Get involved!

September 25, 2012

I’ll start off with some great news about one of our most active Moms out there. Some of you may know Elaine Pennington and I know you have read her letters in a lot of different newspapers across south western Ontario. She has been a wonderful support to Stephanie and the Gold Ribbon Campaign for years. Well Renee and I were happy to return some of that support back by attending a city council meeting in Elaine’s hometown of Stratford. At the meeting Elaine presented to Stratford city council that all city vehicles should don a Gold Ribbon magnet for the month of September in support of Childhood Cancer awareness. When she was finished council voted, and with some debate it was passed! Congratulations Elaine, You presented a wonderful case for the kids that anyone with a heart could not vote against!

A few months ago Stephanie said to me, “hey Dad, Johnny Reid is in Toronto in September.” I said really? That’s awesome, too bad it wasn’t he same weekend as the CN Tower event and we would go. Steph has been a Johnny Reid fan for a few years, as evidenced in the Canadian Blood Services video and on her “picture gallery” page. She had the chance to meet him a couple years back and she got a CD autographed and I have heard a few times what a “hottie” he is. Well earlier this month she reminded me again that “Johnny was in Toronto.”  I can’t say I was ever a fan of Johnny Reid but I can say I have heard plenty of his music blasting out of Stephanie’s bedroom and although not necessarily my style of music it really isn’t bad. I am however a big fan of seeing concerts at Massey Hall and we contacted a friend and through her we got some pretty sweet seats! (thanks Rebecca!) Friday we told Stephanie not to make plans for Sunday and to pick a friend to take to the Johnny Reid concert because we got tickets!

Off we went to Toronto. Before the show Steph said she wanted to give Johnny a Gold Ribbon pin. Not sure how this would happen but we would see what we could do. Three or four songs in Johnny started singing “Today I’m going to Try and Change the World” I figured this was as good a time as any to  help Stephanie up to the stage so she could try and give Johnny the pin that she had attached to one of her Gold Ribbon Campaign business cards. Johnny, in mid song sat down on the edge of the stage, legs dangling, took Stephanie’s pin and card, looked at it, kissed her cheek and gave her the longest hug, all the while singing Today I’m Going to Try and Change the World to her. It was a beautiful moment and I felt it. Apparently a lot of others felt it too because there were a lot of tears in the audience on our way back to our seats.  It made Stephanie’s night, and Johnny Reid has two more fans as of Sunday night. After the show when the lights went up we were approached by a Mom and her Daughter. The young woman was about Steph’s age and she gave Stephanie a silver bracelet and they chatted a bit while Renee and Mom talked. The bracelet she gave Steph stated “Fuck Cancer” ……. The young woman lost her twin sister to cancer in March.  A little story about how even on your “day off” where you least expect it you can cross paths with a family who has traveled the same journey as you and although this family’s journey ended with the loss of a beautiful young woman, daughter……sister a connection was made.         Prayers For Heather Leonardo


The event in Toronto was a success again this year. I think everyone in attendance had a good time. It was good to see familiar faces and we  met some new friends that I think will play a role in helping us push our Gold Ribbon Campaign far and wide! If I could I would like to thank all the partners who came out and helped make this day a special one. We would like to thank Wendel Clark for taking time from his busy schedule to stop by and visit and chat with the kids……..and the Moms! (you know who you are :) ) All of the generous sponsors that helped make the day a success. Thanks to all of you who came out in support of Childhood Cancer awareness, and last but certainly not least our volunteers. Without you we couldn’t have pulled it off!

We really want this event to grow every year. If it grows people will take notice. When people take notice maybe the media will take five minutes from the Toronto Film Festival and all the self important millionaires and give some it some coverage. If the media shows up, businesses will want to get involved. If business/corporations get involved there is money, with that comes research, with research comes………? It’s not rocket science. Bottom line is it needs the support of everyone touched by Childhood Cancer first. I know we all have busy lives and schedules and it can be hard to give up a day but think of it this way, Childhood Cancer didn’t care about your schedule when it brought your world down around you………..



P.S. I will be adding photos from the event in the next few days, and a video is coming as well.

P.S.S. Stephanie’s social media stamp campaign is trickling it’s way to 400 likes……really? Does she have to create 25 000 new facebook pages in other names and do this herself? Where is everyone? Get involved!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our Feed