‘I love you as big as the ocean’ fundraiser surpasses goal

By Robin Della Corte

Thirty-six-year-old Sébastien Guy, director of communications for JPR Doors came back after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean within 14 days in June and helped raise $30,000, $5,000 more than he had originally aimed for with his goal of $25,000 for the Mélio Foundation.

Since Guy’s return, he was also appointed director on the board of the Mélio Foundation due to the fundraiser’s great success.

“Everyone was so happy when I came back,” Guy said. “I’m very surprised with the result of the fundraiser.”

Each year, JPR Doors does fundraising, however this year marked two firsts: fundraising for Mélio Foundation, which supports the Sainte Justine Children’s Hospital’s Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre (CRME); and having a staff member traverse the Atlantic.

Guy, being a fan of sailing knew sailing across the Atlantic was something he wanted to do, but instead of just doing it for no reason, he decided to link it to the fundraiser.

Guy set sail on this journey with his friend Pierre de Ruelle, whose boat War Eagle traveled 2,500 miles (4630 km) in less than 15 days on June 15. The sturdy 43-foot boat casted off from St. John, Newfoundland, and proceed directly to Brest, France.

“It was a very tough trip to plan,” Guy said. “You need to prepare something everyday; it really is a lot of work.”

Guy claimed the trip went accordingly. Weather however, was the toughest part, with temperatures reaching as low as zero and heavy rain for about three days.

During the trip, each member alternated four hours each at the helm, while the other rests and prepares food. This rotation continued for 15 days until they reached their destination. Au Petit Extra restaurant supplied the ships food. Guy was able to contact his doctor at any time by satellite phone, if needed.

Guy claims that after this trip, he plans on doing something similar to this every year or so to help fundraise for the foundation. He suggests that potentially in the next year or so he’ll climb a mountain, but hasn’t quite yet decided exactly what he’ll do.

“I’m more solid today after the trip,” Guy said. “Now, the biggest problems are smallest today.”

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