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Photo by Debra Downey

Photo by Debra Downey

Celeste Waters, 12, display one of the bracelets she has been selling to raise money for Ride for Sight. With only a few more left to sell, Celeste will soon hand over $520 to the organization that supports the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Celeste’s giving nature helps the blind to see

By Debra Downey, Senior Editor

Mature beyond her years, Celeste Waters has already discovered a famous quote she hopes to use in guiding her life.

American author Mark Twain once wrote, “Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

With that spirit of compassion and generosity in mind, Celeste, 12, has been selling custom-made bracelets for Ride for Sight, a charity that raises awareness of retinal degeneration and blindness, and fundraises to help with research.

With only a few more bracelets left to sell, Celeste will soon hand over $520 to Ride for Sight.

“I’ll feel good because I know I have helped someone in need,” said Celeste.

The Grade 6 Dundas Central Public School student was introduced to the work of Ride for Sight through family friend Nicole Gallant, who this year will host the Ride for Sight in the Sault Ste. Marie area.

Ride for Sight is the longest running motorcycle charity fundraiser in Canada and one of the largest fundraising initiative for vision research in the world. It has raised more than $19 million in support of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. While Ride for Sight participants are primarily motorcyclists, volunteers, fundraisers and supporters include non-motorcyclists and families affected by retinal diseases.

Recovering from some health concerns of her own, Celeste has used the bracelet fundraiser as a way to refocus in a positive manner and give back to the community.

“I wanted to help people who have this disease, and with the research, they can help cure it,” said Celeste.

She added she plans to fundraise for Ride for Sight again next year and is inspired to become involved in her community by her mom, Laurie Waters, and grandfather, Larry Everett.

“Mother’s Day is coming up and this isn’t just a gift for a special mother, but a gift of sight for a special person,” said Celeste.

Now that her own health problems appear to be behind her, Celeste is looking forward to resuming some of her favourite activities like dancing, drama, track and field, baseball and helping out at her school.

For more information on Ride for Sight, visit www.rideforsight.com.

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