Leaving home is never easy for me. I’m quite rooted in my lifestyle revolving around home, family and nature. Knowing I was on my way to Vancouver was a bit overwhelming, but the reason for the journey kept me moving forward. I was to present a cheque on behalf of the Association of British Columbia Snowmobile Clubs (ABCSnow) to the BC Lions Society for children with Disabilities at the Timmy’s Christmas Telethon. Those who know my heart know how focused I am on the wellbeing of kids, so to be involved in this presentation was quite an honour.
ABCSnow urges its clubs to participate in Winterfest, an event that raises money for this cause. The British Columbia Snowmobile Federation has Snowarama, which also raises money for these children. Money is raised during poker runs, hill climb events and other organized activities. Snowmobilers are good people, and generous people, which was quite apparent in the large donations made from ABCSnow and BCSF clubs.
As the plane landed in Vancouver I found myself close to the edge of my patented “Momma’s freaking out” mode. “Breathe in, breathe out,” I said to myself. Somewhere after the Skytrain and wandering aimlessly downtown looking for my hotel, I found the beautiful Shaw Tower. Volunteers were bustling around everywhere full of Christmas cheer and it was obvious everyone was excited to be there. I was led to the opulent lounge on the 17 floor. Wow! Dorothy was definitely not in Kansas anymore.
Meeting with eager presenters and the children who are eternally grateful for the donations settled the butterflies in my stomach. This really is a big deal to so many children who attend Easter Seals camps.
The president of BCSF Erin Hart and I relaxed in the lounge after our presentations. We met with a very insightful young woman, Erin Boe, who had attended many Easter Seals camps in her youth and spent time as an ambassador for the Easter Seals program. Erin was diagnosed with high functioning autism when she was three years old. She told us about the impact Easter Seals camps had on her life.
“It really is life changing,” Boe said. “The Easter Seals camps helped me to believe in myself.”
She now works at Safeway, which also supports the Easter Seals foundation, and she works hard every day to make a difference.
How can you make a difference?
Join your local snowmobile club.
Help organize a Winterfest or Snowarama event within your club. You can start a new event or you can link to an existing event, donating a portion of 50/50 tickets and entry fees to the fundraising efforts of Winterfest or Snowarama.
Show the world that snowmobilers care.
We are good people and we are people who contribute to society. Invite media and politicians to your local event for a personal experience of sledders in action.
Needless to say, my experiences at Timmy’s Telethon changed my life. I believe so much in our sport, and I feel intense pride in the difference we can make to children in need.
On a lighter note, I wanted to bring back the enormous cheque to show our ABCSnow clubs, so I decided to save the gigantic presentation cheque. Walking downtown Vancouver at night with this cheque was interesting. Girls, if you’re ever looking for a date, go for a walk with a three-foot- wide cheque for $14,000. I was asked out more in three blocks than my entire life. Also, if you are running down the street in fancy boots with a massive cheque, tuck it under your armpit, do not hold it horizontally across your body. To the people on the street and subway and in the airport whom I knocked over with that cheque... I’m sorry.