We often feel lacking in our ability to provide hope, that societal problems, even in our own country and province, are too large and somewhat confusing, wherein many people which also includes thousands of children, become marginalized and fall through the cracks. At Legacy we get to assist and we see positive change as it takes place, one child at a time. It is tangible, we see it happen, we hear from the parents (more often than not a single mother struggling to raise her children with less than adequate tools), we hear from the music instructors, we hear from school teachers, that there is definitive improvement in these children’s lives in everything from attitude to school attendance.
For myself, as Chairman of the Board of Directors, I am thankful and proud of what The Legacy Children’s Foundation has and is accomplishing in the lives of an expanding number of children. It was expressed to me this fall by two young members of a rock band from Stoney First Nations that are involved in our program and were performing in Calgary at a venue made available through our CEO, Darryl Wernham and Kerby Centre plus a number of sponsors. These young men told me that the opportunity to be involved in music and to be able to express themselves through their music was changing their lives and also how their friends, family, and peers looked and treated them. They were going to school, they were not in gangs and they believed they could make a positive change in other lives not just their own. I would have loved to see their faces when the TV coverage of the event provided by Global was aired as they were included, all of their friends and family would be able to watch these “new stars”.
As we begin the New Year with the realization that positive change has to begin with us and that it often takes sacrifice plus the gift of time, expertise, and money to make it happen. There are many people and organizations that we want to thank for these sacrifices and gifts. To our CEO, Darryl Wernham and as importantly Sandra who makes everything come together; our Board of Directors: Shawn Wilson, Lisa Stangel, Mark Johnson, John White; our adviser and good friend Paul Diemert and our new member of the team Troy Black; our music instructors: Verne Luchinski, Chris Millar, Peter Clarke, Renne Malo, Ken Dietrich, Dan McLaughlin, Nathan Lenet and other music instructors providing lessons for our supported youth throughout the province; our Cold Lake Coordinator Don Cassidy and our Stoney Reserve liaison Irfan Pirbhai; our corporate partners: Kickaxe Guitars, BowTown Music, St John’s Music. Peters Guitar Repair, One World Drum, Macen Accordion Studio; our sponsors: Burns Memorial Fund, Dundee Wealth, Button Family Foundation, various Calgary Lions Clubs, Government of Alberta; as well as our many instrument drive and drop off location partners, music program location partners, music fund and instrument donors and others who have helped us along the way - and most importantly the children who are working hard within the Legacy programs - straight from the heart we say THANK YOU and may you have the BEST YEAR YET!!!!!
Patrick Toth, Board Chairperson, Legacy Children’s Foundation