One of the great aspects of working in the Canadian IT industry is how the whole community gets together once a year to raise money for Princess Margaret Hospital and Easter Seals Ontario.
Started by Frank Squizzato, the Canadian Charity Golf Classic is entering its 29th year and has raised just over $4.6 million for these two great causes. “This event is a big deal and it’s a way for the entire computing community to get out for one day and support not just Easter Seals and Princess Margaret but themselves,” said Frank Squizzato “And, the networking that goes on at this tournament is impressive.”
Another impressive feat is how the original committee has stuck together for all these years. They are Joe Tersigni, George Soltys, Mary Whittle, Mary Taylor and Frank Squizzato.
“This group has remained together through thick and thin. This group is a great group and they constantly look for new blood and new sponsorship. They always go above and beyond,” he/she added.
Cisco Canada is back as the tournament’s title sponsor and that means CTV’s Bill Hutchinson will be the tournament’s MC.
There is a new golf club as well. The Canadian Charity Golf Classic will take place at the Country Club in Vaughan, Ont. The event will have a putting tournament, silent auction
and big tech packages as giveaways. It will have featured more trips and corporate team building experiences for attendees to win.
This year’s Easter Seals provincial ambassadors are nine-year-old Tai Young and 12-year-old Emily Shrubsall.
Tai has enthusiasm and energy to spare. With a passion for music and performing, Tai loves to sing, dance and play the guitar and the recorder. As an outgoing and friendly grade-three student, Tai has lots of friends at school and cites music and gym as his favourite subjects. He also loves to be active and is eager to participate in just about any activity, particularly basketball, sledge hockey, Glee Club, swimming and sit skiing.
Tai was born with an incomplete spinal cord injury, also known as Transverse Myelopathy, causing partial paralysis in his legs. As a result, he is unable to walk and uses a manual wheelchair for mobility. He also uses a walker for short distances and is just learning to use forearm crutches. At home, a stair glide gives Tai access to the upper level and a porch lift helps him get in and out of the house.
An avid Easter Seals camper, Tai has attended Camp Merrywood four times, twice with his family and twice on his own. Singing, drama and dances at Merrywood Hall are on the top Tai’s list of camp activities, but he also enjoys canoeing, going on out-trips and catching frogs.
As for the future, Tai has his sights set on the spotlight and wants to pursue a career as a pop singer or a television personality.
Emily is known for her bubbly and social personality, eleven-year-old Emily loves hanging out with classmates, meeting new people and making new friends. In her spare time Emily likes to draw, watch TV, and play with her Nintendo 3DS as well as her dad’s Playbook. Although she has a number of pets, Emily is very fond of horses and cites horseback riding as her favourite activity because “I don’t need anyone else with me and I can be in control of the horse.” Currently a grade six student, Emily’s preferred subjects are art, gym and French, “most days.”
Emily was born with cerebral palsy and fibular hemimelia resulting in one leg being shorter than the other. At age five, she underwent surgery and recently had a second surgery to remove growth tissue from her left leg to allow her right leg to “catch up”. Emily wears a brace on her right foot with a lift to help with the growth of the leg, and a manual wheelchair for long distances, which she has now outgrown and must have replaced. In school, she uses a computer to help complete her assignments.
Emily has a very positive outlook on life and doesn’t let her disability hold her back. “I walk a little slower than the other kids but there really isn’t anything I can’t do.”
Having been to both Camps Woodeden and Merrywood, Emily is a veteran Easter Seals camper with a fondness for the more challenging camp activities including, the high ropes course, white water rafting and the overnight, out-tripping excursion. She particularly likes the new indoor rock climbing wall at Woodeden, which she conquered on her first try!
When she gets older, Emily would love an opportunity to work at Disney World in Florida, one of her favourite places.
Emily hopes to use her year as an Ambassador meeting and talking to new people and spreading optimism to kids with physical disabilities. “I want to let them know that it’s ok to face life just they way you are.” She also wants to create awareness that it’s not ok to make fun of kids with disabilities. “We’re no different, and even if we do different things, we’re still just regular kids.”
You can get a chance to meet these two great kids at the Canadian Charity Golf Classic on Sept. 4th
Take a look at these fun videos from past events.