Top News

First apple picking day in years, after son diagnosed with leukemia

Paula Pickering and her three-year-old son, Jacob Costain, enjoy picking apples with their family for the first fall in years after Costain was diagnosed with leukemia.
Paula Pickering and her three-year-old son, Jacob Costain, enjoy picking apples with their family for the first fall in years after Costain was diagnosed with leukemia.

Hundreds flocked to Arlington Orchards to pick perfectly ripened and bursting with flavor apples for Shriner’s Family Day.

And for Paula Pickering and her three-year-old son, Jacob Costain, it was a very special Sunday.

“Today is one of the first days we have been able to come out for fall, and enjoy apple picking because Jacob was in isolation last year, as well as the year prior, so it’s a really fun day for him,” she said, with a smile.

Costain was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2015.

“We travelled to Toronto and he had two stem cell transplants from an unrelated donor. But we found out in April of this year that he went into remission. And this is a great day for us. He is having lots of fun running around. It’s just a really good day for the family.”

The event, presented by the Red Oak Shrine Club and Arlington Orchards, raises funds for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Montreal.

Madelynn Gaudet, aged three, reaches for a perfectly ripened apple at Arlington Orchards for her family, on Sunday morning.

“We hope to raise somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000,” said David Crocker, the president of the Red Oak Shrine Club. “And that includes the generosity from Barry Balsom, who has given us part of his apple sales, plus what we make in the canteen.”

The annual event that allows families to pick the best apple variety for cooking, eating, preserving, or just experimenting, now in its 13th year, also serves three purposes.

Kevin Crozier, the grand master of Masons of Prince Edward Island, dressed up as a clown to entertain families while apple picking at Arlington Orchards.

“It raises money for the Shriner’s hospitals for children, travel expenses for the families, as well as provides a vehicle for parents to come with their kids and have a good Sunday afternoon,” explained Crocker.

The highlights included children’s play area, old fashion games, and prizes for the winners, as well as wagon rides.

Derek Rowe and his daughter, Maggie enjoying the crisp fall weather at Arlington Orchards on Sunday.

“It’s a bit of work to put up, but it’s a lot of fun,” Crocker added.

Newsroom@journalpioneer.com

Latest News