I hope you are enjoying your summer thus far and taking advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been fortunate enough to be receiving this year. Along those lines..the summer, great weather and a very special event are the reasons why I’ve put together this post.
I work for Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) and we have an annual event that is a fantastic opportunity for local youth and one I’m sure you will think is a very worthwhile.
The event is called the Summer Celebration and it provides local youth with an opportunity to spend a day at the beach. We will be holding the event at the beach in Port Stanley on August 22nd and we take this time to celebrate all of the young people’s efforts and successes that have taken place in the past year. Last year, more than 40 youth enjoyed a day of recreational activities, swimming, and a fantastic BBQ. The event is a huge success and it is all thanks to many wonderful organizations and businesses in the London community that support us in being able to provide a fun day for all.
My hope is that we can make this year’s Summer Celebration an even bigger success than ever before and that’s where you come in. I’m looking for donations of all kinds and they can be monetary, food donations, gift cards…you name it!
I’ve been fortunate enough to have already received pledges of donations from Downtown London and Starbucks at Dundas & Richmond and that has kicked off a ‘beach bag/swag bag’ of sorts that each youth will receive when boarding the bus for Port Stanley. My goal is to fill those beach bags with great stuff and start the day off right! Are you with me??
So..if you, your employer or someone that you think could help us out with making this day a special one, want to donate to this awesome event, please contact me and I’ll send out our donation letter and further details. You can also contact the lovely Jessica Justrabo who is a Youth Insight Facilitator working at our Youth Action Centre. Jessica is spearheading this event and doing great work by bringing on several sponsors, planning the day and basically being awesome. I’ll include her contact info below.
Oh and I’ll be on vacation next week but checking personal email periodically so if you have the “donation to top all donations”..please email me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) because I’ll want to attend to that immediately and fuss all over you and thank you profusely!
Otherwise you can contact Jessica or I at the numbers/emails listed below for further info!
Thanks for taking the time to read this and please pass it along..the more visibility the better!
You’re the best, London!!
Ed – t: 519.432.1112 ext.289
Jessica – t: 226.777.0116 ext.106
— I found this little note that I posted almost 3 years ago.
Still brings about a little smile —
Below is an excerpt from a conversation I had with my daughter last night while on the phone.
She just turned 12 last week.
Edward – “Hi Sweetie, how are you?”
Daddy’s Little Girl – “I’m good, how are you?”
e. – “Great…what are you up to?”
DLG – “Just making snacks for tomorrow’s lunch.”
e. – “Very good. How are things? How is school going?”
DLG – “Good. I got an A on my French test!”
e. – “That’s fantastic!! So what else are you doing in school?”
DLG – “I’m crushing.”
e. – “Oh yeah…crushing what?”
DLG – “On a boy.” [said very sing-song like]
e. – [taken a little by surprise, but smiling big] “Really?”
DLG – “Yeah.”
e. “That’s cute, sweetie. So what are you doing about this crush?”
DLG – “Not much…just staring at him a lot.”
…so much like her father. 😉
Anyway, thought it was pretty cute.
I was surprised she shared that with me and I thanked her for it.
Hopefully she feels she can always share her crushes with me.
There are many reasons at play here and typically, several push & pull factors go into making a decision such as this. Deep down if I’m thinking of my own selfish reasons, I’d say that things are changing in my (not)working life and they’re on the upswing so to match (in my crazy way of rationalizing) why not shake up my living environment as well? Makes sense, right? [rhetorical]
On a broad scope, there are several other reasons at play here and they impact both my kids and I on a regular basis. I won’t get into the details and at the sake of sounding ambiguous about that…we’re not suffering here but I *do* see the writing on the wall (well, there is graffiti on a fairly regular basis) so perhaps now is the best time to exit.
This decision came about quite quickly. Sure, I’ve been musing about it for awhile and haphazardly perusing viewit.ca and kijiji listings but I didn’t make any calls or walk a few neighbourhoods until this past weekend. On Saturday, I walked down Central Ave. just because I like the area and also, a friend of mine (#datelaura) just moved into the area. I knew of a few listings and sometimes you just luck out with signs and such. Jump to Sunday and that afternoon’s walk took me over into Old East Village as I remembered seeing a listing out that way and if you know me…you know I like to support that area.
