This Friday, August 24, Woodbine Beach will be transformed into a surfers’ paradise as Aloha Toronto welcomes some legendary surfers to the shores of Toronto.
Aloha Toronto is a weekend fundraiser for SickKids and Surfers Healing. The event features free surf clinics for kids with autism from surfers Doc and Izzy Paskowitz, and Big Wave surfer Garrett McNamara, great beach parties, Hawaiian music and entertainment. The event will feature performances by the Aloha Toronto ‘surf’ house band The Calrizians, musicians, traditional Hawaiian dancers, DJs and entertainers, as well as classic surf films. Beach parties will be held on Friday and Saturday nights, with all proceeds benefitting autism research at SickKids and Surfers Healing.
Izzy Paskowitz and his wife Danielle feel strongly about the cause after discovering the powerful, therapeutic effects surfing had on their son Isaiah, who has low-functioning autism.
To purchase tickets for any of the beach parties, make a donation, or for more information, please visit www.alohatoronto.com.
Erick Bauer’s daily routine is anything but normal. The 27-year-old takes more than 60 pills a day to keep his vital organs working properly since being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at the age of six.
Erick is the co-founder of the Friends For Life Foundation, a Toronto-based organization that raises funds and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis Canada and the Oncology Unit at The Hospital for Sick Children. The Foundation was created in 2005 by Erick and his childhood friend Steve Cameron, who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2001.
“Steve and I have known each other since middle school. When Steve got sick with cancer in high school, we connected on a different level, as two young people dealing with life-threatening illnesses,” Erick said. “Friends for Life started out as a small, grassroots event at our high school and over the past seven years the event has grown and taken on a life of its own.”
This Saturday, June 23, Erick and Steve are hosting the seventh annual Friends for Life charity benefit. This year's event, which is taking place at LOFTRaum @ UrbanAmish, will feature musical performances, a live and silent auction, culinary creations from some of Toronto's top chefs and the chance to mix and mingle with hundreds of socially conscious young professionals. Erick and Steve hope to raise $50,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Canada and SickKids at the event.
“The event features food from some of the top catering companies and restaurants in Toronto, a live jazz quartet, and a large live and silent auction,” Erick said. “Two leading cystic fibrosis researchers will also speak at the event about some of the latest research and discoveries in the field.”
To learn more about the Friends for Life Foundation, visit www.fflf.ca or check out their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-for-Life-Foundation/165267503531513 and Twitter at @FFLFoundation.
Winter was 15-year-old Jordan Fawcett’s favourite season. Every year, Jordan couldn’t wait to hit the slopes and participate in her favourite sport – skiing. She was an avid skier whose talent led her to compete for her high school at OFSAA in 2009. Tragically, Jordan’s life was cut short by Sudden, Unexpected and Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) on November 2, 2010.
“Jordan passed away only a year after she was diagnosed with epilepsy, and was considered extremely low risk for SUDEP,” said Jordan’s mother, Deb Fawcett. “SUDEP is still relatively unknown, so it’s very difficult to get funding for research. Our goal is to raise awareness and funds for SUDEP to help other families and kids like Jordan.”
On Friday, February 24, Deb and her husband Dave are hosting a ski event called Jordan’s Slide for SUDEP at the Beaver Valley Ski Club in Markdale in memory of their daughter. The event features skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, a buffet lunch, indoor activities, a silent auction, and an après ski social with a live band. Former Olympic and World Cup champion Todd Brooker will also be hosting a slalom race in memory of Jordan. Each ticket includes a lift pass, buffet lunch, t-shirt, and a donation to support SUDEP awareness and education work at The Hospital for Sick Children.
SUDEP occurs most often during sleep and there is no known cause. Lack of awareness makes it difficult to determine how many deaths occur as a result of SUDEP. Dr. Elizabeth Donner, a paediatric neurologist at SickKids, will be at the event to speak about epilepsy and explain our current understanding of SUDEP. Donner is a founder of SUDEP Aware, a Toronto-based organization that works to increase awareness and understanding of SUDEP.
“We are proud to celebrate and commemorate Jordan’s life through this event,” Deb said. “Jordan was always helping people, and we want to continue her legacy by helping other kids and families.”
To learn more about Jordan’s Slide for SUDEP, or to make a donation, please visit: www.sudepaware.org.