Your Stories: Doug Torrance
So many memories of my years of involvement with MDAC… over 32 year’s worth! Most of my memories are too lengthy to share here, because they do scan over three decades of my involvement with the Ottawa portion of the annual Jerry Lewis MD Labour Day Telethon. I began as a volunteer around 1973 as a ‘runner’ and odd job guy at the Landsdowne Park location of the Telethon that year.
We then moved to the Skyline Hotel and were there for over 21 years. My most vivid memories are the research breakthroughs, meeting the clients and families, and moving in to the Skyline Hotel on the Thursday night of Labour Day weekend, and crawling out on Monday night after ‘tear down!’ People like Ken ‘The General’ Grant, Ian Gent, Cpt. Tom McCormick and his wife Carey, Bill and Maureen Kincaid and more, are all still like family to me. Seeing the excited faces on kids bringing in their hard earned donations at backyard ‘Carnivals for MD,’ receiving cheques from service clubs, and seeing the ‘Tote Board’ totals slowly crawl up are all still vivid in my mind.
I have a pile of old VHS tapes, covering many years of the Ottawa portion of the Telethon, as well as a huge chunk of the Jerry Lewis portion from Los Angeles, Las Vegas etc. They are, unfortunately, still in the old VHS format. I would cart my VCR down with me to the hotel, plug it in at the beginning of the Telethon, and try to remember to change tapes every six hours or so!
I ended my involvement as local Telethon Chair after my wife and I were transferred to Saskatchewan. I still maintain some contact with the Ottawa crew, and am amazed and encouraged with recent research, diagnosis and treatment breakthroughs! Thank you MDC for letting me serve… and keep up the fight!
Doug Torrance – Wellington, ON