By: Ashley McCubbin
Whether personally, within your own family or friendship circle, everybody has been touched by someone being diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately, some times they are able to beat the disease, while unfortunately it does not always work out that way.
That’s why it’s always important to be spreading awareness and raising funds to help those efforts against it – just as the Dumoulin brothers have been doing over the past five years. After losing their aunt to the disease 10 years ago, they launched the Race Against Cancer initiative, set on raising money for the Quebec Cancer Foundation.
“It started because we wanted to get involved with the cause, because it touched us personally with our family,” J.F. Dumoulin told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “We have people that got cancer, fought pretty hard, and passed away, but all the help that they needed through the fight, the foundation was there for them and their family. So we thought it was a really good cause and we’ve been really happy to talk about that cause and raise money.”
Since forming the initiative five years ago, the need to build it more has only increased in watching more partners and close friends lose their battles against cancer.
“We’re at this point that we want to keep fighting this thing really hard, and it’s great to see other people getting involved with the program to make it a little different than what we’ve done in the past,” L.P. Dumoulin said. “We’ve raised around $78,000 dollars since 2016, and then this year could be really special if we could reach that six figures. It’s very important to keep pushing because we know with COVID going on right now, the cancer isn’t stopping; the cancer just keeps improving with the situation. So we have to help people that are fighting, and the foundation doesn’t just help the people fighting cancer, but the family and people around them. So we have to keep pushing.”
The program for 2021 will include money being raised for the Quebec Cancer Foundation through a special gin crafted by the Distillerie du Quai. Jean Beauchesne, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and liver metastases last June, created a disco playlist to bring some joy into daily lives of those in a similar situation.
He then approached Jean-Francois Rheault about making a gin to the playlist, in knowing Distillerie du Quai is about producing high quality gin with a musical background. “SUPERSONIC”, a London Dry Gin, has been distilled to the playlist created by Beauchesne, and will be available with a $1 from each purchase going to the foundation.
“Our super sonic gin is raised on music as we’re saying,” Rheault commented. “We have speakers about the still that will play the music for each and every batch. So the way we wanted to help Jean with this is Jean, like he said, proposed his own disco playlist. So we played the playlist on the still. Our distillery, the concept is around music, but we also love racing. So it was also a way to combine all these things with this initiative.”
The Quebec Cancer Foundation is the perfect destination for the funds raised as agreed to by all parties in knowing the work they have done in supporting not only cancer patients, but their families. Donations are utilized directly in helping both, with $100 allowing them to welcome to one person for one night into their hospitality. Another example is a $50 donation allowing a patient to get a therapy session.
With the pandemic, the foundation has also been able to adapt in doing a lot of their services virtually, but also has a hotline in-place that is available to residents across Quebec to utilize.
When the NASCAR Pinty’s Series returns to the track in May, the brothers hope to continually expand on their initiative, as they have in years past.
“I am super pumped about it,” L.P. Dumoulin said about the upcoming season. “We usually bring that Race Against Cancer across Canada, from the west coast to the east coast. People are welcomed to come and sign the trunk of our cars with a donation. So this year’s schedule is different with all of our races in Quebec and Ontario as with COVID, we can’t make it across Canada. The first couple races, we’re not sure if we’re going to have fans in the stands, but at least we start racing in May and have a 12-race championship which is good news for us.
“WeatherTech and (Groupe) Bellemare, my two main sponsors, and Dumoulin Competition, my team, are super pumped to try and go get another championship in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. Mainly, we have eight ovals, four road courses, including Trois-Riveres Grand Prix in August. That put a huge smile on my face, on my friend’s faces, my family’s faces, sponsors, as everybody is excited. Hopefully we can get into a more normal season.
“Not going out west is a bummer, but at the same time, the series has worked really hard to give us a championship and that’s really big news. Just getting ready right now, working out, and working with J-F and my team, and we want to win – that’s it.”