Since 2015, The Village of Glendale Crossing in London has quietly worked on a variety of fundraising efforts to help residents realize some of the desires in life they’ve never had an opportunity to grasp.
Jim Sharrard got hold of his at 100 miles an hour on a bright Saturday in early September.
Led by the Village Advisory Team, which helps guide the village in its continual efforts to change the culture of aging in the home, bake sales, cheesecake afternoons and chili cook-offs put money into a fund that fuels the “Dreamcatchers” Program. “It’s fundraising to help change life quality for residents,” as recreation director Holly Ross says. A box sits in the community centre where residents can place their wishes and whenever possible, the team works to help those wishes come to light.
A 98-year-old resident had her first ride in a limousine when the program first launched, and since then several residents have benefited.
Jim was the beneficiary of the village’s enthusiasm when he had the opportunity to suit up and ride shotgun in a proper racecar. His initial wish was to experience the sensation of skydiving and the team went so far as to take him to the same Oakville iFly simulator that a fellow Schlegel Villages resident would later experience, but forces conspired against him that day and he was unable to fly. When the team asked if there was any other wish they could help come true, the idea of careening the oval of a racetrack in a car at high speeds came to his mind almost instantly.
That adrenaline-seeking speed junkie is still on fire within him, and to travel 100 miles an hour on a bright September day, “was a really good feeling,” he says. “It was a rush to go that fast again – I felt young again.”
He even managed a little extra time on the track and few extra miles an hour after explaining how in his younger days his motorcycle was his outlet. “The man really saw my passion for speed and wanted to give me an extra lap,” says Jim.
He’s grateful to team members Alissa Haskell, Kevin Sauer and Erin Seldon, as well as his brother Ozzy and his wife Brenda for creating the perfect day for a fast ride.
“If it wasn’t for a lot of effort from the team I would not have been able to achieve my adrenaline-filled wish,” he says. “The people at Delaware Speedway were so great and I am so thankful to everyone who had a part in making my wish come true.” Jim also wants to thank The Delaware Speedway and Rusty Wallace Racing Experience Team for being “so accommodating and amazing.”