A lot has happened over the past year, so here are a few of the Highlights:
March 2012: Took part for the first time in "Cuts for Cancer" in Guelph in support of Childhood Cancer Canada and St. Baldrick's. Though I didn't have much hair to lose, it was all about fundraising for childhood cancer, which made it all worthwhile. Special Thanks to Lisa Kellenberger (Cuts for Cancer) and Melody Khodaverdian (Childhood Cancer Canada) for organizing the event, your Retweets on Twitter, and helping to make everything run as smoothly and successfully as it did!
If you wish to support us in "Cuts" 2013: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/kirladar13
May 2012: Took part in 11th Annual Mitchell Fraser Memorial Slo Pitch Tournament in Solina, Ontario for the second time. It is always good to meet up with friends, old and new, that come together to support neuroblastoma research at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The tournament took place on Darrel's birthday (May 26th), so it had extra meaning for me this year. Special Thanks goes to Laura Fraser and her entire family for organizing and welcoming
us all each year to remember Mitchell, have a great time, and fundraise all at the same time.
June 2012: Darrel's Playground was one of the Canadian Administrators for International Neuroblastoma Awareness Week. Special Thanks to Linza Corp (FAN) and Kevin/Dawn Burgess (Gold:The New Pink/SuperBub's SuperHeroes) for including us in this successful campaign.
Also in June, Team Darrel took part in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Fergus for the fifth year. It was another emotional, yet rewarding experience for all participants. I was also asked to speak during the "Fight Back" ceremony, spreading the word about neuroblastoma and childhood cancer. Special Thanks to Team Darrel 2012: Stephen Robb, Kira Robb, Lauren Robb, John Robb, Helen Robb, Bryan Robb, Janet Willfang, Kim McKnight, Morghan McKnight, and Erin Vink. Also thanks goes to Event Chair Jennifer Stewart-May, who makes sure everything runs seamlessly.
If you wish to support us at Relay 2013: http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/kirladar13
September 2012: September 9th marked 5 years without Darrel. It never gets easier, and it never will. Thanks to everyone who remembered him on this, and every other day. Love and Miss You Little Man.
November 2012: Darrel's Playground began a partnership with Power of Play in the planned renovation of Stait Park in Fergus, to become with first barrier-free, fully accessible playground in the Centre Wellington area. If we reach our fundraising target, Darrel's name will be included on the signage at the Park once it is completed. Donations are still being accepted for this project.
For more information: http://www.darrelsplayground.com/1/post/2012/10/darrel-and-the-stait-park-renovation.html
December 2012: On December 12th, this website passed the 5,000 Hits mark. We appreciate all whom have visited Darrel's Playground since it went active in June 2011.
December 14th will also be sadly remembered for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six educators were shot to death. It is heartbreaking for any parent to lose their child, regardless of the reason, or age of the child.
As a society, we all need to do more to protect the children of today, and children of the future, to all the dangers that may block to road to them living long and happy lives. Whether it be an issue of Gun Control, or more funding for Childhood Cancer Research, if we moved together towards reaching our common goals, nothing could prevent us from reaching our objectives.
A Special Thank You must also go out Sherry Blevins who has made dozens of beautiful graphics of Darrel over the past few years. In addition to Sherry, others have made graphics for Darrel's Playground as well. These are all greatly appreicated by myself and my family.
Watch Update: After over 5 years, the battery in Darrel's Watch is still working. It has lost about 15 minutes of time, but other than that, it is exactly set-up how he left it (including of course the Alarm to let him know when Pokemon would have started).
Thank You Again
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!