Monday, June 30, 2008

Running Into Ottawa...

"Let us be English or let us be French but above all let us be Canadian!!"
- Sir John Alexander MacDonald (Canada's First Prime Minister)
On the eve of Canada's 141st birthday it seemed appropriate to speed up the run over the past few weeks in order to make it to Ottawa on Canada Day!  Every extra step made the difference!

A lot of activity has picked up since entering Ontario (1/3 of the dream complete!).  Firstly, a special thanks to Kathleen Provost, Executive Director for the Autism Society of Canada, as well as her family, and friends, for inviting the team over to her house, on Sunday evening, for a home cooked meal!  Thank you to Andrew for the cherry tomato eating competition!  Too bad we couldn't declare a winner because, unfortunately, we ran out of tomatoes after finishing 26 each.
So, 2700+ kms and we've made it to Ottawa!  This morning, the last 5 kms was completed from Ashbury College to Parliament Hill with a few special guests.  Lucy van Oldenbarneveld of CBC News, at Six, joined me along with Senator Jim Munson who even changed his flight and vacation a few days to join the run.  Also a big thank you to those who bicycled and ran! Meeting the dream on Parliament Hill was Andrew Kavchak, an Ottawa area autism advocate who has been campaigning for action since his son was diagnosed with ASD.  Andrew's son, just like many other parents across this country, face the challenge of losing support and services because of their child's age.  For those learning more about Autism....FYI- As it stands now, Autism Spectrum Disorders are currently a life long disorder.  It is difficult to understand, in the context of age and ASD, why services would be taken away?

I hope all those that read this blog and have a story about Autism use our "Their Stories" feature on the website. At the conclusion of this run all the "Their Stories" will be submitted to the Premiers of every province, as well as the Prime Minister of Canada.  If you have access to a webcam, please share!  Every story matters in helping towards change!  No voice should be left silent! More voices make the choir louder!

Special 25th birthday mention to my friend, Matt Zdebiak back home in Mississauga!  Happy Birthday Zeker!

The Dream Continues.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bonjour Montreal!! et Bonne Fete Quebec!!......

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we've been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek."
- Senator Barack Obama
It has been awhile!  So much to do and explore in the City of Montreal and all during the big celebrations of Fete Nationale du Quebec (the 400th Saint-Jean Baptiste Day).  The celebration is a popular cultural festival celebrating the achievements and diversity of Quebecers.  The blue and white is everywhere!
This week I ran into town through the east end of Montreal and tonight ended up in the suburb of Beaconsfield (hometown for one of our Run The Dream members- Andrea McGowan).  Yesterday, the Surete du Quebec recommended not to run because of all the organized festivities.  So instead the sites and sounds of Montreal were taken in-  Travelled via the Metro (subway) to Olympic Stadium, walked through the downtown core and ended up watching the fireworks in Dorval.

For those history enthusiasts, Montreal was the largest city in Canada until the 1970s.  In 1976, Montreal was host of Summer Olympics and did I forget to mention how much they like hockey?  The people of Montreal love their sports- whether hockey, football, soccer or F1 racing.  

Well, tomorrow morning it is time to check out and head towards Ottawa. Stay tuned to the website for some exciting events between June 30th and July 3rd in the National Capital Region, including the run Monday, June 30th at 8:30am, with Lucy van Oldenbarneveld, host of CBC News at six, from Ashbury College to Parliament Hill.  All are welcome!!
The Dream Continues.....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Viva La Vida!!....

Hier, etait un excellent jour pour le reve.  Le jour a commence par une reunion avec Mario Dumont.  Dans l'Assemblee nationale du Quebec, le president reconnu le travail du reve et tous le les membres se sont leves et ont applaudi.  A 11am, apres la session, je pouvais rencontrer Premier Ministre Charest pour une reunion privee (10 minutes).  Merci M. Charest et M. Dumont!

L'apres-midi a ete passe chez L'ecole Saint-Fidele.  Nous avons joue des jeux et avons eu un BBQ.  Les etudiants a l'ecole ont augmente plus de $400 pour le reve.  Merci aux etudiants du support.  Vous etes la difference! Merci aussi a L'intermarche (pour les pains et saucisses), IGA a Limoilou (pour les pommes), Vincent a la boulangerie, Discount Location de Voiture, Proludik, tous les professeurs, et M. Simon Bilodeau et Mme. Carol Lefebrve.
C'etait beaucoup d'amusement!

Le Reve Continues.....


Yesterday was an excellent day for Run The Dream.  The day started with a meeting with Mario Dumont, leader of the official opposition (Action Democratique).  In the Quebec National Assembly, the speaker (who they call "le president") acknowledged the work of Run The Dream and all the members stood and applauded.  At 11am, after the session, I was able to meet with Premier Charest privately for 10 minutes.  Thank you Premier Charest and Mr. Dumont!
The afternoon was spent at Saint-Fidele Elementary School. We played games and had a BBQ. The students of the school raised over $400 for Run The Dream.  Thank you to the students for the support!  You make the difference!  Thank you also to L'intermarche (for the buns and sausages), Limoilou IGA (for the apples), Vincent's Bakery, Discount Car Rental, Proludik, all the teachers, Mr. Simon Bilodeau and Mrs. Carol Lefebrve.

