Day 4 of My MISS TEENAGE CANADA PAGEANT Journey

Hi everyone!

I’m having so much fun in Toronto at the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant. Touring Toronto like this has been incredible.  I’ve seen this incredible city in a way that I never have before.

KB Day 3 EggliciousWe started off our day with a lovely breakfast at Egglicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

KB SPONSOR Bradlee Ryall GolfToday we had an AMAZING time learning how to golf at Bradlee Ryall Golf Academy.

Ready for some GOLF in our Miss Teenage Canada Wear!

Ready for some GOLF in our Miss Teenage Canada Wear!

I learned so many tricks and tips about this awesome sport. Ian, Mario and John members of the wonderful staff at Ryall Golf were so helpful and kind. They helped me develop proper putting, driving and chipping skills and helped me loose my “Happy Gilmore” Technique!

KB DAY 4 Golf

Learning the proper technique

Learning the proper technique

 

Our golf experience was topped off with a delicious lunch at the Golf course.

Lunch at the Golf course

Lunch at the Golf course

Our Delicious Lunch

Our Delicious Lunch

Thank you Ryall Golf for an AMAZING Afternoon! #ryallgolf #kaneffgolf

KB DAY 4 Golf lunch2

We returned back to the hotel and had some time to change and get ready for our official Miss Teenage Canada interviews! I was excited to take on the interview and meet this year’s lovely judges.

Ready for my MISS TEENAGE CANADA Interview

Ready for my MISS TEENAGE CANADA Interview

Once we were finished interviews, we got to shake our stuff while practicing our opening number. It is awesome working with professional choreographers Shawn and Hollywood.  I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time. We worked on our walk, stance and our moves. My roommate Katie and I have been practicing a lot to make sure we have the routine down pat!

KB DAY 4 Dave and BustersAfter interviews were over and rehearsals were done we headed to Dave and Busters for a tasty dinner! We had macaroni for dinner which just happens to be my favorite!

 

Having fun at the Arcade

Having fun at the Arcade

Then it was FUN AT THE ARCADE!  It was so awesome! It was a HUGE room filled with lights and colors. It felt almost as if we were in a casino in Vegas! I had so much fun! I’ve never been in an arcade before so it was a new experience for me as well! I am getting to do so many new and exciting things during my week at Miss Teenage Canada!

KB DAY 4 Arcade3

We also got our bathing suits and opening number outfits so stay tuned to see what is in store!! You’re in for quite a show!

Go Gold

Kathleen

 

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DAY THREE of my MISS TEENAGE CANADA Pageant Journey

I can’t believe it’s day 3 already!  It feels like yesterday I was packing and preparing for Miss Teenage Canada and now I’m actually here. I guess time sure does fly when you’re having fun!

Today all 54 delegates took Toronto by storm. We were all so excited to see the city and share this incredible experience together.

KB Day 3 EggliciousWe enjoyed a tasty breakfast at Egglicious, a local restaurant in downtown Toronto. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner 24 hours a day and they offer a great and unique selection of meals that satisfies everyone’s taste.

 

 

KB SPONSORS Novango logoWe then headed to MTC’s sponsor Nuvango’s headquarters! I was so excited to go there! As soon as I was introduced to this brand I fell in love. The headquarters are in a very stylish building that Nuvango redesigned themselves. Fun fact, the building where the company is, used to be a macaroni factory. We first met the amazing staff of Nuvango and they explained to us all about their journey of how they ended up where they are now. Each one of these women’s stories was interesting and inspiring. They then gave us a tour of the building and showed us where and how everything is made. My favorite part of the tour was when we got to model some of their stylish clothes and have a fun photo shoot experience. I fell in love with the maxi dress I got to wear.

Impromptu Photo Shoot

Impromptu Photo Shoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuvana Fashion Show

Nuvana Fashion Show

KB DAY 3 Shoe MuseumThen we packed up onto the bus and headed to the Bata Shoe Museum; 54 princesses and thousands of pairs of shoes, what could be a more perfect match? The exhibits were so cool and interesting. Who knew that a pair of shoes could teach you so much about history? My favorite pair of shoes was definitely the

Lots of interesting displays at The BATA Shoe Museum

Lots of interesting displays at The BATA Shoe Museum

pair of getas from ancient Japan. These shoes were used by Sumo wrestlers and they are type of sandal with an elevated wooden base held, onto the foot with a fabric thong to keep the foot well above the ground. I also enjoyed getting to see one of Shaquille O’Neal’s work boots!  Now, he has a BIG foot!

I am holding up a key piece in the museum...Shaquille O'Neill's shoe

I am holding up a key piece in the museum…Shaquille O’Neill’s shoe

KB DAY 3 SquareThen it was off to SHOP UNTIL WE DROPPED!  A wonderful afternoon was spent by all at the SQUARE ONE Mall.  Each delegate was generously given a $30 Gift coupon to spend at the Mall. Did I mention, I LOVE TO SHOP!  I managed to find some great deals and purchased a dress, a scarf and a skirt with my $30 coupon.  A GREAT DAY!

We are ready to spend our SQUARE ONE Gift certificates!

We are ready to spend our SQUARE ONE Gift certificates!

Our bus tours today were more of a party bus atmosphere than a coach bus!  We had the music pumping and everyone was singing and dancing.  We were all enjoying every moment and having fun with each other.

Bus Selfie!

