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Tatamagouche family uses baked goods to raise money for wheelchair accessible van

Coulson Mattatall, an 18-year-old from Tatamagouche, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was born. After receiving corrective surgery on his back in 2016, he can no longer be transported without his wheelchair, and requires a specialized van to get around. To raise money for the van, his family has created Cookies for Coulson, a campaign to raise money through selling baked goods.
Coulson Mattatall, an 18-year-old from Tatamagouche, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was born. After receiving corrective surgery on his back in 2016, he can no longer be transported without his wheelchair, and requires a specialized van to get around. To raise money for the van, his family has created Cookies for Coulson, a campaign to raise money through selling baked goods. - Submitted

TATAMAGOUCHE, N.S. – Nothing beats grandma’s baking. At least, that’s what one family is hoping as they raise money for their brother by selling baked goods and crafts.

Cookies for Coulson is a fundraising campaign started by Sharon Mattatall and granddaughter Erin Mattatall to help raise money for Erin’s brother Coulson, an 18-year-old Tatamagouche boy youth with cerebral palsy.

“It started with cookies, but we ended up doing way better than we ever anticipated in the beginning,” said Erin Mattatall.

“With help from the community, we’ve branched out into a bunch of different fundraisers like selling Christmas trees my grandmother made, a pancake supper and a craft sale too. We also have a bunch of different upcoming fundraisers planned, such as a bottle drive, a silent auction at the rec centre and a dance.”

The Mattatalls hope to use the money they raise to buy a wheelchair-accessible van, needed to transport Coulson.

Until 2016, Coulson could be lifted into vehicles when he travelled. But after undergoing surgery to correct his posture by placing steel rods in his back, he can no longer be lifted without a medical lifting device and can’t be transported without his wheelchair.

“We wanted to fundraise but we didn’t want to just have it given to us,” said Mattatall.

“We wanted to do something in return for the people donating to us. We thought about what we are good at, what we could do and we came back to my grandmother’s baking.”

Starting at the end of August, the grandmother and granddaughter duo began selling cookies, donuts and pies through bake sales and at a local butcher shop in Tatamagouche, Dexter’s Butcher Block, and ended up selling out in no time.

“Nan has 12 grandkids, and we always thought her baking was amazing, but we didn’t realize how crazy the community would go for it,” said Mattatall.

“Her donuts are the biggest sellers. We sold way more donuts and pies at first than we expected, so we held a second bake sale really quickly afterwards.”

Since starting their campaign, they have raised just over $25,000 and are half way to their goal of $50,000, which will cover the cost of a van for Coulson.

“We actually have a van secured now too,” said Mattatall.

“There was a local man who bought the exact van we need for his wife, but she unfortunately passed away shortly afterwards. He has contacted us and said he will hold the van while we finish our fundraising, which is incredible.”

So far, the fundraising has been quite successful. With a handful of fundraising events planned for coming months, support from the community and a $10,000 anonymous donation, Mattatall hopes they’ll be able to get her brother the van in no time.

“We think it would be amazing if we could get the van by June when Coulson graduates high school, but that may be cutting it close,” she said.

“Reaching our goal by sometime this summer would be really cool though.”

cody.mceachern@trurodaily.com

Coulson’s a big hockey fan, doesn’t mind a good joke

TATAMAGOUCHE, N.S. – Coulson Mattatall, an 18-year-old from Tatamagouche, spends most of his days in a wheelchair.

He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he and his twin brother were born four months premature at the IWK.

Even though the condition makes some situations difficult, Coulson hasn’t let it dampen his spirit.

“He gets really excited at the fundraiser events,” said Erin Mattatall, Coulson’s sister.

“He came to the pancake supper and didn’t eat any pancakes but he just hung out and said hi to everyone. One of his teachers put on an open mic night at the local arts centre, he went to that and thought it was just great.”

Coulson is set to graduate from North Colchester High School in June. He enjoys movies, practical jokes and especially sports.

“He’s absolutely obsessed with hockey,” said Mattatall.

“He loves Sidney Crosby and is probably the number one fan of the Truro Bearcats. He actually went to get his haircut a few weeks ago, and when he went in, he took in a picture of (Bearcats captain) Campbell Pickard as the inspiration for his haircut.”

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