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Archive: March, 2013

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Calgary Walk for Muscular Dystrophy Ambassador: Candisse

Candisse-Calgary Ambassador2My name is Candisse McCormick. I am flattered to be one of this year’s Alberta Walk for Muscular Dystrophy Ambassadors.  I have been involved with Muscular Dystrophy Canada for many years, at many different levels, so this is a true honor.  It also brings back many memories from my childhood when I was 5 years old and a Poster Child for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

As anyone affected by muscular dystrophy knows, life is a battle. You are always faced with challenges, but I believe that as long as you stay optimistic you can overcome anything.  As an ambassador I am suppose to share my story, inspire people, and influence you to do your part to help make muscles move.  The thing is, for me I don’t feel as though I have “a story” it’s just my life as I know it.  So I will do my best to give you a glimpse into my life.  One thing that I always like to share when I am asked to “tell my story” is that I don’t do this to make people feel sorry for me, or to pray for a better life for me.  I have a GREAT life, and everything that I have been through has made me the person I am today. (more…)

March Break for a good cause

march break 002Kaitlyn, a grade three student, and Caroline, a grade 11 student, in Toronto both spent a good deal of time at the Muscular Dystrophy Canada National office during their March break.

Caroline chose to volunteer for three days during her March break because she wanted to be helpful to the organization where her mother works in the finance department.  She explained, “I’d be doing nothing at home, so why not come in and help somebody?”  Caroline spent time labeling and preparing envelopes and folding tax receipts.  While Caroline has already exceeded her requirement, volunteering is a great way for high school students to accumulate their community service hours.

(more…)

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You’re Invited to…Pasta Fest in support of the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

Untitled-1In support of the 2013 Sarnia Walk for Muscular Dystrophy, Team Walk for Ward is coming together to reach their fundraising goal and have fun while doing it!

Lisa Headrick-SarniaTeam Walk for Ward, made up of family and friends supporting Ward Headrick, is holding their first annual Pasta Fest. Community members are invited to spend an evening with family and friends while supporting a great cause.

The event will include a bake table, prize raffle and entertainment!

There are only 400 tickets available so get there early!

 Date: Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Location:  Dante Club – 1330 London Rd, Sarnia (Map)

Time: Doors open at 4:30 pm, dinner is served from 5-7pm

Day in the Life: Sparky the firedog at the HOP for Muscular Dystrophy

Hop at Bedford SouthThe HOP for Muscular Dystrophy is a national educational fundraising initiative that promotes compassion, caring and acceptance of differing abilities. The program provides an early introduction to inclusiveness and an understanding that physical differences do not change people on the inside to pre-school and elementary school-aged children.

HOP events occur in most Canada provinces around Easter time.  Each year, more than 10,000 children in Atlantic Canada “hop” to make a difference for families affected by a neuromuscular disorder.

Sydney LewisSparky the firedog loves to visit kids and thank them for supporting Muscular Dystrophy Canada; Fire Fighters have been Muscular Dystrophy Canada heroes since 1954.

Sydney Lewis, a 10 year old student in Grade 5 at Alderney Elementary School in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is suiting up this year to put some “spark” into Sparky. Sydney loves her iPod Touch and Sim game, is a choco-holic and enjoys hanging out with friends. Sydney’s brother Kaleb is 12 is affected by Becker’s muscular dystrophy and her entire family volunteers with the Halifax Chapter of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

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8:00 a.m.: Crawwwwwl out of bed; sure is chilly and dark out! Breakfast and be ready for pick up at 8:30 a.m.

Sparky at Hops9:00 a.m.: Arrive at Alderney Elementary School. Change quickly into Sparky gear including very large and heavy head and giant shoes! Do the “YMCA,” “the Chicken Dance” and the “Electric slide” with 100 elementary students.  Hugs and high fives to all of the hoppers who present Muscular Dystrophy Canada with a cheque for $1100! Now it’s time for a picture with the top fundraising student and school principal. The student is excited to know he’s won “Firefighter for A Day” and will get a ride to school in a fire truck next week.

11:45 a.m.: Arrive at Bedford South Elementary School — wow 460 excited students sure are noisy!!  I watch kids filing into the gym by class wearing their brightly colored and decorated bunny ears. Six year old Wesley Collins, who is affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy, attends this school and is happy to see the entire school turns out to show their support! Watch quietly as the HOP for Muscular Dystrophy DVD is shown which teaches the students more about muscular dystrophy, caring and differing abilities. Then it’s time to hop, dance and MOVE our muscles! Join Bedford Volunteer Fire Fighters in thanking students and teachers for participating in the year’s HOP for Muscular Dystrophy and smile for the camera as CTV News films a HOP segment for Breakfast TV.