Bus Selfie!

KB DAY 3 NirvanaThen it was back to the hotel to change for dinner at NIRVANA, The Flavours of  India restaurant.  We had a beautiful meal and the staff was so nice.  Thank you NIRVANA!

 

Dressed for Dinner at Nirvana

Dressed for Dinner at Nirvana

Enjoying dinner at Nirvana

Enjoying dinner at Nirvana

Another incredible day at Miss Teenage Canada!  I am truly having the TIME OF MY LIFE!

GO GOLD

Kathleen

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THANK YOU TO THE MISS TEENAGE CANADA PAGEANT SPONSORS!

As a regional delegate from Eastern Ontario, I arrived in Toronto at 2:00 in the afternoon.  I was greeted by the wonderful MTC staff and then had a few hours to mingle and get to know all of the delegates.  Sunday evening, we attended a Miss Teenage Canada Sponsor Night, where all 54 delegates of the pageant were welcomed by some of MTC’s great sponsors. We were presented with gifts and coupons and had an opportunity to meet some of the amazing companies that make our Miss Teenage Canada Pageant experience possible!

selfie

A group selfie with some of the lovely delegates at the MTC Sponsor Party!

The ball room where the party was held was absolutely beautiful. Fancy carpeted floors, gorgeous textured walls and big windows with great views of the city. With so many girls in crowns, heels and fancy dresses it felt like we were at a real royal event! I was so excited to take part in this fun activity, meet the wonderful delegates and our generous sponsors.

ball room

Sponsor Party!

Nuvango Art gallery & Fashion Lifestyle Brand created a shareable moment centre by offering up some designer clothes and a full length mirror.  This is a girl party mainstay. I absolutely love the products from this art gallery and clothing brand! I’m so looking forward to a tour of the Nuvango headquarters on Tuesday, if their workplace is as interesting as their product we’re in for quite a treat!

KB SPONSORS Novango logo

Nuvango design
ers “collaborate with artists from around the world to design incredible apparel & accessories featuring their original artwork. All of our goods are made with love, by us, in our studio factory in Toronto, Canada. We have an art gallery and retail store as well, so you can always stop by for a visit. Never a dull day!”

My new Nuvango Leggings! Thank you Nuvango!

My new Nuvango Leggings! Thank you Nuvango!

Nuvango Gear for the 2016 Delegates

Nuvango Gear for the 2016 Delegates

At the sponsor party they had a wide selection of shirts, tanks and leggings to choose from and they were so kind as to give us all a piece of clothing. I was so excited and completely torn between their products, all were so creative and COLOURFUL! How could I choose? After a lot of thinking I made the decision to go with a pair of funky print workout leggings! I cannot wait to hit the gym in my new work out leggings from Nuvango.  I will be the most stylish person in the gym!  Each article is designed with stunning and creative paintings by accomplished artists.

https://ca.nuvango.com

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 11.10.00 PMWe were also introduced to the ladies from GOLDEN GLAMOUR GODDESSES who have kindly offered to come to the hotel to offer professional spray tans and provided a gift bag for each delegate.  They ladies were lovely and so excited to be involved with MTC once again this year. Golden Glamour Goddesses is a sponsorship that is ALL THINGS BEAUTY. The ladies at the GGG table were great representatives that told me all about their business, spray tans, lashes and makeup! They explained everything to me so well that I decided to get a spray tan for myself! I can’t wait for this experience because trying new things is what this week at Miss Teenage Canada is all about.

with our Golden Glamour Goddess Gift bags

with our Golden Glamour Goddess Gift bags

KB SPONSOR BLOG KPI logo

 

And of course, what goes with a beautiful tan?  Gorgeous new SUNGLASSES

V.P.I. Sunglasses

I love my new shades!!

from V.P.I. Sunglasses Canada.  I LOVE THEM! The generous people at V.P.I. Canada provided each 2016 Miss Teenage Canada Delegate with their own fashionable pair of their Sunglasses. All of the delegates rocked there new shades. We got to choose from a wide variety of shapes and colours. I went with a pair of bright neon pink ones in a Wayfarer style and my lovely roommate Katie from Nova Scotia went with a pair of funky purple floral sunglasses. I wore the sunglasses all around Toronto while we toured the city.   Check out my Roomie Katie from Nova Scotia and I sporting our new shades!

 

Katie and I in our V.P.I. Sunglasses

Katie and I in our V.P.I. Sunglasses

KB SPONSOR Bradlee Ryall GolfKeeping the summer theme going, we were each given the opportunity to try our Golfing skills compliments of the folks at Bradlee Ryall Golf Academy. #Ryallgolf #kaneffgolf

Look who got a HOLE IN ONE!

HOLE IN ONE, Me, Katie and Precious

HOLE IN ONE, Me, Katie and Precious

Yes, that is me, my Roommate Katie and Precious from New Brunswick!  We showed off our outstanding Putting skills!  Well, my putting skills were more like hockey skills rather then golf but hopefully when we head to Bradlee Ryall Golf Academy  on Wednesday I’ll learn to change my hockey girl habits!  Looking forward to playing in a SPECIAL HOLE IN ONE TOURNAMENT!

Getting my HOLE in ONE with Bradlee Ryall Golf Academy!

Getting my HOLE in ONE with Bradlee Ryall Golf Academy IN HEELS!

