Document Sample
BIAC_History Powered By Docstoc
					A family affair – an odyssey that started with
a life-changing trauma
Over $30,000 was raised in one night for the Brain
Injury Association of Canada.
By Howard Brown                                 informed me that one of my
                                                first cousins, Steve Sieber, a

      t’s tough to know where to start the
                                                University of Toronto
      story of the Hawaiian Oyster Odyssey.
                                                student, was in a coma. He
      Some think it started last January when
                                                had been struck by a car while
150 brain injury supporters showed up for
                                                crossing the street to catch a
the first Hawaiian Oyster Odyssey at
                                                bus. When he came out of the
Toronto’s Miller Tavern. (In one night, we
                                                coma three and a half months
raised over $30000 for the Brain Injury
                                                later, a brain injury left him
Association of Canada (BIAC), the most
                                                unable to walk or stand. He
successful fundraiser in recent Canadian
                                                had blurred vision, slurred        Miller Tavern president, Rick Montgomery with Canada’s
history for any brain injury association.)
                                                speech and emotional issues.       Minister of Public Health, Carolyn Bennett at BIAC’s first
    In many ways, the story of the Hawaiian
                                                     Years later, because of my    Hawaiian Oyster Odyssey in Toronto
Oyster Odyssey started almost 30 years ago.
                                                interest in Steve’s life, I was
                                                asked to serve as a Board of Director for       2001 at the age of 46 as a result of the
Cousin suffered injury                          the Ontario Brain Injury Association            injury, after being confined to a wheelchair
I had just finished university and was          (OBIA).                                         for 25 years. It’s coincidental that brain
traveling in Europe when I got a letter from         Steve was often a sounding board for       injury is the leading cause of death for
my family back home in Canada. They             me regarding brain injury issues. He died in                           Continued on the next page

                  Brain Injury Association of Canada • Association canadienne des lésés cérébraux                                              4
Continued from the previous page
Canadians under the age of 45.
    Six months after Steve’s death, I was
asked by the Ontario board to help form

Tavern agreed to
donate everything
As BIAC’s first Co-Chair of Finance, one
of my mandates was to raise funds for the
Association. Luckily, I had a friend and
former colleague named Rick Montgomery
who owned an historic Toronto restaurant      Left to right: Mireille Provost, BIAC president, Yvan Teasdale, BIAC past president Peter
called “The Miller Tavern.”                   Beck, President of Swift Trade, Sondra Splatt, Peter’s wife, Howard Brown, Co-chair,
    I told him that my mother-in-law had      Hawaiian Oyster Odyssey, Shelly Wieser, BIAC Secretary and President, Alberta Brain Injury
suggested his restaurant would be a great     Association
location for a fundraiser for BIAC. Rick                                                     More across Canada
                                              Crombie. A close friend of mine who had
readily agreed. Each guest donated $150 for
                                              recently moved back to Toronto with her        Buoyed by the success of the Hawaiian
the event. Rick donated food, drink, staff,
                                              family from Vancouver, Bonnie accepted         Oyster Odyssey, Brain Injury Associations
decorations and location. He had been
                                              my offer to join the OBIA Board. She had       across the country are preparing to host
planning to do a Hawaiian month in the
                                              been the Fund Development Chair for            similar events. And next year, we will host
restaurant, and we wanted a focus on his
                                              OBIA, and she was a great help in making       Toronto’s Second Annual Hawaiian Oyster
restaurant’s fabulous oysters. Rick used
                                              the Hawaiian Oyster Odyssey a success.         Odyssey at Rick Montgomery’s Miller
these elements to come up with the title of
                                                  BIAC board members traveled great          Tavern.
the event.
                                              distances to take part, including President        At the last BIAC Board meeting, it was
    We were privileged to have the
                                              Mireille Provost and Past President Yvan       agreed to recognize Rick as “an outstanding
participation of Canadian Olympic
                                              Teasdale from Gatineau, Quebec and BIAC        friend of the Brain Injury Association of
swimmers Mark Tewksbury and Liz
                                              Secretary and President of the Alberta         Canada.” A plaque is being prepared that
Warden, Canada’s Minister of State for
                                              Brain Injury Association, Shelly Wieser.       Rick has agreed will be hung in the lobby of
Public Health Carolyn Bennett, as well as
                                                  Amongst the guest speakers of the          the restaurant. (Both the Globe & Mail and
Members of Provincial Parliament, City
                                              evening was Madelaine Welton, a friend of      Sunwing Vacations have already offered to
Councillors, a School Trustee, and even the
                                              Bonnie’s. Madelaine is a 41 year old mother    be part of next year’s sponsor team.)
Russian Consul-General. Sponsors included
                                              and brain injury survivor. She was not only        My cousin would be proud.
RBC Financial, Glaxo Smith Kline, London
                                              a key member of the Hawaiian Oyster                (See back page for four survivor stories
Life and the Posluns Family Foundation.
                                              Odyssey Host Committee, but she also           that were published in the Hawaiian Oyster
                                              touched everyone with her story of             Odyssey Program.)
Volunteer run                                 recovery.
What made the evening particularly                After hearing her story, event attendee    Howard Brown is a Director of the Brain Injury
successful was that the event was 100%        Derrick Moran remarked that Maddie’s           Association of Canada. He is President of Brown
volunteer run. We were privileged to have     story compelled him to volunteer his time.     & Cohen Communications & Public Affairs Inc.
as part of our team as a Co-Chair, Bonnie                                                    of Toronto.

  Mission Statement of the Brain Injury Association of Canada
  To improve the quality of life for all Canadians effected          Améliorer la qualité de vie des Canadiens ayant subi
  by acquired brain injury and to promote its prevention.            un traumatisme cranio-cérébral et de promouvoir la
                                                                     prévention de blessures neurologiques.

                Brain Injury Association of Canada • Association canadienne des lésés cérébraux                                           5
Brain Injury Association of Canada • Association canadienne des lésés cérébraux   6

Shared By: