Thursday, November 24, 2011

We "Endeavored" to end the year on an Awesome high!

Another huge thank you to our great friends, Shannon and Maria, at Endeavor Arts Gallery for hosting our last Awesome event of 2011. Just where has the year gone??!

Reg Tiangha really upped the bar for emcee'ing our events. And special thanks to our live-tweeting crew of Kelsie, Sarah and Danelle. Great job ladies ... we were trending!

The evening was perfect, the venue incredible, the weather cooperative, the enthusiasm high ... but we were missing a Top4 pitcher. Who knew that traffic on the Deerfoot at 5:30 on a Thursday evening would be snarled??

We got under way a few minutes late but with a full complement of Top4 presenters.

First up was Ed Kusmirski pitching Science Road Show "Science experiments and demonstrations for kids." Ed walked us through the science shows of years past and explained that with a little sponsorship money and a boost from AF-Calgary he could get Calgary Science Show exposed to 100s of teachers and kids across Calgary. His pitch was first-rate and he set the stage for a night of strong pitches for amazing causes. What's better than kids and science?? (Ok, I'd say kids and math -- but I'm probably kind of alone in that thought).

Up next was Lisa Demers pitching for Haysboro School "Dream Catcher" Edible Garden. Lisa played with our heartstrings and brought a team of young people (dressed as vegetables, no less!) to do a 90 second live, fully choreographed performance - including talking parts from no less than 6 children and 2 adults. That's an awful lot to cram in to 90 seconds - but they did it! And they had other little people go through the audience handing out fresh carrots from baskets. No fair, low blow! :)


Lisa and her crew are building an edible garden at their K-6 School in Haysboro and the garden is in the shape of a "dream catcher". The award-winning design will be a shining example to other schools of how to create livable art for kids to participate in and learn from. I think the entire BOD of the Haysboro School was in attendance to cheer as Lisa pitched that a grant from Awesome Foundation would go to buy boards to create the garden (and protect it from those munching bunnies).

Susan Cunningham was up next and she said what we were all thinking "wow, that is a hard act to follow!". Sue and Barb are huge advocates for kids and sports (ok, kids & science, kids & gardens, kids & sports ... all we're missing now is kids & math!) and are organizing Kids Zone Sports - a training program for kids, and their teachers alike, to teach them how to Run, Jump & Throw ... like Olympic Athletes. In conjunction with the 2012 Canadian Track & Field Championships (also the Canadian Olympic qualifying event), Kids Zone Sports will engage Canada's elite athletes with kids.

Sue then invited the Haysboro School kids to demo her training kit equipment. Ok, what's more fun than kids running and jumping in front of an audience of 100 awesome people?! (not even math can beat that!).



****
Rossbina Nathoo drew the last spot by virtue of having been stuck on the Deerfoot and was relieved that we held the event for her. And I have to say "Wow!" - what an amazing lady doing great things for the seniors of the city. Rossbina started FOCUS on Seniors - a program for empowering seniors by engaging them in community, helping them get board training and reducing isolation and dependance by keeping their minds and bodies active. Rossbina had us mesmerized with her work with seniors and her single-handed efforts to raise this foundation from the ground up (beginning with finding a need with her own mother to now providing support and programs for over 200 seniors). I'll admit it - I shed a tear of admiration while was she was talking.

****
Ok, now what?? How on earth can we pick only 1 of these 4 awesome projects that are all more than deserving of our grant? As the last Awesome event of 2011, we were ending the year on a high note but also a low note. How can so many great groups of people, supporting so many causes for this city, possibly need our money? What does this say about what has gone missing in our communities to send these incredible people to us looking for funding. How can we, as a city, do more? How can we, as individuals do more? Rhetoric for now ... but a goal to strive for indeed.

****
After some lively and heated discussion, fisticuffs, and a lot of "wow, how do we decide this one??" It was a close race and a very tough decision but in the end it was Haysboro School Edible Garden that won out and won the $1000 cold, hard cash! The kids were so excited at winning and at the vision of $1000 cash as it emerged from the Awesome loot bag. They each got to hold a good chunk of money for the photo that ensued. Awesome times!



Don't forget to check out BJ's Gym final hurrah Nov 25th and 26th at BJ's Gym in East Village.

And don't forget to get your ideas in for the first $1000 cash award of 2012 -- submission deadline is Jan 10. Happy Holidays to everyone ... see you at the Holipalooza on Dec 7th!

****
Special thanks to our own Awesome Correspondence Officer - Elissa Lynn for the great photos tonight!

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