KB SPONSORS HashtagioHASHTAGIO – Social Media Aggregator

 

Hashtagio is a new start-up social media aggregator app that is hopi
ng to make an impact by gathering up all the media in the blogosphere marked #MissTeenageCanada2016 and sculpt it into a custom feed.  I am very excited to see how this amazing new company will pull this all together! I’m having so much fun using these hashtags on social media.

KB SPONSORS Archers ArenaARCHER’S ARENA

I had my first attempt at Archery thanks to the folks at ARCHER’S ARENA, a new sponsor of the Miss Teenage Canada organization. Trying this sport out made me feel just like Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger games!

Trying my hand at Archery

Trying my hand at Archery

Archer’s Arena brings the raw intensity of the fight back into traditional archery through Combat Archery.  Pioneering the competition and inspiring a new generation or archers through marksmanship, agility, stamina and teamwork.” 

I have decided it is my newest sport!

KB SPONSORS Sweets CanadaIt’s a good thing I have a sweet tooth because Sam Dhutia from SWEETS CANADA was at the party doing chocolate tastings.  Sam made a very informative and delicious chocolate tasting exhibit – after each sampling he generously gave out gourmet chocolate bars and/or edible flower chocolate bars depending on each delegate’s individual preference, as discovered during the tastings. I chose to go with a Cranberry and Lavender Petals dark chocolate because Lavenders are my favourite type of flower.  Sweets Canada is on Twitter @SweetsCanadaCA #sweetscanada

 

chocolates

Deciding between all of Sweet Canada’s tasty chocolates!

 

Yogen Fruz provided us with $15 coupons which we will be given later this week and I’m so excited because I absolutely LOVE frozen yogurt!!

KB SPONSORS Yogen Fruzhttps://facebook.com/yogenfruz

http://www.yogenfruz.com

https://twitter.com/yogenfruz     https://instagram.com/yogenfruz/

KB SPONSORS Storia PR

 

Delegates are especially advised to seek out and introduce themselves to Daphna and Karen Nussbaum from Storia PR in Toronto.

KB SPONSOR Rimmel London

 

Rimmel London provided a surplus of products to our 2016 MTC Delegate packages and also set up a special make up station of extra products.  You can find them at Rimmel London – Google Search// <!

A wonderful afternoon was spent by all at the SQUARE ONE Mall.  We shopped until we dropped! Each delegate was generously given a $30 Gift coupon to spend at the Mall. Did I mention, I LOVE TO SHOP!  I managed to find some great deals and purchased a dress, a scarf and a skirt with my $30 coupon.  A GREAT DAY!

To top off our gifts, each delegate was presented with our official MTC Tee-shirt and Hat compliments of the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant organization. I’m so excited to wear these shirts and hats on Wednesday because they’re cute, comfy and of course PINK! I love pink!

KB DAY ONE MTC Shirt and hat

 

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the sponsors and the support that they give to the MTC organization and the delegates.

Our MTC Wear!

Our MTC Wear!

Another generous sponsor is the SQUARE ONE Mall. We had a wonderful day at the mall, we shopped until we dropped! Each delegate was generously given a $30 Gift coupon to spend at the Mall. Did I mention, I LOVE TO SHOP!  I managed to find some great deals and purchased a dress, a scarf and a skirt with my $30 coupon.  A GREAT DAY! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! #SQ1 #squareone

cute

Shopping fun!

Stay Tuned and GO GOLD

Kathleen

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DAY TWO of my MISS TEENAGE CANADA Pageant Journey

My first full day at Miss Teenage Canada was nothing less than perfect! First thing we had a great breakfast from Tim Hortons and following that we got to be pampered by professional hair and makeup artists! I was so excited to have my makeup and hair done and learn some new tips and tricks about beauty styles and products.

My wonderful and talented Make Up Artist Laurie Whelen

My wonderful and talented Make Up Artist Laurie Whelen

Laurie Whelen, makeup artist extraordinaire did my makeup and I loved it! I really enjoyed getting to know all about her profession and the education behind it.

My hair was done by the ladies from GLAMZEE BEAUTY and they gave my hair some volume with sort of a vintage vibe. I had many compliments on my hair and was told several times that it made me look like Marilyn Monroe, which I take as a huge compliment!

My Hair in Progress

My Hair in Progress

After all of the excitement of hair and makeup I headed down for my photo and video shoot! The photo shoot was so much fun! I learned a lot of great new poses, ones that I would have never even thought to try!

My Amazing Hair Stylist Zakira from Glamzee Beauty

My Amazing Hair Stylist Zakira from Glamzee Beauty

The video shoot was so awesome! I had a lot of fun talking into the camera and getting a chance to promote my platform; Childhood Cancer Awareness!

The Finished Product! Ready for Photo shoot and Video shoot!

The Finished Product! Ready for Photo shoot and Video shoot!

When we finally got a chance to sit down and relax it was time for a tasty rice and chicken lunch and all of the girls got a chance to mingle. I’ve met such amazing girls while I’m here that share a lot of interests with me and some even have crazy talents or interests that I’ve never even heard of!

MTC Choreographer Shawn Cuffie

MTC Choreographer Shawn Cuffie

After lunch we started our choreography for the bathing suit number, all 56 delegates strutted their stuff to fun and upbeat pop music until they couldn’t strut anymore. Our great choreographers Sean and Hollywood taught us how to rock our heels and carry ourselves confidently. I also learned that dancing in heels isn’t as impossible as you thought it might be!

Our REHEARSAL BREAK Selfie!

Our REHEARSAL BREAK Selfie!

We had some more free time to chat and do some blog writing and then we sat down for a delicious pasta and pizza dinner!

After dinner some of us decided to get a tan or eyelash extensions from Golden Glamour Goddesses. I had so much fun just waiting for my spray tan because we all got another chance to socialize and get to know each other! Believe it or not one delegate I met from British Columbia actually goes to the same high school as my cousin. It really is a small world.

I absolutely love my spray tan! The ladies at GGG did a fantastic job. I was a little nervous at first because I am new to the spray tan world, but I felt completely comfortable in these ladies’ capable hands.

Today was FANTASTIC! I still can’t believe that Day 2 is already over. This week is going to go by in the blink of an eye. I’m so excited for all the experiences yet to come!

GO GOLD
Kathleen

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VOTING HAS STARTED for the 2016 MISS TEENAGE CANADA Pageant.

 

I thought I would share these detailed VOTING Instructions with you in case you are unsure of how to vote.

Important

 

 

 

 

YOU MUST be REGISTERED with the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant Voting Registry in order to VOTE.  If you ARE REGISTERED, simply CLICK the VOTE button below to be sent directly to my DETAIL PAGE to cast your vote.

Click on the VOTE button to cast your VOTE.

Click on the VOTE button to cast your VOTE.

You will find the Input BOX On the bottom right hand corner of my DETAIL PAGE (where you have been directed by the VOTE button above).  Type in your e-mail and CLICK VOTE.

You will receive a pop up indicating that your VOTE has been cast!

IF YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED with the Miss Teenage Canada website and have NOT PREVIOUSLY VOTED before, you need to REGISTER first.

TO REGISTER:  Click the LOGO below to be directed to the Miss Teenage Canada Website Main Page.

MTC-LOGO

Then CLICK on

CLICK on the above picture to be directed to the VIP CLUB sign up

CLICK on the above picture to be directed to the VIP CLUB sign up

INPUT your NAME, AGE and EMAIL in the Input Boxes indicated and CLICK  —   REGISTER

You will receive a Confirmation e-mail to the e-mail you have REGISTERED.  (Check your Junk Inbox if you do not immediately see the e-mail)

Click the LINK on the Confirmation e-mail that you receive to VERIFY your e-mail.

Then you can CLICK the LINK to the FINALISTS Page also in the confirmation e-mail to be directed to the Finalists page or you can simply CLICK the VOTE BUTTON Above to be directly to my FINALIST PAGE.

Input your e-mail in the VOTE BOX at the bottom right hand corner and CLICK VOTE.

Thank you for taking the time to VOTE for me.  I truly appreciate all of the support that I have been receiving!  I have the BEST Home Town FANS possible!

GO GOLD

Kathleen

 

Written by: Kathleen
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DAY ONE of my MTC Pageant Week Journey

The Van is packed

The Van is packed

The day finally arrived and we were OFF TO TORONTO for 2016 Miss Teenage Canada Pageant Week!  After some strenuous suitcase aerobics, I managed to close my massive suitcase of clothes and shoes, pack up the van and off we went.  ROAD TRIP!

Mom, Patti and I had lots of laughs on the drive and we

Our ROADIE SELFIE!

Our ROADIE SELFIE!

managed to cram in some last minute “pageant talk!”  The drive went by in a blink of an eye!  My heart was filled with excitement the entire way down!  We finally arrived in Toronto and stopped for a quick lunch at Boston Pizza before heading to the MTC REGISTRATION at the MTC Host Hotel, the HOLIDAY INN TORONTO AIRPORT.  My heart dropped!  I was finally here!   I then met the MTC Staff and ventured off into the beautiful ballroom where I met and got to know the other amazing delegates from across the country. I met my roommate, the beautiful Katie from Nova Scotia.  We are fast becoming great friends.  We had a few minutes to start to unpack our suitcases and then it was off to our First OFFICIAL 2016 Miss Teenage Canada Delegate Meeting.

My Beautiful Roommate KATIE from Nova Scotia

My Beautiful Roommate KATIE from Nova Scotia

We had a great dinner from PIZZA NOVA and an awesome cake and had an opportunity to start to get to know each other as we chatted through dinner.

THE ONTARIO GIRLS!

THE ONTARIO GIRLS!

We also received some amazing gifts from some of our sponsors which I will tell you about tomorrow!

For now, it’s time to finish unpacking and get some rest!

 

GO GOLD,

Kathleen

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MISS TEENAGE CANADA PAGEANT Preparations

MTC-LOGO

The past few months have been incredibly busy and filled with excitement! My journey to the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant has required a lot of preparations; volunteering, fundraising, blogging, filling out paperwork, issuing receipts and sending out numerous personal thank you cards. All of these tasks are important and they are all lessons we have all learned from the opportunity of being a Miss Teenage Canada Delegate.  These requirements show that the delegates of the Miss Teenage Canada pageant are responsible and capable young women who take their regional titles and responsibilities seriously. It is amazing what I have learned just by being a 2016 Miss Teenage Canada Delegate; Time Management, Public Relations skills, Public speaking skills, the importance of prioritizing and organizing, dealing with unforeseen challenges and constantly being ON THE GO!  I have LOVED every minute of it.  I still can’t believe that I’m leaving for Toronto THIS WEEKEND! I’m so excited for this experience and all of the friends and memories I will make throughout the week. I can’t wait to meet the other delegates, learn about their hometowns, their charity platforms and what they are passionate about.

