hanging out with friends she invited on the tour bus, eating free food and “going to all the schools and seeing these little kids to smile”.

Matheson served as an ambassador for two years because of the pandemic and hadn’t been on a school tour during that time.

“Helping other children”

Matheson lives with cerebral palsy.

She has visited every school on the island over the past week, collecting donations to help disabled children on the island.

“It’s really nice to know that I’m helping other kids,” she said.

West Kent raised the most money for Easter stamps of any school: over $6,000.

“I was really shocked…I was crying so hard,” Matheson said. “With tears of joy though.”

Vaeda Matheson cries what she says are ‘tears of joy’ as she wraps up her Easter Seals school tour at her own school, West Kent Elementary, which has raised more than $6,000 for disabled children in the Prince Edward Island. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC)

“West Kent was really, really emotional for me,” she said, as she is close to her classmates who were all there to dance, sing and cheer her on with hand-printed signs.

“Whenever I’m in a bad mood, all my classmates cheer me up and I think on the bright side, so I just want to salute my class, 5A.”

She also thanked her teacher, principal, vice-principal and PEI Minister of Education, Natalie Jameson, who joined Matheson on the day-long tour.

Tim Hortons of Prince Edward Island has sponsored the tour for 41 years.