We are very proud of our strong partnerships with so many individuals and groups who volunteer their time, talent and expertise to support Children’s Wish and the thousands of wish kids and families we serve. Without our extended family so much of what we do would not be possible. Our most sincere thanks to the more than 20,000 volunteers across the country who make such an incredible difference.
Presenting Our 2016 Laura Cole National Volunteer Award Recipient
Westley Hood is the ultimate Children’s Wish ambassador, having single-handedly raised over $250,000 in his 25 years of volunteering with the Prince Edward Island Chapter. During his first year with Children’s Wish, Westley raised $200 when he helped out with the Wishmaker Parade, which has since evolved into our Wishmaker Walk. He made it his personal mission to increase that total year after year and is now raising over $20,000 annually.
Westley’s passion for volunteering began at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he has worked as a porter in the Supply, Process and Distribution Department for 38 years. His genuine, personable and philanthropic nature led him to make connections with many wish children and their families during their hospital stays. He has also connected with many Islanders who, over the years, have generously support his ongoing efforts.
Despite the fact that Westley doesn’t drive a vehicle, he has never let that be a barrier to his success. Often times he takes a bus or accepts a ride from friends and family to get where he needs to go around the greater Charlottetown area. While most people would consider this a big effort, Beth Corney Gauthier, Director of the PEI Chapter says,
Along with collecting pledges and selling raffle tickets, Westley makes himself available to help out with numerous Children’s Wish events. He sees himself as “an extension” of the PEI Chapter and we certainly agree.
Thank you for all that you do for the Foundation, Westley, and congratulations on your well-deserved award!
As a cancer survivor himself, Brian Chapman remembers sitting beside children in the cancer clinic waiting for the same chemo treatments he was receiving and thinking, “How can a child be going through this horrible treatment and disease?” At that moment, he vowed to himself that he was going to do something to help.
And help he did. For almost 20 years, Brian has rallied numerous community leaders throughout Regina, including many in rural communities, for the You’ve Got a Friend golf tournament. The tournament is held at Katepewa Beach Golf Club, just outside of Regina.
Gay Oldhaver, Children’s Wish Saskatchewan Chapter Director, fully credits Brian with the event’s success. “We just wouldn’t have the support year after a year if it wasn’t for Brian’s continued leadership and direction for the tournament.” Brian has raised over $500,000 and has made a meaningful and positive impact in the lives of 50 wish children and their families. Gay adds, “Brian is the face of Children’s Wish in Regina and has been for almost two decades, and there is no end in sight. Bless his heart!”
Julie Hamilton has turned personal tragedy into a selfless commitment to making a difference as an inspiring advocate for workplace safety. She generously supports The Children’s Wish Foundation with all proceeds from her advocacy work.
In 1997, the first of two life-altering events hit the Hamilton family. Julie’s daughter Maggie was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 15. She began two years of difficult treatment and the family was plunged into fear and uncertainty. Half way through Maggie’s treatments, The Children’s Wish Foundation granted her the opportunity to fulfill her most heartfelt wish. By April 1999, the cancer was in remission and Maggie was well enough to see her wish come true – to take a trip with her big brother. The family travelled to the Caribbean where Maggie and her brother Tim enjoyed the holiday of a lifetime. Three months later, Tim was killed on the site of his summer job when he came in contact with a high voltage line. He was 19 years old.
Julie soon realized that within this unthinkable tragedy there existed an opportunity to save other families from experiencing the same kind of profound loss. Soon, a presentation entitled Missing Tim was born. It’s a workplace safety talk that Julie hopes will encourage people to listen and motivate them to put safety first. She’s presented hundreds of times to companies all over North America. Each time she asks the sponsoring company to make a donation to the Tim Hamilton Endowment Fund at Children’s Wish. This helps to keep alive the special bond that Tim and Maggie enjoyed while allowing other children to have their wishes fulfilled. The Tim Hamilton Endowment Fund is currently valued at nearly $700,000.
For over 11 years, Debbie Bromley has created memorable and magical moments for many Children’s Wish events in Nova Scotia. As an interior decorator, she applies her creative vision to all three of the Princess Tea Parties hosted by the Chapter. She has planned, organized and orchestrated these successful Tea Parties since they were first held in Halifax and Yarmouth, and has now spread her magic to Cape Breton.
Debbie also lends her support to Nova Scotia’s Exile Island by building excitement and enhancing the experience for event participants. She works tirelessly in setting up this event, always ensuring that it is memorable and engaging for everyone.
Team members at the Children’s Wish Nova Scotia Chapter directly attribute the success of these fundraising events to Debbie’s creative talent. As a colleague noted, “Deb is one of the main reasons our Nova Scotia Tea Parties are so popular and successful in raising funds.” Debbie also understands firsthand how wishes work wonders, as her daughter Jen was granted a wish many years ago. She is now giving back and helping to grant wishes…one superhero and princess at a time.