My Shopping Excursion

My Shopping Excursion

The last two weeks of my preparations have been very busy but very exciting and rewarding. Kicking off the final countdown to MTC was a 10- hour shopping trip to the Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa with my mom, sister and good friends Patti and Paige. We took the term “shop till you drop” quite literally. Thanks to my shopping team for helping with some last minute decisions and bargain finds!

BLOG 14 BELLS AND BOWI had a dress fitting of my absolutely gorgeous evening gown that I purchased from BELLS and BOWS BRIDAL Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta.  Special thanks to Angeline MacDonald for taking the time to assist me and for making my long distance gown shopping an incredible experience.  I cannot wait to wear my gown at the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant.  I can’t share pictures yet, but trust me IT IS WORTH THE WAIT!

Then it was a long fashion show session with all of my potential outfits pairing them with jewelry, the ever-important shoes and accessories.  Once everything was chosen and complimented properly then it all had to be PACKED!

PAGEANT WEEK PACKING!

PAGEANT WEEK PACKING!

Throughout the week, I also had a variety of events to take part in. I had a lot of fun filming a video at Bonnechere Caves as my first Blog assignment! Tuesday I had a radio interview with MYFM RADIO about my journey as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario and my upcoming trip to Miss Teenage Canada and then started my 2nd blog assignment creating a banner for the Miss Teenage Canada pageant. I loved being able to show my creative side using digital art.

Lots of Family and Friends turned out at my GOOD LUCK Send off Party

Lots of Family and Friends turned out at my GOOD LUCK Send off Party

After a busy week, my sponsor, the Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant Organization was so kind to throw me a GOING AWAY/GOOD LUCK PARTY at Coco Jarry’s in Renfrew. I was so happy to have all of my friends and family show up to give me their support and to wish me luck. It was a lovely evening.  Coco Jarry’s made us a wonderful buffet of their famous

Our MISS TEEN Slushies created by NICK owner of COCO JARRY'S! LOVED THEM!

Our MISS TEEN Slushies created by NICK owner of COCO JARRY’S! LOVED THEM!

pizza, nachos, bruschetta bread and wraps and the owner Nick featured a special Miss Teen Slushy for us to enjoy out on the patio. A pink and delicious blend of fruit juices and icy goodness.  I was very honored that His Worship Mayor Michael Donohue, Mayor of Admaston-Bromley took the time from his very busy schedule to attend my GOING AWAY/GOOD LUCK PARTY and give me his personal best wishes.

With Mayor of Admaston/Bromley His Worship Mayor Michael Donohue

With Mayor of Admaston/Bromley His Worship Mayor Michael Donohue

Finishing up the week, I was treated to a relaxing day at the Main Street Spa in Cobden with my mom getting manicures and pedicures. It was nice to take a few hours to sit back relax and be pampered after an eventful and rewarding 7 weeks.

BLOG 14 SPA

Getting special treatment at the Main Street Spa in Cobden

My final duty this week was to close my charity bank account and get all of the money I’ve raised into two separate checks, one for Free the Children and one for Fort McMurray Fire Relief. I can only imagine how happy the ladies at the bank were because they will no longer have to count my baggies of heavy change or paper clipped bills that they had to count after every fundraiser! This was an exciting time, but also a bittersweet one, because this meant that all of my fundraising was done. I truly enjoyed taking on the FUNDRAISING PROJECT challenge. The most important things we can give are our talents and time to help others. I look forward to continuing my charity work in the future with many of the charity organizations I’ve met along this journey.

I will be attempting to do daily BLOG posts during my Miss Teenage Canada week so everyone can keep up with my experience and my Miss Teenage Canada pageant journey.  I apologize in advance if I miss a day but according to my predecessors Caroline, Hillary, Gracie, Sonya and Theresa I will be a tad busy!  So excited for everything this amazing experience is about to bring me!

TOE logo

BLOG 14 farmer bootsBefore signing off, I would also like to take this time to thank my SPONSOR and HOME PAGEANT, the MISS TEEN ONTARIO EAST PAGEANT for providing me with this unique and incredible opportunity.

 

So, I guess it’s off with the work boots, the ball hat and my farmer-wear and ON WITH THE HEELS!

BLOG 14 HEELS

Next stop Toronto and the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant!

 

Go Gold

Kathleen

 

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Free the Children and Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fundraising Project

BLOG 12 Fundraising pennies

“Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.”
-Hank Rosso

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.

ftc logo revised

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 BLOG 13 Fort McFort 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.

Giant Garage Table in Downtown Renfrew

Giant Garage Table in Downtown Renfrew

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.

A Ladies' Night Golf Promotional Speech

A Ladies’ Night Golf Promotional Speech

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!

Men's Night Promotional Speech

Men’s Night Promotional Speech

TAG DAY Entertainers

TAG DAY Entertainers

 

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.

Euchre Night at the Douglas Tavern

Euchre Night at the Douglas Tavern

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.

With Miss Teen Ontario East Sophia DeCarle and LEGENDARY LUCKY RON

With Miss Teen Ontario East Sophia DeCarle and LEGENDARY LUCKY RON

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!

