Barrhaven Legion Luncheon

It’s taken me a day to get over all the emotions from the Luncheon/Auction that was held at the Barrhaven Legion.

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I was so happy that my close friends, family, teachers and some of the tkd students that I instruct were there.

It takes a lot of work to fundraise for sporting events.  I have spent the last 5 weeks going door to door to the local businesses asking for items for my silent auction. Every donation takes about 2-3 visits.  I was truly thankful for everything everyone donated.  Please see list in previous blog for all companies that donated.

Darrel Bartraw from the West Barrhaven Community Association worked his wonders and pulled everything together for us.  He even prepared all the food and the Legion Hospitality Crew baked the pizza casseroles and served everyone.  Thank You!!!! Everything was delicious.  The food was all donated by Our Crew Catering.

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I was totally shocked when Captain Max Riopelle walked into the room in his combat uniform.  I felt like a blubbering fool  and started to cry I was so happy to see him.  I’ve known Max since I  first started TKD and he was like a second big brother to me.  He travelled to all the tournaments with my family and when I became black belt (at 8 years old) he coached me privately as well as with a whole group of young teenage boys. We were the competition team at Kou’s TKD.   He pushed me to do everything that the teenage boys could do and I loved every second of it.

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When Max was 17 he went to his first World Championships and I’ll never forget how we did fundraisers just like this for him 🙂  I also remember how mad I was when he got on the plane and didn’t take me.  I was part of his journey and didn’t want to be left behind. It was then at the age of 8  that I knew that someday I would go to a World Championships.  It’s amazing how one person can have so much influence on your life without even realizing it.  Hopefully I have inspired someone else to work towards their dream (whatever it is).

When I was at the airport all those years ago with Max I gave him a gold good luck medallion to take to his World Championships.  He has kept it in his wallet for almost 10 years and today he privately gave it back to me so I would have it in Spain.

Max brought one of his friends Captain Justin Brunelle.  Max told us a story about how Captain Brunelle suffered a catastrophic injury serving Canada in Afganastan.  He explained how it’s possible to overcome not only physical challenges but also the mental challenges even in the worst possible circumstances.  Max reinforced  to stay focussed, stay positive and believe in the impossible.  It was such a powerful message and I know everyone appreciated it as well as what these soldiers do for our Country.  It was a pleasure to meet Captain Brunelle.  I loved his positive outlook and his great sense of humour; more importantly, I admire his strength as a person. He is a true inspiration. Thank you for coming to Ottawa.

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Then I had another tearful surprise.  All happy tears 🙂

My Great Aunt Sylvia Barr presented me with a HUGE banner that she had had sewn with my late Grandma Margaret Maduk’s craft fabric.  Grandma was extremely patriotic and loved anything with the Canadian maple leafs on it.  Grandma would have absolutely love this idea.  The motto was ‘Sign your Name and Go to Spain’.  This way I will have a piece of my Grandma with me as well as all my messages that were signed on the banner.  If ever I get nervous I will just put it around me and feel the support of my friends and family back home 🙂

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I was also very flattered that MPP Lisa McLeod came and gave a very personal speech.  It must be very hard for politicians to be everywhere all the time 7 days a week.  She was already at my other fundraiser last weekend. Her speech moved me since she shared a bit of her own story and she made me feel like she  really cared.   She also made a generous donation and had fun bidding on a few silent auction items.  Thank you for that 🙂  I really appreciate her involvement and support. fundraiserlunch 090

The silent auction was a huge success and I was shocked how high people were bidding.  I hope they liked what they ended up getting.

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I also received a very generous check from the West Barrhaven Community Association.  They have already done so much for me I was so shocked and overwhelmed to receive it.

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My girlfriends were amazing!  They baked (along with others) for the bake sale, worked the door, sold 50/50 tickets and helped set everything up in the morning.  Can you believe how cute these cookies are?

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Since we also had some big ticket items our MC/organizer also became our auctioneer.  He was hilarious!  I’ve never seen an auctioneer start putting his own bids in to raise the prices lol.  I think this could be new career for him 😉 Nice new glasses Darrell.

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Once again the party would not have been as successful without the help of our family friend Joanne Helmer-Clark.  She completely took care of all the bidding sheets and auction items once I got them and also made the very personal centrepieces.  She knows how much positive words mean to me so she painted these bottles and had my favorite mantras on them.  I realized that she also took all the pictures and I don’t have any of her that day:(    She never stopped! xoxo

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I would also like to thank my mom who put together over 1,000 photos of my journey on a slide show that was constantly running.  It was awesome to look  up and see all the amazing experiences and wonderful people that I’ve met in just the last two years.  I know so many of them would not have been possible without the help of my instructor Mr. LeGrow.  Thank you  Mr. LeGrow for always opening doors of opportunities for me.

Last but not least it was incredible to have so many of my family member there.  They have been part of my journey every single day.  They have all given up so much for me and I love them more than they will ever know. xoxox

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