It was a grey and rainy Sunday afternoon in OEV that saw me walking along with a coffee and just scouring the neighbourhood. Eventually I spot an ‘Apartment For Rent’ sign on this huge corner house. I cross the street to get a better look and there is a number listed and further details that state it’s a 3-bedroom…so far so good. I call the number and awkwardly stand outside as the phone rings. A woman answers and I inquire about the apartment. She had asked if I was nearby and I mentioned that I was standing right outside. Very kindly, the individual offered to let me see the apartment on the spot with the caveat that it was, “..a bit of a mess” as she was “..currently working on sprucing it up.” I was quite thankful at this point to be able to see an apartment so quickly without having to set an appointment so I said I’d love to see it and thanks for allowing the short notice. The woman I had been talking to said she be right out to show me in.
I wait less than a minute and the front door opens and…
[Note: you should understand that a series of strange and wonderful curiosities have been happening to me lately with things falling into place just so. Or, situations have been presented to me in a light that has been impossible to dim and ultimately have fashioned themselves into remarkable outcomes. So that being said….]
…who should be standing there to greet me but none other than Linda, one of the owners of the wonderful East Village Coffeehouse. I was stunned, shocked even. The odds of that happening had to be vast and yet here she was letting me have an impromptu peek at an apartment in her home!
If you don’t really see how this is so significant..let me elaborate a little. Just over two months ago I approached Linda and her brother Glen about helping them with the coffeehouse and their online persona if you will. They took a chance on me and my bag of tricks and we have been off and running ever since. In fact, the basis for all I do with the businesses I am currently involved with, stems from the relationship I have established with the East Village Coffeehouse, their fantastic ownership and a creative passion to try new things.
So I initially viewed the apartment on Sunday, thought about it, saw it again yesterday, thought some more, saw it again this morning and…..I decided to take it. As I mentioned earlier, there are many reasons why I feel that it’s time to make a change and those thoughts have been percolating in the background for a bit now. Add into the equation a great area and fantastic friend/homeowner/neighbour that I already have an established rapport with and I believe all the ingredients are present for a positive change.
I’ll probably be crafting a few posts over the coming months of the new place with pictures and such. It really is a unique space much like East Village Coffeehouse (shameless plug but if you’ve been there..you already know that and if you haven’t visited…then what are you waiting for?!?)
But for now…
Check out this bonus feature that resides in the apartment. A floor-to-ceiling, century-old wardrobe…straight outta Narnia!
Coming soon: Posts about cleaning, packing, moving, etc. They should all be very positive and cheery, right? [rhetorical]
London’s own John Labatt Centre has been running a great intitiative for the past few months called The JLC Reviewer. The JLC has developed this promotion for fans to get a chance to take in their favourite show or event in exchange for a review if they are selected
I’ve been a hockey fan for as long as I can remember (see pic) and when the opportunity was announced for a chance to be a #JLCreviewer for the preseason game that took place last Thursday between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings I naturally made my interest known for possibly being selected to review the event.
After I received word that I was one of the lucky individuals chosen to attend the game and take part in #JLCreviewer campaign I immediately started to make plans for the night and who I would be bringing as my guest. It didn’t take me long to settle on asking my Dad to come along with me. He’s a longtime fan of the game and I thought it would be nice to give back to him as my family has been so helpful in all they have done for me since I moved to London just over 2 years ago.
I went by the JLC on the day prior to the game and collected my tickets and was lucky enough to bump into Chris Campbell – the man behind this and many other marketing initiatives at the JLC. I thanked Chris again for the opportunity and reiterated my admiration for all the great things that he and the JLC are doing to further the fan experience for their many exciting concerts and shows.
Once I was able to, I checked the seating chart to see where we would be situated in the stands and to my surprise, I found that we would be right at centre ice and not many rows up from the players benches. Score! I called my Dad to let him know and get him more hyped up about the experience and I myself was really excited for the big game on Thursday night.