Garage Sale and Gladys & Doug's

Garage Sale and Gladys & Doug’s

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.

Canada Day "TREATS" with Daphne Rose Ontario East Ambassador

Canada Day “TREATS” with Daphne Rose Ontario East Ambassador

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!

The Beautiful OAKS of COBDEN GOLF CLUB

The Beautiful OAKS of COBDEN GOLF CLUB

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

My MTOE Beauties; Mae, Hillary, Kathryn and Jessica

My MTOE Beauties; Mae, Hillary, Kathryn and Jessica

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!

The enthusiastic DREAM TEAM

The enthusiastic DREAM TEAM

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!
BLOG 12 Fundraising GOALIn 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.

Thank you to everyone who donated, participated and supported my Free the Children/Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fundraising Project for the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant!

 

GO GOLD!

 

Kathleen

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A PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE

My parents are both great and successful people who I love and admire with all my heart. They’re a helping hand when you need one, a smile when you’re sad, a teacher, a role model and a friend. My parents stay strong and hold my family together through times of trouble. So for my final blog series of how Childhood Cancer affects everyone, I give you my mom Donna’s perspective.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As I walked alone down the hall of 4 North in CHEO, I stopped in front of a photo of Molly Penny, the CHEO therapy clown, and a little oncology patient walking hand in hand down the hospital corridor. This quote was written beneath it. I couldn’t sleep, I was in tears, I felt so alone and I wondered how on earth my daughter ended up here and where on earth I was going to find the strength to help her through this? Late at night, in this isolated hallway, with one of my precious daughters laying in a hospital bed, I knew that somewhere we as a family would have to summon the strength from within to help her, but I also came to the realization that a gargantuan amount strength and courage was going to have to come from somewhere inside an 11 year old kid.

My Mom and my sister Jill

My Mom and my sister Jill

Our daughter was an athletic gregarious fun loving girl always laughing and on the move, when she started to experience stomach pains and flu like symptoms we believed she had just contacted a winter flu. When these pains became excruciating we took her to Renfrew Victoria Hospital (RVH) where she was given pain medication until an ultrasound could be done in the morning. After the ultra sound she was rushed to CHEO by ambulance where we met a surgeon who thought she perhaps had an ovarian torsion (twisted ovary) which causes swelling of the ovary and pain in the abdomen. She was scheduled for roughly a one-hour laparoscopic surgery at 6pm that evening. As we sat in the waiting room, the 1 hour stretched into 3 and we were panicked. The “mass” around her ovary had been ruptured and the small surgery became a much larger ordeal for her.

The mass was sent away, and after a week stay at CHEO she got to come home, two weeks after that she was diagnosed with cancer. Her first treatment would start just before Christmas and she was scheduled to be home for Christmas Eve.

Our first reaction was shock, followed closely by disbelief, fear and grief. She was such an athletic, healthy kid; we couldn’t understand how this could happen to someone so young and active.

A Mom and Daughter Selfie!

A Mom and Daughter Selfie!

In my mind, I was hoping there was a mistake made in her blood work or lab results, I really struggled with facing the mortality of my child when every fiber of being a Mom is about protecting your children. Outwardly, you want to be calm for your child and strong for your family but inside is a different story. I wrote some poems during this time to help myself cope with the turmoil I felt on the inside. I struggled with my faith and I wanted desperately to take the shock, disease and pain away from her and put it on myself, but I realized that the lion’s share of this battle was going to be hers alone and that was hard to comprehend. It was a heavy load for an 11-year-old kid, she was thrown into a world of adult terminology and decisions as well as medical tests, procedures and many needles, reports and machines.

BLOG 11 Donna4We lost the luxury of that carefree feeling of everything being alright with our kids. She was going to be missing school and I was going to have to leave work. She would have to deal with losing her hair and contending with a type of chemo known for causing terrible nausea. We quickly became knowledgeable about medical terminology, medications and protocols. I would go into what I later referred to as “CHEO” mode, monitoring visitors, sterilizing our home when she was neutropenic, and scheduling treatments and appointments. We became more tightly knit and we switched off Mom and Dad at the hospital to be with our other two children and keep things somewhat “normal” at home for them. Our other two daughters focused on their sister and what they could do to help her through each round of chemo and then radiation. The time in treatment can be isolating. We always planned things in the future to look forward to, it seemed to lift her spirits and drive her recovery. The Candlelighters were a huge part of this. They gave us events to look forward to and Jill was given a laptop to use during treatments so she could stay connected with her friends which was so very important to her recovery.

Six months after her original treatments, routine blood work at RVH showed elevated tumour markers and our daughter was given the news that she had a relapse tumour. After being named top athlete at the local track meet and taking part in RCI’s relay for life that week, she was now facing 2 more surgeries, 5 more rounds of aggressive chemo and radiation. You think hearing that initial diagnosis is the worst news you can get, but relapse was worse, because this time she knew what lay ahead.

This blog series is about perspectives and as a Mom and a teacher, I’d like to share some of the extraordinary things that I saw happen next, from my perspective.

After the relapse news, Jill again had to leave school and enter treatment. As any “frequent flyer” at CHEO will tell you, this means missing many social events and milestones. Many holidays, birthdays and celebration times are spent isolated in the hospital. Not being able to just hang out with your friends when you want to is a huge loss.