2:00 p.m.:  Arrive at Kids R Kids Daycare in Halifax- now these kids are little! Sparky and Muscular Dystrophy Canada staff visit each class and get lots and lots of hugs and high fives! The group listens to a story and then line up to receive a Muscular Dystrophy tattoo.

Sparky3:00 p.m.: We get to Voyageur Lakes Kids Academy, and these kids LOVE Sparky!  A few are a wee bit scared but Sparky waves and gets a smile and some hugs.

3:45 p.m.:  A quick stop at the Military and Family Resource Centre on the Halifax Naval Base and Sparky makes time for some healthy bunny snacks with the hoppers.  An obstacle course in their gym is a great way to move muscles, Sparky isn’t very fast but he makes it through.

4:30 p.m.: This is the end of Sparky’s day so it’s back to being Sydney.  After a dog day afternoon, Sydney is VERY tired and a little sweaty too! It’s worth it because the HOP campaign was an awesome day raising money and awareness for families affected by muscular dystrophy.

Lowe’s Canada supports Buck4Luck

Waterloo B4LIn 2009, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse made a commitment to assist Canadians living with a neuromuscular disorder by participating in Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s Buck for Luck Campaign.  This year the Lowe’s Canada Buck for Luck campaign runs from February 11th  to March 17th at 34 Lowe’s Canada locations in Ontario and Western Canada. During the campaign, Lowe’s invites customers to purchase their “lucky shamrock” for $1 at checkout or at the Customer Service desk.  34 locations are participating this year, and each has their own way of inspiring support from their customers and community.  Many stores plan special events to raise awareness and donations behind asking for support at point of sale.

One of these dedicated stores is in Waterloo, Ontario.  Since the store opened in 2011, West Waterloo (345 The Boardwalk) has been a dedicated member of the Lowe’s Canada Buck for Luck team.  West Waterloo was the top Lowe’s fundraiser in 2011 and 2012, and their team members are enthusiastic supporters of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.  The West Waterloo team tries to come up with innovative ways to fundraise for the cause.  Ross Lynch, Human Resources Manager at Lowe’s West Waterloo, explains they “will be soliciting donations from our customers as they pass through point of sale; however selling Shamrocks are only a small part of the fundraising strategy.  Our staff will be holding many events, including a Bake Sale, Chili Cook-off, BBQ, Hot Dog Eating Contest, and an event where for a fee a Lowe’s associate can take slap shots at Summet [Store Manager] who will be in a hockey net.”

Shamrock_B4LWest Waterloo has found that gaining high participation from their customers is directly connected to the staff associates’ interest and enthusiasm for the campaign.  Ross says, “Lowe’s is an organization with deep philanthropic roots.  Encouraging our customers and associates to support MDC is a two part effort. First we want to educate contributors on where the money is going and how participation in this campaign helps others.  Secondly, drawing on the competitive spirit of our associates, we create excitement and competition against the other stores by challenging them to “friendly” fundraising competitions.”  Our competitive spirit and passion for execution has made West Waterloo a top Lowe’s fundraiser for four years.  They raised $12,700 last year which helped bring the total amount raised by Lowe’s to $150,000!

Funds raised from the Lowe’s Buck for Luck Campaign will go towards Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s Equipment Program and stay within the region they are collected to support local families.  The assistance that Lowe’s Improvement Warehouse and its customers provide, will enable Canadians with neuromuscular disorders in local Lowe’s communities lead independent and healthy lives by helping them obtain assistive devices they require such as wheelchairs and other mobility aids, hospital beds and pressure relief mattresses, and ventilation devices.

Buck for Luck is a fun campaign for Lowe’s to participate in, and not only do the dollars raised create friendly competitions, but each Lowe’s location uses the customers’ “lucky shamrocks” to create designs on their store walls.  West Waterloo loves to decorate this way! Ross shares the plans for this year, “Last year’s design with the leprechaun was definitely the store favourite, but we plan on this year’s being the best yet with shamrocks flowing like a rainbow to a pot of gold. It will really be something as we reach our goal and the shamrocks reach the pot of gold!”  West Waterloo Lowe’s supports Muscular Dystrophy Canada throughout the year, including as volunteers at the Waterloo Walk for Muscular Dystrophy.

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