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What an event! Music blaring, multitudes of team colours swirling, palpable energy in the air...25,000 people participating from over 60 countries, 180 charities. Everyone excited, pumped, with smiles of anticipation and concentration on their faces, all ages represented. Excitement...20 minutes to start 10...5...waiting for the starter's pistol...
Roadrunner...the coyote's after you...roadrunner...if he catches you you're through...the song sets them off...the rainbow colours of the many teams flash past...purple, pink, yellow, blue, white, and lime for Moorelands.
All of a sudden I'm overwhelmingly proud to have become part of this outpouring of goodwill towards my fellow man; I'm humbled that an effort on my part will help raise $3.2M for people that I don't know and will never meet.
I hadn't understood what a charity marathon meant, until I became one of the thousands who were running and walking for a cause they believed in. I realized that by expending our collective physical efforts, we were able in some small way to help strangers. Many ran beyond exhaustion, through agonizing pain. Others unable to run, walked beyond their endurance levels. A stunning revelation that by physically exerting ourselves, we were bettering mankind. Such grand words, nevertheless a reality.
I'm so grateful to have participated in this amazing display of creative kindness. I was swept up on a wave of goodwill to help a fellow human being have a chance of a better life; be it an assaulted woman in need, a cancer patient, an orphan in Africa, or a poor child in my city of Toronto.
I celebrate the marathoners and the sponsors, the people lining the course who cheered us on, the volunteers who worked the booths and stations, the event organizers... a collective effort. Crossing the finish line, I was reminded of the truism that the power of many is greater than the sum of its parts. The STWM Charity Challenge is all about helping humanity. It helped me rediscover mine.
- Natasha Bronfman, a member of Moorelands Board of Directors
To see photos of this year's walk, come check our Facebook page HERE.
Born and raised in Flemingdon Park, Miranda first attended Moorelands After-school program at Grenoble Public school in Grades 4 & 5. Her mother reminds her that she never wanted to leave the program at the end of the day. Now, she hears the same thing from the parents of the kids currently in the program.
Miranda says that the After-school program was a great place to be, and she always knew she wanted to be a Moorelands leader when she got older. Her first opportunity was as an Assistant Program Leader at Moorelands' Thorncliffe Park program. The following year she returned to her beloved Grenoble Public School and has been a Leader there ever since.
There have been many changes to the program since Miranda was there as a child, the most profound being the emphasis put on the cultural recognition of the children. They are now taught about everyone's culture, and are learning through fun activities such as arts & crafts. Last year, Miranda had each child work on a cultural project which included how to say "hello" in their family's mother tongue, as well as pictures and descriptions of food and clothing from their family's country of origin.
What Miranda enjoys most about the program at Moorelands is seeing the change in the children from the beginning of the year to the end. She says it's so rewarding to see how the kids warm up to each other, make new friends, and continue the friendships well beyond the school year. She also enjoys helping kids who are struggling to participate by making them feel comfortable about trying new things.
After completing a BA in Communication Studies at York University, Miranda is off to George Brown College this fall to study Human Resource Management. But that doesn't mean she has given up her involvement with Moorelands.
She has organized her classes so that she can still work in the Moorelands After-school Program at Grenoble PS. Miranda tells us, "I'll never lose touch with Moorelands. It will always be a part of who I am."
Our first-ever Starlit Night fundraising event for Moorelands Wilderness Camp was a wonderful success! We were thrilled to welcome 175 guests who filled the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse to capacity, and are happy to report a net profit of $56,000.
Our emcee for the evening was Colin D'Mello from CTV News, and he welcomed David Miller who spoke about his own camp experiences and how camp influenced his life. He also noted that children from low-income communities are not dissimilar to their wealthier peers...the only difference is that they find very few doors open to them.
Counsellors from Moorelands Wilderness Camp entertained the crowd with skits, and led Camp songs. The live auction bidding for prizes and puzzle pieces was lively and fun. All silent auction and live auction items were sold, and we hope that every winning bidder will enjoy his or her item even more, knowing that the purchase helped enable a child to attend Moorelands Camp this summer!
We sincerely thank all those who attended, our wonderful corporate and gift-in-kind sponsors, and those who donated their time and talents.
Our heartfelt thanks to the organizing committee, McCarthy Tétrault LLP and participants representing the following firms:
• Aird & Berlis • Baker & McKenzie • Bennet Jones • Bereskin & Parr • Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP • Borden Ladner Gervais • Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg • Dentons Canada • Fasken Martineau • Goodmans • Gowlings • Heenan Blaikie • Lenczner Slaght • McCarthy Tétrault • Miller Thomson • Norton Rose • Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt • Stikeman Elliott • Torys • WeirFoulds • Wildeboer Dellelce