I think one of the most amazing things I saw at this time was the resiliency, strength and acceptance from Jill’s sisters and friends.

SISTERS are the BEST Friends you can also call Family!

SISTERS are the BEST Friends you can also call Family!

During this time, from day one, I saw Jill’s younger sister Kathleen become somebody who could make Jill laugh and who was always ready to go outside and make forts or play games when Jill felt up to it. She became a Wii challenger, a cartoon watching buddy and a messenger for Jill between home and school. I found that much of her focus was on making Jill smile or get her active.

Jill’s older sister Jenna shouldered more responsibility at home. She became more of a girls’ night organizer and popcorn maker. I feel that she spent more time trying to make evenings at home fun for her sisters and she also changed plans and was willing to go places and do things at anytime so Jill was not so isolated. I feel much of her focus was on keeping things easier and positive for Jill and our family.

They seemed to take changes in stride and even though they were worried, they tried to make things as positive as possible. The trio of sisters were dancing, singing raucous kids when they could be, and quiet, snuggle up with a movie companions when that was needed too. They seemed to just sense what was needed at any given stage of recovery.

As a Mom and a teacher, I worried about how this news was going to affect Jill’s friends. A diagnosis like this is a big intrusion into a childhood world of carefree laughter and fun. I was concerned about how they would handle this news and struggle to make sense of it all. The busy days at the end of the school year, before Jill’s hospitalization, were going to be action packed and fun but Jill was going to share some pretty intense news with them. How would they feel when they got home at night and snuggled into bed? Would they be afraid? Would it be too much to handle? Every one of the parents of Jill’s friends I spoke to, were all helping their child cope but were very concerned about what they could do for Jill. They all supported Jill’s decision to talk to her friends at school and tell them what was happening.

Jill’s friends at school were very supportive and accepting. They sent her notes, videos and pictures. The biggest thing I noticed about the kids is that they left the illness behind and sent funny ridiculous things that showed just kids being kids. They didn’t change who they were. A huge part of transitioning back to school was that Jill’s friends accepted her right back into normal school routines. Sometimes kids who are away from their peers for an extended period of time can be isolated when they return. This didn’t happen with Jill’s friends or her teachers. When she returned, she was welcomed and very quickly bounced back into being a regular student. The kids seemed to roll with things sometimes better than adults.

With Jill’s family friends, I noticed their ability to change plans when needed. I found it amazing how they were so willing to celebrate her February birthday in July, have Halloween early, stay home and have a New Years Eve pajama party or make snow forts outside in sub zero temperatures just to be together. I found that each friend had a gift they shared with Jill to help with her recovery. Some where artists, some communicators, others were clowns and motivators. They all stayed positive for Jill and followed her lead. Amazing!

Our family is a pillar of support for our Hero Jill.

Our family is a pillar of support for our Hero Jill.

I have seen my 11 year old fun loving, intelligent, beautiful daughter vaulted into a hurricane of severe change. I’ve seen her go through highs and lows that still seem Blog 11 donnaunimaginable. I’ve watched the typical teenage bumps, bruises and disappointments help her develop into a fun loving, intelligent, beautiful 18 year old who doesn’t allow the past to define her, and who continues to overcome the struggles associated with recovery and moving forward. Did she do it alone? Absolutely not. She was, and continues to be surrounded by loving sisters and extraordinary friends. However, somewhere inside there lies an incredible spirit that embodies resiliency and strength, she is an incredible woman, from my perspective.”

Donna, A Proud Mom!

Seeing my Mom’s words in print was heartbreaking and inspiring.  During Jill’s journey, I very seldom ever saw my Mom’s reserve break.  She was always strong, positive and in control.  I hope her words have moved you as much as they have moved me!

GO GOLD!

Kathleen

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“A grandparent is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher and a little bit best friend.”

My grandparents have always been a huge part of my family’s lives and I am very fortunate to have lived so close to them and be able to spend as much time with them as I have. Throughout my sister’s diagnosis, it affected my grandparents severely. As another addition to my Childhood Cancer Awareness Blog Series, I asked my grandma for her perspective on what it was like when Jill was diagnosed.

 My Grandma Sybil’s Perspective:

“Throughout my life I have written countless essays, papers, reports etc.  This one will be the most difficult one I have ever attempted to write.  Jill’s journey through her cancer ordeals have been well written by her immediate family, therefore I will refer to various segments, and focus on Jill’s earlier life, as well as trying to give some insight into how childhood cancer affects the family, friends, neighbors, an entire community and beyond.
Jill was always a happy child, bubbling with enthusiasm, energy, love and compassion. Along with this charming, adorable personality, she was energetic, athletic, kind and thoughtful. She was always a pleasure to be with. When she came to visit at Grandpa & Grandma’s, she usually entered in with a cartwheel, or back flip. Then say, “Hi Grandma!” Naturally I would respond with an appropriate reply. Like, WOW that is Jill that just came flying through the door. Hugs, and then we would move ahead to what the plan was for today.

My Sister Jill

My Sister Jill

Playing outdoors, her first stop was often the maple tree where she would climb the lower branches. This was upsetting to Grandpa, as he was afraid she would fall. She never did! I assured him that she had good balance, was strong, and knew what she was capable of doing safely. (I loved to climb trees when I was young, so did her mother, so we understood her desire)
Fast forward to November 2009, when our world turned upside down. Jill became very ill with severe pain, was rushed to Renfrew Victoria Hospital where she was diagnosed with a large “cyst” on her left ovary. She was transported to CHEO by ambulance.  As a grandmother, I was concerned, anxious, worried, but knew I had to stay strong, remain positive and support the family. It is possible the cyst, or tumor could be benign!

