NEWS 03:00 AM by Lance Anderson  Peterborough This Week

Family to camp the summer in style with donation of new travel trailer by Great Canadian RV

The mother of a six-year-old girl named Harper, who has a rare neurogenetic disorder, is looking forward to the memories she and her family will soon create. On July 27, the family, who has asked their surnames be withheld from publication, are receiving a new camper trailer thanks to the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Great Canadian RV near Peterborough. It was Harper’s wish to be together with her family outdoors.

Once the wish was made, money was provided to the family, who lives near the northern part of the City of Kawartha Lakes, to purchase a used travel trailer. That led the mom to call Great Canadian RV to see what they had in stock. But little did she know that call would turn into an outpouring of generosity from not only Great Canadian RV, but several other businesses who are making sure the family will create those outdoor memories in style.

Instead of a used trailer, they will receive a new Coachmen Catalina Summit, complete with hitch, brake control, bedding, towing mirrors, dishes, camping chairs for four, awning mat, Global extended warranty for six years, one year paid insurance, explorer RV club membership, cleaning products and an RV starter kit. “It’s amazing. I can’t put it into words,” said the mom, when contacted by Peterborough This Week and

She said Harper’s condition is difficult to manage, adding she, her husband and the girl’s younger brother do what they can to make sure her life is rich and full and that she feels included. And having someone provide that to the family, makes the gift even more meaningful.

“To have someone come in and make sure life can still be fun … and then have companies come in and say, ‘Don’t worry — we got this” is a relief because someone is helping us,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing because it’s an opportunity to make memories.”

Harper is diagnosed with Angelman syndrome, a rare neurogenetic disorder that typically presents with developmental delay, difficult-to-treat epilepsy, sensory, movement and sleep disorders and complex communication needs (nonverbal). Despite these challenges, the young girl loves to explore outside; however, her condition causes her to be quickly affected by heat, adverse weather and bugs. Having a travel trailer to protect her provides the girl with the shelter she needs to be comfortable.

In addition to camping excursions, the mom, said they will also use the trailer to save money on accommodations during hospital visits. They also plan to use the trailer for visiting family because they will have a comfortable place to stay that’s set up with what Harper needs. Stacey Robinson, co-owner of Great Canadian RV with her husband Al, said it didn’t take long for other businesses to jump on board to help the family. That included the Coachman manufacturer, which partnered with the dealership, located near Fowler’s Corners to provide a free trailer. Robinson then reached out to other industry partners asking for anything else that could be donated. No matter whom she called, Robinson said, she was greeted with a “resounding yes.”

“We are gratified to have had such a tremendous outpouring of support from our industry partners and staff. Camping and RVing represent the fondest of memories for many. It is truly a pleasure to be involved in giving Harper and her family the opportunity to make memories of their own,” said Robinson.

These businesses will be thanked during an open house event on July 27 at the dealership, at 7960 Highway 7 near Peterborough. It’s then the new trailer will be given to the family during a special unveiling with Canadian country singer James Barker. He will be on hand to move his tour bus to unveil the trailer and other donations that will be given to the family.

The open house is open to the public and will also include samplings from Moosehead Breweries, performances by Jordy Jackson and Kansas Stone, and a meet-and-greet with Barker. A charity barbecue will also be held by Personal Touch Catering, with donations benefiting the Children’s Wish Foundation.

For more information about the open house, call Great Canadian RV at 705-741-4155.

Courtesy of Lance Anderson

Lance Anderson is a photographer/reporter with Peterborough This Week and