Dérick’s Pancake Day has become a spring tradition in Eastern Ontario.

Hundreds of people attended the 10th annual event on April 20, held at Sucrerie du Ruban near Ste-Anne-de Prescott where pancakes were served up for a dollar apiece in support of the Eastern Ontario chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

The organization grants wishes to children who are undergoing treatment for serious, life-threatening illnesses.

The wish granted at Dérick’s Pancake Day went to a 12-year-old girl name Denise who has leukemia.  Her number one wish was to go to Walt Disney World and the Epcot Center in Florida—and that wish has come true.  She was to be at the pancake day for the announcement but was unable to attend when she developed a fever which translated into a trip to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa.

Denise’s wish is just one of 20 that the Make-a-Wish Foundation has helped make possible across Eastern Ontario in the past year.

Joanne Cardinal, who co-owns the maple sugar farm with her husband Réjean, said the event started in memory of their late son Derick, who loved maple syrup season.

She estimated that the event has raised more than $150,000 over the past decade.

“It’s a great day,” said Cardinal.

Among the donations made at this year’s event was $6,000 collected by a group of lawyers in Montréal, and $1,000 raised from returning empty cans and bottles.

Volunteers flipped pancakes and kept a steady supply of them ready for hungry, helpful people at the counter.  At one dollar each for a good cause and topped with maple syrup from the woods surrounding the cabane-à-sucre, they were literally going like hotcakes.

There was also a silent auction, children’s activities, and musical performances by local bands, including 50 Proof.

Joanne and Réjean Cardinal holding an afghan with a clue about where 12-year-old Denise’s wish destination is. Photo: James Morgan