July long weekend was one of my busiest weekends to date. I had two events organized in hopes of raising money for the Children’s Wish Foundation and it was a success! I also had the Canada Day festivities, which occurred on Saturday!
Children’s Wish Foundation –Showcase (Friday)
Friday evening, I had organized a showcase. It included sixteen different performers. Though the crowd was not big, we still managed to have an eventful evening. Laughter and smiles were shared throughout the night. Each performer who walked the stage to either dance or sing brought such warmth to my heart and to the crowd. They each volunteered time out of their busy schedules to help raise donations for this charity.
The Children’s Wish Foundation was founded in 1984 and it is an organization that grants wishes to children who are diagnosed with life threatening diseases or illnesses. It is because of the wonderful people in this community that no wish has ever been denied since the making of this charity. By granting a wish to a child, it lifts their spirits and represents light in a time of darkness.
The Children’s Wish Foundation has touched many lives. Even those living in the small town of Bonnyville, AB. For example, The Reid family had been granted a wish in 2011 for their daughter Kennedy. Today, to honour that wish, they host an annual golf tournament to raise money for the Stollery. The reason for this charity event is to keep giving and to keep paying it forward. This year alone, the golf tournament raised $24,000. In the past 7 years, they’ve raised over $130,000 for the Children’s Stollery Hospital.
The evening did not only consist of performers but also a raffle. This raffle was only possible due to the generosity of the Lakeland area. I would like to thank all those who donated:
Bonnyville Home Hardware, Midwest Communications – Carla Batke, Flowers by Joanne, Choquet Insurance Group, Tellier Guardian Pharmacy, Roxanne Neal Cabay, Staples – Cold Lake, Marie-Josee Gagnon, Polished Pumpkins Children’s Clothing Boutique, The Brick Bonnyville, Cold Lake Florist, Buds N Blooms, Herbology Health Food Market, Le Papillon Gift Boutique, JPB Support Services, Lakeland Grill, The Players Lounge, Mr. Mikes Bonnyville, Burger Baron Bonnyville, Jennie’s Diner & Bakery, Lise Medford – Tocara, Jen Bentley and Anna Laplante.
I would like to thank the wonderful volunteers who made this showcase possible:
Roxanne Cabay, Lyne Jodoin, Kat Cabay, Aleesha Cabay, Seana Batke, my sisters Danna and Alene, the lovely ladies from ATB Bank, Margaret Lumley and Mariann Keen, Jen Bentley with Fifth Avenue Jewellery, Steve Medford our sound engineer, Tim Graham the amazing MC, The Reid Family, and a huge thank you to the Lyle Albert Victor Centre for providing me with the venue! Lastly, to my mom, Nora Kamaleddine Thank you for running around all week for me and for the show!!!
Finally, I’d like to thank Jen Bentley who set up a booth providing Fifth Avenue Jewellery. Fifteen percent of the sales she made that evening were donated to the Children’s Wish Foundation. Jen, I would like to thank you for always going above and beyond. I am blessed to have you as a sponsor and a friend!
Canada Day – Celebrating 150 years (Saturday)
This year, Canada Day will be one that I will never forget. It was such a fun and eventful day. Being born and raised here in Canada is something I will never take for granted, and it is truly a blessing.
My grandparents moved to Canada in 1971 where they gave birth to their three children, one of them being my mom. My dad also moved to Canada in 1996. If you were to ask them about Canada, they would have the same response as I do. Our country is a land of diversity and opportunity. I am Canadian, and I am proud.
Canada has allowed me to explore so many different cultures, religions and traditions all within one place. It has allowed me to reach for the stars and achieve anything I set my mind to. I’ve been given the opportunity to receive an education in both French and English, and the opportunity to practice my native tongue amongst family and friends.
Here is a little summary of how my Canada Day went!
The week before Canada Day, I had started making goodie bags to hand out during the parade. I wanted these bags to represent my beauty with a purpose campaign, which is mental health and eating disorders. Each bag contained a sticker for mental health provided by Thinkwerx Inc., a card reading “Your mental health matters” provided by Shutter-Bee Photography ltd., and who to call or text should you need someone to talk to. There will always be someone there to listen.
It was great to be able to hand them out in both Bonnyville and Cold Lake. I was so proud to be able to walk alongside the TNT Clothing Corp. float during the Cold Lake parade. Also, thank you TNT for the beautiful outfit and letting me apply tattoos on some of the children! I had so much fun with you all!
I was also extremely proud to be in the Town of Bonnyville float and being able to listen to some live music. I was definitely treated like royalty! Thank- you!
The festivities at Little Leap Park would only become more exciting as Shawn Desman took the stage and many other AMAZING artists like Carmen Lucia and Paul Woida Music!
Unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to take a picture with Shawn, however, my dad managed to get one earlier that day!
***A huge thank-you goes to Megan Nerland from The Edge and Mandy Plamondon. Thank you for always helping me reach the best possible look for my events, without you I would constantly look like a hot mess!
Children’s Wish Foundation – Bottle Drive (Sunday)
Sunday rolled around and it was more of a relaxing day compared to the rest of the weekend. A couple of friends and I had planned a bottle drive later that afternoon in hopes of bringing in more donations for the Children’s Wish Foundation.
It was very hot on this particular Sunday, however we still managed to bring in two truckloads worth of bottles! I am grateful for the friends I have supporting my journey and this amazing charity. I have yet to receive a final amount on the bottle drive but I will keep everyone posted through my Facebook page!
Well, folks, that sums up my July long weekend. It was exhausting, but I will never forget it. Thank you to everyone who helped me out throughout the weekend!
Riwa, Miss East-Central Alberta 2017