Last year, Shelburne’s annual fiddle competition was rocked by a tragic accident. The effects of Natasha Paterson’s death rippled throughout the community, impacting it in the kind of heavy way that the loss of
any youth causes. Like many others before her, however, her life left a lasting impact that has inspired her family to help others in her name.
On Sunday, August 21, the 1st Annual Natasha Paterson Memorial Car/Truck show will be held at the Natasha Paterson Memorial Park. The show doubles as a fundraiser to be able to help fund a children’s program at Bethel House, and assist families through Dufferin Child and Family Services. “I wanted to try and help other people in the community, ideally [for] charities to raise money to help them,” said Duncan Paterson, Natasha’s father and the organizer of the event. “I wanted to try and keep Natasha’s memory alive.” Duncan explained that he wanted to do something that would not just help the community, but reflect both Natasha and his passions as well. “I’ve always had old cars, it’s something I’ve been involved in since I was 18,” he said. “Natasha and I used to go out for rides in my classic car—usually I would take her out for ice cream at Dairy Queen or take her to the shows with me.” A big reason they wanted the charity to be such a community-oriented event was largely because of Natasha’s passion for her community and getting involved. “She was a big participant in the fall fair, the fiddle parade, and a Girl Guide,” added Duncan.
“She planted trees in the community, helped out in the old folks’ home; she was always trying to help others. I guess this is my way of keeping that going.” Along with plenty of cars and trucks, the show will also include a live jazz band, food cart, and the Fresh Radio (CHAY 93.1) fun team. There will also
hopefully be a magician and face-painting for the kids. In true Automotive Show fashion, there will also be prizes for anyone who brings their car, as well as a silent auction, t-shirts for sale for the show, and a 50/50 draw (licensed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation), to raise money for both organizations. “The first 150 cars that show up will get a dash cloth, and we also have thank you cards and note pads being printed that note it is the 1st Annual Natasha Memorial Car/Truck Show,” said Duncan. “Hopefully it will get bigger and better as the years go on.” The proceeds from the entire event will go to Bethel House Hospice and Dufferin Child and Family Services, and Duncan has asked each organization to try to do something child related with the funds. “Bethel House has talked about looking at a bereavement program for kids, or possibly a dog therapy program if they can get enough funds,” said Duncan. “With DCAFS, I’ve asked if there are any families being assisted by DCAFS with children in SickKids, that we could help them out.” If there are no families currently with children at SickKids that are involved with DCAFS, Duncan plans on using the funds to purchase gift cards to local grocery stores to assist struggling single parents with providing food for their kids. “Natasha loved nothing more than to help other kids, and I think she would love this,” added Duncan. There is no charge for spectators to come and enjoy the event, but Duncan added they are asking for donations. For vehicles, there is a $10 entry fee, which will go to the two charities being supported. “I would really just like people to come out and show their support,” said Duncan. “Whether it’s to support the charities, or Natasha’s legacy. Her passing affected a lot of people in the community, and
it affected a lot of people in the horse community. Maybe this will be a way of getting some closure.” This past weekend marked the one-year anniversary of Natasha’s passing, and Duncan explained that he hopes through helping other children locally, he can help her memory and her legacy to live on. “Every day is difficult,” he said. “Your kids are not supposed to die before you. And definitely not die that young.” The 1st Annual Natasha Paterson Memorial Car/Truck Show will be held on Sunday, August 21, from 10am-4pm at the Natasha Paterson Memorial
Park (formerly Hyland Park) on Gordon Street in Shelburne. For more information on the show, contact Duncan Paterson by phone at 416-898-2163 or email at Duncan@89autosales.com or you can visit their website at www.89autosales.com/natasha/index.htm Written by Tabitha Wells