Boot Shrine Club comes to the aid of Grand Bank teenager

Published on May 11, 2017

Erica Alcock enjoys riding her new tricycle around the neighbourhood. Her mother Denise controls the bike from a handle in the back.

©Carl Rose/Special to The Southern Gazette

GRAND BANK, NL — Shriners from the Burin Peninsula are making a big difference in the life of a Grand Bank teenager.

The Boot Shrine Club, a part of Shiners International, recently donated a special adaptable tricycle to Erica Alcock who has cerebral palsy. 

Erica’s mother, Denise, is delighted with the Shriners $3000 donation, explaining that given her daughter’s disability, the tricycle is essential to her physical and emotional development.

“Erica is a student at John Burke High School, but cannot participate in gym activities because there is nothing available for her to become active,” she said. “She sets on the stage watching or goes for short walks since she can’t walk long distances. The tricycle can be used in the gym and will solve this problem.”

“She needs to be able to exercise to keep her weight under control and her muscles strong.  The tricycle will definitely help with that,” she said. “It will also be good for her emotional development helping her feel more like everyone else because she will be on a bike like other kids.”

Erica has already been riding the tricycle around the neighbourhood and her mother said she loves it.

“We thank the Boot Shrine Club,” Denise said. “It is much appreciated and it is great to know there are organizations out there to sponsor children like this when they need special equipment.”

Noble Gary Higgins noted that Shriners operate 22 hospitals for children that reach out to children from birth to age 18 who have need in the areas of orthopedics, burns, spinal cord disorders, and cleft lip and palate.

“It was our heart-filled pleasure to donate the money needed to purchase a special tricycle for Erica which is greatly needed for her development,” he said.