Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Scotiabank Game Changer

Normally when there are two or three things going on in Tigertown, I like to combine them. I will post something on the all-time running back nominees and the possibility of closing Cannon Street in front of the new stadium later, but this post is about something a lot more important than football, so I felt it deserved its own post.

Those who attend games or watch on TSN have probably noticed that Scotiabank has a Game Changer program where they will give money to people who have or are making an impact in their communities. It just so happens that I know one of these people and when I first heard of the program, his name was the first one that popped to mind. So after getting all the needed information, I decided to nominate my good friend Steve Gillon as a Scotiabank Game Changer.

You can read Steve's profile by clicking the link, and I think it does a good job of encapsulating all the great work he does, but there was a word limit, so I would like to go into a little more detail (and get a little more personal) about why I nominated Steve.

Steve decided when his grandparents and uncle passed away that he wouldn't just sit around and do nothing about the diseases that took those he loved away from him. I remember attending what I believe was his first fundraiser at the London Tap House in downtown Hamilton in July of 2009. I'm not the most social guy in the world, but I figured it was worth it to support my friend. Since then, Steve has held numerous fundraisers, and even a toy drive, in an effort to give back. All this fundraising led him to establish his own non-profit organization, High Fives 2 Help Lives, in 2011.

Since establishing High Fives, Steve has helped raise almost $5,400 for various charities, with his Movember campaign being his most successful so far. You may recall that last NMovember I posted a piece lamenting the fact that the CFL was not doing something to promote Movember like they had with their breast cancer awareness program in October. You may also remember who happy I was to find out that memebers of the Tiger-Cats office staff were getting in on the Movember fun.

My support for Movember came because of one man: Steve. If you look at the first link in the above paragraph you will notice his name is featured prominently. There is a reason for that, and it goes beyond us being friends for over 20 years. I am, to put it bluntly, damn proud of him. He took what is one of the worst things in the world, losing the people you love, and turned it into something positive. He found a way to give back and has done some amazing work over the last three years. So when the chance came to help him out, I jumped at it. He has worked so hard to give back to others, that is was time for me to finally give back by helping him.

When I heard about the Scotiabank Game Changer program, I thought of no one else but Steve. So in addition to this post, I will also be adding a link to Steve's Game Changer profile on the sidebar. Please, just take a minute or two to read his profile and vote for him. I know he would appreciate it and so would I.

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