Awareness Week started early with the Hamilton Walk4Mito on Saturday September 12. Thanks to The Hamilton Spectator, the day started with a huge endorsement with Spec reporter Joanna Frketich ‘s story about Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky’s new venture and an advertisement for MitoCanada and the Walk4Mito.
While the weather was less than cooperative, 120+ dedicated folks persevered to walk along the lake braving the wind and rain. Among them was Louise, who because of her mito disease, relies on a walker to move about. There were many highlights from the Walk4Mito, but there was no more emotional moment than hearing the cheers as the crowd gathered to watch Louise cross the finish line. She had pledged that this was the year that she was going to do the walk despite the physical challenge it presented. “This is a definite highlight in my life that I am going to remember for a long time.” remarked Louise as tears flowed. Not only did Louise participate in the walk she, along with her caregiver Jennifer, was also a volunteer.
Another memorable moment was the human mito awareness ribbon we created. Donning our green rain ponchos, we formed the shape of a ribbon and with a few quick takes we got the shot! We’ve now thrown down the gauntlet to other mito organizations to best our performance. We thank our volunteers, speakers Dr. Adeel Safdar, Krista DuChene and Dr. Lee Know, ND and exhibitor MedicAlert. A special thank you goes to our partners at MitoAction, Courtagen and Make A Film Foundation for the Canadian premiere of The Magic Bracelet. We will never forget Rina’s inspirational words – Love Life. Dream Big. Be Positive.
Calgary gets energized for Mito Week
On September 22, Calgary hosted its 2nd Annual EnergyBowl Fundraiser which was a fun evening of beer, bowling and bidding in support of MitoCanada. The evening included the presentation of the first ever MitoCanada Beacon Awards. These annual awards are intended to identify, recognize and honour those individuals and organizations who have made an exceptional contribution to the MitoCanada Foundation. The awards were given out in three categories:
Volunteer of the Year – Sean Messing received the award in recognition of his exemplary leadership and support for MitoCanada.
Media Person of the Year – Justin Brisbane was recognized for his outstanding contribution to raising public awareness of mitochondrial disease at Rocky Mountain Outlook.
Partner of the Year – CIBC Wood Gundy received the Award for contributing exceptional value as a partner in advancing MitoCanada’s mission and vision. They have directly and indirectly helped to raise ~$350,000 for MitoCanada via grants, personal donations, matching donations, marathon fundraising, and Miracle Day. Blaine Penny, retiring Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, said: “To stand out from the many people and organizations who have contributed to MitoCanada’s success, means our winners are all doing something pretty special. Their unwavering commitment, energy and support for MitoCanada deserves this recognition. When we were often overshadowed by the big players in the health charity sector and struggled to get profile and funding, Sean and the entire team at CIBC Wood Gundy and Justin and his colleagues at Rocky Mountain Outlook were the first to step up to help.” Accepting the award from Blaine Penny, centre, is Per Humle, First Vice President, District Branch Manager and Sean Messing, First Vice President, Investment Advisor, Portfolio Manager in Calgary.