Laval police donated $46,024 to help people with head trauma last week.
The money came from sales of the 2017 dog calendar. Lieutenant Benoit Martel from the Laval Police canine squad handed the cheque to the Fondation Martin-Matte in a ceremony last Wednesday.
“Every year, we sell calendars and give the money to the victims of head trauma,” said Constable Evelyne Boudreau. “The project began after the death of our master dog handler Éric Lavoie in 2008.”
Lavoie suffered a brain injury after he lost control of his vehicle rushing to a call with his police dog Lava in 2005. The 32-year-old father never recovered. He went into a coma and remained confined to a bed until his death.
Lavoie’s death hit his colleagues hard. They decided to commemorate his memory by selling a calendar of photos of their dogs for charity.
That same year, the Fondation Martin-Matte opened their first residence for head-trauma victims in Auteuil in 2008, so they were a good partner for the project. Eleven people with head trauma or other physical disabilities can live in the home. Since then, the Foundation has opened nine more residences, including one in Laval-Ouest.
The project has contributed more than $300,000 to the Martin-Matte Foundation since it began.
The 2017 version of the dog calendar features photos of Boots, Finder, Ozzy, Rika, Tanzi and other dogs that form part of the squad. It sold for $5 at police stations and IGA supermarkets throughout Laval since it was produced last October.