Categories
Be The Best.

Lamb lollipops and changing lives

Ever had one of those lamb lollipop things?  They are popular at networking events with the idea being that you can eat them standing up, maybe balance a glass of wine and still mingle with people.

I’m not that coordinated.

So, some context.

Ingrid and I were invited to the Simon Fraser University’s ‘President’s Reception’, because of our connection with Chris’ fund.  We weren’t able to attend the event last year so with a bit of apprehension of the unknown we headed to SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in Gastown.

I expected to hear a few words from the President.  I expected to perhaps eat some appetizer type foods.  I expected to hear a few speeches.  I did not expect to be so incredibly moved and inspired.

So…with my hands full, I spied a stand-up table at the edge of the room where one other couple was also doing the balancing act.  I made a simple comment asking if we might join them and a conversation ensued.

The people we met by ‘random circumstance’ (or not) were a Professor and his wife who is a retired Professor herself.

We talked about SFU and their relationship to the donor event.

They of course asked about our connection which led to a conversation about Chris.

The Professor (names protected) talked about a long time friend of his and how his friend’s memorial fund had built up over 20 years and was now helping students on a yearly basis, stating that every dollar counts.

We couldn’t agree more.  To see Chris’ fund payout for the first time last year was amazing and we’re very excited about challenging a young man once again in January when the 2nd gift will be ready for disbursement.

If the evening had ended there, that would already have been more than I expected, but it didn’t.

Our Professor couple went home, read some more about Chris and the next day connected themselves with the fund financially.

Are you kidding me?

You have to be in our situation to really understand what that means, but for a couple, on a completely random and chance meeting, to think enough about what Chris’ fund will mean to future SFU students and citizens was amazing and humbling for us.

I have left that experience again inspired about Being The Best.

Deep heartfelt kindness from total strangers.

A deep understanding of how small decisions have major impacts with time.

For me, it provided another dose of energy as we recognize how impactful our words and actions can be.

And the lamb lollipops….perfect…I went back for seconds.

Categories
Be The Best.

Coat Cheque.

Chris, in red, takes on fellow BMSer in practice session.

Late yesterday afternoon we left BCIT and headed up the hill to Simon Fraser University.

We’ve done that drive many times.  Most of those times were to drop Chris and his fellow Burnaby Mountain Selects lax dudes off for a practice.  Then they would beat each other with sticks and run like crazy people and throw a hard rubber ball as intensely as they could at even crazier dudes who were the goalies!  Chris loved it.

Look at these pics from Aug 2009.  This was actually a practice down in New West, but these are all BMS players in a scrimmage.  Chris is red #32.  I love the picture where you can see him smiling through his mouth guard.  He loved playing defense.  I spoke to some of his teammates who said Chris would hurt you in practice and it was excellent, cause it made you better.  You knew he was giving 100% all the time…practice, scrimmage or championship game.

I just LOVE that smile.

Anyways, yesterday wasn’t a practice.

We were heading up to SFU to deliver the cheque that will be presented to the first receipient of the Chris Friesen Memorial Award in January 2011.  Wanda from the foundation at SFU met us and she has become a wonderful part of all the good that is happening and will continue to happen in Chris’ name.  With the fund over $30,000 and the first gift in place, the fund is now fully operational and will provide the first official payout based on interest earned from the fund in January 2012.  We cannot think about the fund or the legacy from the fund without thinking about everyone who contributed directly and indirectly to the fund and our family with love and care over the past 8 months.

That’s the cheque…the coat was today.

Our entrepreneurial marketing students at BCIT were having a fund raiser today with a silent auction and also having a coat drive.  Ingrid had a used coat and we also had one from Chris.  The thought of his coat keeping someone warm this winter makes us feel good, even though the very simple act of giving away his coat this afternoon was not the easiest thing that I’ve ever done.

Coat…Check.

Cheque…Check.

A good couple of days….hard….but good.

Categories
Be The Best.

29,978 reasons to say thank you…wait, make that 30,000.

We had a few amazing emails this week.

The first was from Joyce, part of our Burnaby Mountain Selects lacrosse family.

She had the official total raised for Chris’ fund from the Chris Friesen Memorial Lacrosse shafts.

Ready? $8,261.54.  Are you kidding me?  What an incredible donation from all of those who purchased the sticks, the folks at Harrow and our amazing friends Joyce, Brent and Jeff at BMS.

The good news didn’t stop there.

Just today we received a note from Wanda at Simon Fraser with a new grand total, $29,978.45!!

Our goal was 20k.  When that was smashed, Ingrid boldly told Wanda the new goal was 30k.

When I saw that number this afternoon, the first thing I thought about was hoofing it up to SFU to put in another $25 to get us over the 30k mark.

I didn’t quite get there and then I read another email.

It was from Brent from BMS to Wanda at SFU, personally committing funds to break through the $30,000 mark.

Cool eh?

In the darkest of times we have seen such warmth, light and brightness.

We are humbled and grateful and proud and sad and happy and scared and excited.

I could add more, but you get the picture.

With a fund established at $30,000, we will be helping to change lives for a long long time..forever actually, as this fund will never stop giving money away each year and will continue to grow over time.

The first $1,000 award to a lacrosse playing SFU student will be proudly given in Chris’ name in January 2011 at the Maple Leaf Awards dinner.

What a night that will be.