Fast forward to Thursday evening….Talbot street around the JLC was closed from earlier in the afternoon for a street party prior to the game. The tailgate party featured several radio stations, live bands, beer garden, etc. and was all aimed at getting the fans hyped up for the game. From walking around in that atmosphere, I’d say it was a great little addition to the festivities of the evening. I wished I could have arrived earlier to spend more time at the street party but time was slipping away and the puck was dropping soon so we made our way into the arena to get set for the game. As we were walking in we were greeted by a slew of jerseys from both sides with a scattering of Leaf jerseys too. The place was packed and excitement level was high. There were fans scrambling in all directions either to buy a souvenir, something to eat or grab a beer.
We made our way to the seats we had reserved for us and like I mentioned earlier, the seats were amazing! Centre ice behind the Detrioit bench. A fantastic view of all the action! We had a birds eye view of Mike Babcock giving his team some last minute instruction and we were even close enough for my Dad to catch a T-shirt during one of the intermissions.
I took a great deal of photos throughout the game and tweeted some real-time score keeping as well. All of which contained the #JLCreviewer tag so you could easily search out those entries if you wish.
I won’t get into great detail about the game itself, my article is more on the experience of being there with the rest of the fans and taking in the experience of a live game. If you’d like to get a really good summary of the game details, you can check out another reviewers blog right here. I’ve met Ashley once or twice before and she is a hardcore hockey fan with Boston being her team and she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to hockey.
Suffice it to say that Detroit seemed to have the game in hand with a score of 3 – 1 over the Flyers with only a few minutes left in the thrid. Then Philadelphia poured it on and tied it up at 3 just before regulation time ended. Overtime solved nothing so then it was off to a shootout. The shootout was end-to-end excitement and as fans, we were lucky to witness this added element of value for a preseason game. I’m not sure how many rounds it lasted but it kept fans on their feet and the cheers were present to the very end. When the game was finally decided, it was Detroit that came away with the win but I’m sure all that were there felt like the experience was a huge win for hockey, The JLC and the city of London.
Even now, almost a week after attending the game, the hype, the fans, the atmosphere..all resonate with me as though I just walked out of the arena post-game. That’s what I’ll take away from my experience as a #JLCreviewer. Unfortunately, there was an incident that took place at the game that has taken on a life of it’s own and garnered national if not international media attention. I feel quite strongly about how this and other issues that have cropped up recently have put a negative slant on the city of London and essentially eclipse all the good that is being done here. I’ll reserve these comments for another blog post as the purpose of this one was to highlight a great event that I was lucky to be chosen and be a part of.
So many thanks to the great team at the John Labatt Centre for bringing the NHL to the Forrest City and giving fans an exciting night that won’t soon be forgotten. Personal thanks to Denise Testa for nominating me to be a reviewer for the event — I’ll be sure to do the same if London ever gets Maroon 5 to come here.
I also want to thank my Dad, Ed Sr. for being my guest and I hope he had as good a time as I did.
A couple of days ago, I was selected as one of the JLC Reviewers for tonight’s pre-season game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings. The puck drops tonight at 7:00pm at the John Labatt Centre here in London, ON.
In exchange for a pair of tickets to the game (and a bonus surprise of a few concession vouchers!) all that is asked of me is to blog about the experience as others have before me through the JLC Reviewer experience. I can certainly get behind that.
I just got back from picking up my tickets and was lucky enough to bump into the man behind this great initiative, Chris Campbell, so I took the opportunity to thank him personally. Great guy! After I left I did what most do and that was take a peek at where the seats were situated. The pictures below will give you a better idea but….wow! Just, wow!
The hype is building and the puck drop can’t come soon enough! I’ll be snapping a few pics, sending out some live tweets and of course a blog post will follow. A quick thanks (of what will probably be many) to the John Labatt Centre and to Chris for the opportunity.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting one of London’s great photographers, David Redding. You may have already seen several of Dave’s recent portraits through his Real London series of artists and creatives within the community.
David’s recent undertaking is a series of photographs for individuals wishing to utilize the portraits in their various social media personas. I’ll leave the rates up to Mr. Redding to discuss but in my opinion, this recent project of his is well worth his time and yours.
David’s approach is professional and friendly and for someone like me that can barely crack a smile on a good day…David puts you at ease and displays great patience. Very typical of someone who excels in their craft. Technically, the guy really knows what he’s doing and it shows in the quality of his work. Now, if only he knew how to turn a frog into a prince 😉