Free the Children and Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fundraising Project
“Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.”
Fundraising is a component of the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant and I am proud to be a delegate in a pageant that emphasizes the importance of giving back to others.
This year, in addition to raising funds for the Miss Teenage Canada’s main charity focus; FREE THE CHILDREN, we were also encouraged to expand our fundraising efforts to include Fort McMurray Fire Relief. Each delegate was given seven (7) short weeks to raise funds for both charities. I began my Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario Fundraising project seven (7) weeks ago and I am extremely proud of the end result. I spent the week prior to my 7-week project start date organizing events, making phone calls, sending letters of introduction and booking venues to ensure that my 7 weeks went as smoothly as possible.
I kicked off my Fundraising Project with a Bake Sale/Treat table at our Community wide GIANT SIDEWALK/YARD Sale held on the main street of Renfrew. Vendors set up stands down both sides of the main street, there was games and activities for kids and some local performers entertained the shoppers. It was a true community effort and lots of fun. I was lucky I had an excellent crew of family and friends who helped bake goodies and also helped me the day of the event.
The following week, I attended Ladies’ and Men’s Golf Nights and spoke about my upcoming trip to the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant and my Fundraising Project for Free the Children and Fort McMurray Fire Relief. It was an excellent opportunity to advertise my project and to encourage participation in my upcoming events. It also gave me an excellent opportunity to sell chocolate bars to hungry golfers as they came off the course!
May long weekend I teamed up with some of my very talented friends for a Tag Day with a musical twist. We set up at 3 different locations throughout my community and performed songs on our guitars and ukuleles in exchange for tips and donations. The fundraiser was incredibly successful and one that couldn’t have been possible without the help of my very talented volunteers. I would like to officially thank the following businesses: 17 West, Canadian Tire and Eganville Foodland for allowing me to fund raise at their locations. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet people in the community and inform them about the Miss Teenage Canada pageant, my title, my Charity Platform and my Fundraising Project.
June 11th I hosted a Euchre night at the Douglas Tavern. 16 teams of 4 participated in the event to make it a great evening of fun, friends and laughs. Everyone was supportive of both causes and very energetic playing cards! The Tavern said it was the loudest card tournament that has ever been played at their facilities. A GREAT TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!
The following weekend was a busy but exciting one! I hosted two Fundraisers for Free the Children and Fort McMurray Fire Relief and I was a guest at the CHEO Teddy Bear Picnic at the Governor General’s Residence in Ottawa.
My first fundraiser that weekend was a music night hosted at the Douglas Tavern. Some talented local performers volunteered their time and opened up for Ottawa Valley legend and Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame inductee; Lucky Ron. His legendary talent and personality was infectious and everyone in attendance was appreciative, loud and enthusiastic. A big thank you to Lucky Ron who took the time from his incredibly busy schedule to make a stop at the Douglas Tavern for my Fundraising Project and to all of the opening acts who made the show a success. A HUGE thank you to the Douglas Tavern for their hospitality!
Then there was no rest to be had because I was up at the crack of dawn the next morning to set up for my second fundraiser of the weekend; A huge GARAGE SALE. We had lots of people and lots of sales! I was able to partner up with my good friends Doug and Gladys and have the sale at their home in prime Garage Sale territory! It was fantastic and yielded a great result. Thanks to Doug and Gladys for their help and assistance. (And Doug’s muffins were excellent!) Due to the CHEO Teddy Bear Picnic event that afternoon, I had to leave Doug and Gladys with the clean-up! Thanks for taking that task on!
The following week I had to put my Fundraising project on a temporary hold so I could concentrate on my final exams.
Next on the agenda, Canada Day! Canada Day is always a huge celebration in my community with many parades, festivals and firework shows. The Firework Celebration and festivities in Renfrew are always a big turn out with a lot of fun activities to make the event as exciting as it is. This year I was asked to be in the Renfrew Canada Day parade and attend the fireworks. I was so excited to take part because I have always loved attending this event. The Renfrew Recreation Centre also allowed me to set up a convenience stand for my Fundraising Project and I was beyond thrilled. My Mom and sisters and I spent the night before covered in candy floss and popcorn as we filled bags to sell at my Canada Day table. Special thanks to the RCI BLUE ZONE for the use of their candyfloss and popcorn machines! In addition to the candy floss and popcorn, I served freezies, snow cones, water and pop. Although it was a rainy day it didn’t stop the community from coming out and celebrating the great country we live in. Events like this make me proud to be a Canadian. There’s no place I’d rather call home!
Next up was another busy but great long weekend! The weather cooperated and I had an exceptional Nine and Dine Golf event with perfect weather, enthusiastic golfers and
wonderful volunteers. The Oaks of Cobden Golf Club was generous enough to let me host a Charity Golf Tournament for Free the Children and Fort McMurray Fire Relief at their beautiful course. Thank you so much to everyone who came out, to all of the hole sponsors, the prize donors, my amazing volunteers and the Oaks of Cobden Staff. Words can’t describe how thankful I am to live in a community full of such kind and supportive people. The day provided lots of laughs, some interesting golf swings and lots of “Kodak moments!” It was an excellent way to spend the Sunday of a long weekend!
On Tuesday July 5th, I hosted a TRIVIA NIGHT at Coco Jarry’s in Renfrew! We played 5 very loud rounds of Trivia with 16 teams of 6 competing. I’ve never played in a Trivia challenge before and I must say for my first time it couldn’t have gone any better! Everyone had a blast and was very supportive of my Fundraising Project. The event was hosted by the popular pair; Bob and THE Bear from MYFM radio and I must say their Quiz Master skills were comical and memorable! I would like to thank NICK from COCO JARRY’S for hosting the event at his lovely restaurant. It was a night of brain teasers, laughs, “friendly” competition and enthusiastic Trivia Buffs!
In addition, throughout the past 7 weeks I have been selling personalized chocolate bars made especially for me by the incredible chocolatiers at J&J Chocolate Sensations in Renfrew, selling raffle tickets for a PROFESSIONAL POPCORN MAKER and lucky squares for a chance to win $250. Each one of these fundraisers were very successful and I would like to extend a HUGE congratulation to the winners of the 2 draws which were announced at my GOOD LUCK SEND OFF party hosted by my home pageant; The TEEN ONTARIO EAST PAGEANT organization!
In the last 7 weeks I have learned so much about my community, about myself and I have learned just what I am capable of. This Fundraising Project for the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant has taught me the art of organization and planning and has allowed me to grow as a person. I have polished my public relations skills and have learned firsthand how to approach businesses and organizations to become involved and potentially sponsor events. It has been very enlightening and certainly educational. I am very proud of what I have raised and I can’t wait to announce the grand total! I set a personal goal for my Fundraising efforts and I have pushed that Goal over the top! Words cannot describe how thankful I am for all of the support I have had throughout this entire journey. My community is filled with the most kind, caring, generous and supportive people and I am lucky to call them all my neighbors and friends. None of these events would have been possible or successful if it wasn’t for everyone who participated and supported my efforts.