We had to have faith, pray and hope for the best. However, the tumor was malignant! Shock, Panic!  Fear! Along with a very sick feeling in the pit of your stomach pass over you.  You have to give yourself a “shake”, deal with the problem. So you deal with the shock, stay strong, and go to be with Jill and the family. They need you, your support, love, strength, and reassurance that Jill would conquer this setback as well.
Helping the family while Jill was at CHEO, I felt I would serve them best by helping Jenna and Kathleen at home.  I was happy to make meals, lunches, drive them to events, keep Kathleen company when Jenna was busy with schoolwork, sports or playing hockey.  I could also drive Kathleen to her hockey games and be there to support her. Her parents were always at their games, so I must do my best to cheer her on. It was also important to reassure them that Jill was going to get well. She was strong and would win this battle!

Jill, My Grandma and Me

Jill, My Grandma and Me

The community, neighbor’s, friends, school staff, as well as extended family members supported the family in various ways, preparing a meal, bringing special treats, or dropping in with a gift, or a surprise for the girls. They were always supportive. Jill went through radiation, returned home for a short period, returned to school, then back to CHEO for chemo.
Jill returned home for Christmas Eve following her chemo treatments.  She had been feeling hungry for some home made food, and had requested ham on buns for Christmas Eve supper – one of her favorites. As she was very sensitive to cooking odors, that should be a safe one. Grandma was up to the task, cooked the ham at my home, and brought it to their house.  Jill was so very sick from the chemo; she slept through her special supper. We were so happy to have her with us, but felt sad for her. However we knew Jill would be able to enjoy her ham on a bun tomorrow or next day.
Christmas morning. Jill opened her gifts with Jenna & Kathleen’s help.  When I arrived, she was still very tired, but said I could open her gift.  Jill had been very excited about her chosen gift for me. Her Mom had taken her shopping when she was able to go before treatments. She was so excited and thrilled with her purchase she could barely wait for Christmas because this was “the best gift ever!”  I knew how much she wanted to see me open this precious gift, but knew she was much too sick to appreciate, or remember this special time, so I suggested we wait until Boxing Day, and we could exchange our gifts then. I mention this in my writing because this gift has a very special place in my heart and will remain in a very special place in my home. Jill was still thinking of others, and not dwelling on her own illness.
Jill was able to return to school after the March Break. She was so excited that along with being with her classmates again, back at school, and it was springtime. That means track & field is the focus in gym classes. She would be able to train for one of her favorite sports! Was she able to do this?  Of course she was! She excelled once again and won Junior Girl Trophy at Renfrew large track meet.  Applause for Jill was widespread, as other school members, as well as coaches were aware of Jill’s battle, and were supporting her. Were there tears in my eyes at this presentation? Yes, and I would guess that I wasn’t the only one in the crowd. I will never forget this meet.  Jill enjoyed this spring season as she gained strength, she was healthier, and her beautiful hair was growing in again.
Unfortunately, once again at the end of June, Jill’s cancer had returned. This time she had radiation first to shrink the tumor, followed by chemo. We know she was devastated at first. How much can a child bear? However, Jill remained strong, positive, optimistic and never complained. Jill dealt with being ill once again, even though it was terrifying as she had been there before.

Jill and I  giving back at our Road side BAKE SALE for CHEO

Jill giving back at our Road side BAKE SALE for CHEO

Five days following surgery, Jill and Kathleen held a bake sale at the end of their lane, where they raised over $1,000. This effort was to support Childhood Cancer. They were anxious to tell people that this illness is “out there”, and needs to be recognized! This was the beginning of their fundraising and they have continued on. They are both still fundraising for Childhood Cancer.  Continue on girls. You are doing great!
I wish to commend the Candlelighters for their work and support to families dealing with Childhood Cancer. They support families in all areas, especially financially and emotionally.  I recall how thrilled Jill was to receive a laptop computer for her use while recovering at home. This allowed her to keep in touch with her school friends, keep in touch with happenings, also to message each other, as often she was not able to have visitors in her home, because of risk of infection.  Candlelighters also help families by offering them special events such as NHL games (they have a “family box”), which protects families from outside infections. They offer concerts, and more. Candlelighters also help patients remain comfortable while at CHEO.  They are an awesome support group. They deserve and need our support.

Reflecting on these years of Jill’s life is very emotional and heart wrenching for me, her grandmother.  This should NEVER happen to a child, but it DOES! It is a life changing experience for all who endure it. Your thoughts and prayers are with the child and family. You know how they are suffering; yet remaining positive, supportive, and caring for the child with love, compassion and understanding. I am extremely proud of my family for working through this very difficult time in their lives. Each one is a true survivor and champion.

Jill, we are so proud of all your accomplishments.  You have achieved great success in your schoolwork, sports, and all your undertakings.  You have climbed every mountain, and conquered every obstacle in your pathway with determination, perseverance, humility, showing the spirit of a true survivor and champion. Jill is a beautiful young lady who is excited and looking forward to her future as she enters University.

WE LOVE YOU JILL!”

Grandma Sybil

GO GOLD!

Kathleen

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