The Allie Sunshine Project will give away free seedlings in Lakeshore this weekend for the third consecutive year in honour of a "natural born educator" who lived to share "enlightening experiences" before she died of leukemia in 2015.

Allison Hayes was an elementary school teacher at St. Jules Catholic Elementary School and bravely battled cancer for 13 years. Her family, including her husband Jeremy, collected money at her funeral that was used to create a "Healing Garden" of thousands of plants on the farm owned by Jeremy's parents. 

"The idea of a healing garden is that you can use the landscape to tell a story," Jeremy told CBC Windsor Morning jost Tony Doucette. "We want to connect people to the mystery and magic of nature."

Organizers will be giving away starter vegetables, fruits and herbs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 252 West Pike Creek Road. They will also be selling flowers to raise funds for the garden. 

Jeremy and Allison connected when he "ran out of pick up lines" and asked her to dance to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah at a downtown pub in 2004. 

"We danced into one another's arms and she couldn't pry me away," said Jeremy.

Jeremy Hayes

Jeremy Hayes, the widower of Alison Hayes, told Windsor Morning she was a "natural born educator" who lived to share "enlightening experiences."

Allison told Jeremy about her cancer battle on their fifth date and gave him the chance to walk away but he married her joined her in the struggle.

"There was a sparkle behind her eyes that let me know she was a spirit on a mission," said Jeremy. "I wanted to know what that sparkle was about. She was a natural born educator and I wanted to be her number 1 student."

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