Over $100,000 raised by Reid Landry Garrant Foundation

By MAX BOWEN

News Editor

Published: 02-06-2023 4:01 PM

After her son Reid passed away on June 1, 2018 from leukemia, Paula Garrant promised she’d find a way for her son’s name and legacy to live on.

That led to the launch of the Reid Landry Garrant Foundation, which over the last five years has raised more than $100,000 to establish scholarships, make donations to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and provide financial assistance to people who are battling cancer.

The first fundraiser was a cruise aboard The Captain’s Lady in Newburyport, held three months after Reid’s passing, which brought in $12,000, and this has continued over the years. The Night of Giving is another event the foundation runs each year and has raised approximately $60,000 in total.

“We’re just a small foundation but we do everything we can,” she said. “I vowed since my son died I’d do whatever I could to honor his name forever.”

Last year saw some milestones for the nonprofit. Pat Freiermuth of the Pittsburgh Steelers partnered with the foundation, which Paula said was fitting since the first team her son’s favorite team was the Steelers. The NFL runs a charity called My Cause My Cleats, and players can wear specially-made cleats with the names of charitable organizations to offer support. In 2022, Freiermuth wore a set of cleats bearing the foundation’s logo. Reid played football for Pentucket Regional High School in West Newbury and later for UMass Dartmouth.

“His nickname was the Gentle Giant, known as this larger than life person,” said Paula. “When he died, his friends missed him. He deserves to have his name out there.”

Paula said through her work as a social work intern at Dana-Farber, she saw many families struggling to deal with the financial challenges of a cancer diagnosis. In January alone, Paula said four families had received donations of $3,000 each, an increase from the first year when $1,000 was given.

Among the recent recipients is Brandon and Vanessa Cote of Athol. Vanessa is currently undergoing leukemia treatment at UMass Medical Center. Brandon, a postal worker in Gardner, had posted a link to a GoFundMe to Gardner’s community Facebook page and was contacted an hour later by Paula’s daughter.

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“They thought we were a perfect candidate,” Brandon said.

Brandon said the money has been a help with medical bills and others that they’ve fallen behind on. He said Vanessa is doing well and “hanging in there.”

“It definitely helped out quite a bit with a lot of things,” he said.

In 2023, the foundation will hold another Night of Giving and cruise fundraiser and Paula hopes to arrange some new events.

“My son’s legacy is giving back, living your life authentically, being kind to people—that’s how my son was,” Paula said. “He was always helping. That’s just the kid that I raised.”

For more information, visit www.reidsrebels.com. If anyone wants to make a donation to help the Cote family, please contact paula@reidsrebels.com.

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