Santa Scoot helps fill a dream

Help Fill a Dream Foundation provides new bike to six-year-old Saanich boy

Six-year-old Andrei Marti tries out the new bike he received from the Help Fill a Dream Foundation under the watchful eye of Luca Orlandi

Saturday brought an old tradition from Verona, Italy to the downtown streets of Victoria. Luca Orlandi of Famoso Pizzeria on Johnson Street, organized the first annual Santa Scoot; a parade of scooters through downtown Victoria. It ended with the scooters arriving in Market Square, where the festivities included gingerbread men, ‘Frozen’ princesses and a live band.

When asked why he wanted to organize the event, Orlandi said, “On Christmas Eve in Verona, there is a big motorcycle parade through the streets and all the riders collect toys from local businesses for the children. It is a big celebration.”

Orlandi contacted the Help Fill a Dream Foundation and arranged to donate a portion of the proceeds from every pizza sold that day to the foundation.

“It is something I wanted to do for the community of Victoria and to help the kids. Help Fill a Dream was a natural choice for me because they are about helping families and children,” said Orlandi. “Everyone on the streets were smiling and waving. It was just wonderful to see their happy faces.”

As the Santa Scoot involved transportation with two wheels, Help Fill a Dream chose to incorporate a ‘Dream Reveal’ of a bicycle during the event for six-year-old Andrei Marti of Saanich, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes last summer.

“Andrei has been biking since he could walk. It’s a huge part of his life and he wants to do it all the time,” said mom Annelies Browne. “We go to the free-ride park and the big boys there told Andrei that the Rocky Mountain bike is the best, so he’s been wishing for one this Christmas.”

When Santa arrived in Market Square with his dream bike, Andrei was overjoyed. “I can’t believe it,” Andrei said with a smile. “I like biking a lot. This is really, really cool.” When asked what his favourite part about the new bike was, Andrei said, “The handle bar break…I’ve never had one before.”

Since his diagnosis, Andrei has become an active volunteer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He has also participated in the Pedal for the Cure fundraiser, when he cycled for three hours.

“Cycling helps Andrei manage the diabetes by keeping him active. Help Fill a Dream is an incredible foundation and we’re so grateful for this gift,” said Browne. “We’re going to be very busy at the bike park now.”

Help Fill a Dream is an Island-based foundation that helps children with life-threatening conditions fulfill their dreams. The foundation relies solely on funds generated by the community. To make a donation or any enquiries, email contact@helpfilladream.com or call 250-382-3135.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich roads doused in more than 300 tonnes of salt during snowstorm

Crews cleared roads around the clock during the mid-January storm

Three Saanich councillors ask for $2-M investment into District road safety

‘I don’t want roads to be safer in 30 years, I want them safer now,’ says Coun. Ned Taylor

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

‘We thought it was an earthquake,’ homeowners okay after tree falls

Mature tree falls on roof of Victoria Avenue house

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read