Childhood Arthritis Awareness
From left: Danila Scornaienchi, Manager, Community Development, Mary McPherson, Vice-President, Fundraising, Douglas Emerson, National Manager, Communications, Instructor Dorijan, Ayden, Master Harrison.
We had a very ambitious goal of $15,000 for the entire event. The grand total for Juvenile Arthritis Taekwondo Tournament was ......... 28,402.15!!!
One of the goals set in the beginning was to shave or paint someones hair for every $1,000 we raised. Well our goal was $15,000 and so we have 15+ people who so graciously agreed to go #blueorbald. Here they are!
The fabulous and exciting Demo Team "kicked" off the tournament with some amazing talent. These superb young instructors are already becoming great leaders!
TONS of raffle prizes, and amazing silent auction items! Tons of amazing volunteers!
No words can express the gratitude and appreciation Team Ayden has for the many wonderful people that have come into Ayden's life and helped him towards his goal of raising awareness of Childhood Arthritis and achieving his black belt in Martial Arts.
Thank you to the Team Ayden volunteers: Calah Brooks, Steve Duncombe, Dr. Jayde Duncombe, Adam Smith, Paula Andreychuk, Donna Lumsden, Deb Tymstra.
Thank you to the parents and students of OMAC for contributing in time, patience, donations, gifts and just being supportive of this event.
Thank you to the many businesses that donated gifts, raffle items, silent auction items and the yummy food and drink for the tournament.
Thank you to TV Cogeco, The Hamilton Spectator, The Burlington Post, and Fresh FM 95.3 for spreading the word that we can #kickarthritis together! Because of you, Ayden connected with several kids also afflicted with Juvenile Arthritis. It's very important for these kids to know they are not alone!
Thank you to our special guests for the day: Mayor Rick Goldring, MP Mike Wallace, MPP Eleanor McMahon, Ti-Cat Peter Dyakowski #67 and The Burlington Fire Department Truck and Crew :)
A very big thank you to Grand Master Kim and Master Harrison for opening your hearts to Ayden and providing such a strong, dedicated and committed team of instructors and mentors to our students alike. Your outstanding generosity is immeasurable. No words can describe the respect and admiration we have of your Dojang's, not only because of this event, but from the lifetime of strength you have shown Ayden when he feels weak. You have shown him so many positive qualities in life that he lives by day after day. "Cheaters never win, winners never cheat". The endurance that Ayden has today is because of YOU! Everyone at OMAC is family to each other and family sticks together!
A special thank you to the individuals that have worked on this from the beginning and have brought so many amazing ideas to the table and their push to make them a reality! Instructor Dorijan - You are Ayden's big brother and without you and your drive - this wouldn't have been as big as it was. Calah Brooks - No matter what was needed, day or night, no matter what ideas were on the table, you made them happen! A true dedicated and loving friend before all. Al Poullis - Fantastic photographer, web master, mentor to Ayden and our behind the scenes help that glued it all together.
This light will never die... for you all we thank so very much from the bottom of our hearts <3
~The Soares Family~
The amount of people that walked through the door to come and see Ayden and provide support, was outstanding! Right at 10am, opening ceremonies began where Master Harrison and Grand Master Kim addressed the audience and presented special plaques to the various dignitaries that joined in the festivities.
Ayden has been an OMAC Taekwondo student since he was 4 years old starting in the tiny tiger program. He has passed that program and is currently holding a brown belt in Taekwondo. When Ayden was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis, he thought he would have to quit his dream of becoming a black belt.
The amazing response he received from OMAC was overwhelming. They have modified his exercises, and have encouraged him to continue for his black belt. They taught him "never to give up no matter what challenges you". Because of this, he is stronger and more determined than ever before. Even though he is physically challenged at times, he can hold his head high because he knows he’s not going to give up the fight. OMAC decided to host a fundraiser on behalf of Ayden to support his cause to raise awareness of Juvenile Arthritis in the community and to raise money to find a cure for arthritis.
Our family is eternally grateful to the ENTIRE OMAC team and we thank you for your continued support for our son Ayden. He loves you all so very dearly and you will always hold a special place in our hearts!