It was a lot of fun!

The Dream Continues....

Monday, June 16, 2008

La voyager a la Ville du Quebec...

"L'amorce doit avoir la meme voix que le peuple."
                             -Woodrow Wilson

Bonjour amis! Et bonjour Ville du Quebec! La vue est magnificant!Mon francais va mieux!  Hier, la serveuse m'a donne un menu francais pour la premiere fois.
Habituellement ils semblant avoir des menus dans la deux langages.  

Le demain est un jour occupe. J'ai l'occasion a visiter avec premier ministre au Quebec Jean Charest et Chef d'opposition Mario Dumont.

En outre, il y a un evenement a l'ecole de Sainte-Fidele.

Le Reve Continue.....
"The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people"
                                                                                       -Woodrow Wilson

Hello friends! And Hello Quebec City!  The view is amazing!

My french is getting better.  Yesterday, for the first time, the server gave me a french language menu!  Usually they have menus in both languages.

Tomorrow is a busy day!  We will be visiting with Premier Jean Charest and the leader of the official opposition, Mario Dumont.

Also, we have an event at Saint-Fidele School.

The Dream Continues....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bonjour de Riviere-du-Loup....

En anglais, Riviere-du-Loup signifie 'Wolf River'.  Le premier premier ministre du Canada, Sir John A. MacDonald, a possede une petit maison pendent l'ete dans la zone.

Les orages forts ont ete marche-arret tout au long des journees passees de couple. La prevision indique le soleil pour reste de la semaine. Je porterai ma SPF 50!  Le soleil se leve a 4:30 le matin.

Il est tres scenique pour voyager le long du rivage du sud du St. Lawrence River.  Je suis maintenant moins de 200 kilometres de ville du Quebec!

Le Reve Continue....
In english, Riviere-du-Loup means 'Wolf River'.  The first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. MacDonald, owned a summer cottage in the area.

Strong thunderstorms have been on and off over the past couple days.  The forecast shows sun for the rest of the week.  I will be wearing my SPF 50!  The sun  has been rising at 4:30am.

It is very scenic to run along the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.  I am now less than 200 kilometres from Quebec City!

The Dream Continues...

Monday, June 9, 2008

New Brunswick complete and the 2,000 KM Milestone!!....

"Achievement seems to be connected with action.  Successful men and women keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don't quit."
                                                       -Conrad Hilton

It was an early morning accomplishment as the dream entered into Quebec and into the Eastern Daylight Time Zone (EDT).  We started the run at 5:30am AST, got to the New Brunswick/Quebec border and it was still 5:30am!  Now because we are so far east in the Eastern Time Zone, starting tomorrow, the sun rise will be at around 4:30am.
Looking forward to resisting the temptation of poutine and enjoying many, many tortieres.  I am going to have to explore to see if Quebec has lobster at McDonalds like some in New Brunswick did!

This past Saturday, on Highway 144, south of Edmundston, the 2,000 km milestone was reached! There was no significant landmark around except our own homemade sign and the church over my left shoulder, which is actually the state of Maine (USA) on the other side of the river.
It is with mixed emotions that we said goodbye to someone on our roadcrew this past week.  Carly Murdock, escorted me throughout the Maritime provinces and now heads back to Halifax to continue the pursuit of her dreams.  Thank you Carly!  The keys have now officially been handed over to Henry Dang and Eric Granz, who have volunteered their time to support myself and Run The Dream as we enter into Quebec.
Special thanks to the Quality  Inn, in Edmundston, and the Comfort Inn, in Riviere-du-Loup, for their charitable support of Run The Dream.

The Dream Continues into...... La Belle Province du Quebec!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

True Reflections....

Another monumental day for Run The Dream!  The streak continues... we are now 4 for 4 meeting with the Premier of every province we've run through.  Thank you to the Honourable Shawn Graham for taking time out of his schedule to meet with me on the steps of Province House, in Fredericton.  Jean Charest- A little advanced notice:  I will be in Quebec City in about 10 days.  Coffee on me...My treat!

Another thank you as well to the Mayor of Fredericton, Brad Woodside (mayor since 1986) for meeting us at City Hall.
Also a thank you to Douglas Elementary, the oldest operational school in all of Canada for the invitation to speak about Run The Dream and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

In the evening it was time for our main event- Voices for Autism.  Special thanks to Unique Event Productions, B.J. McKelvie, Cathy Hutch, Harold Doherty, Dr. McDonnell, Brian Rimpilainen and Bruno Hache for organizing and speaking at the event.  And thanks to our musical performers Steve Waylon & Rebel Ridge and Tore Down.  The historical event is just the step in raising the profile of Autism Spectrum Disorders as Run The Dream continues to grow.  Everyone involved should be very proud of this accomplishment!
As I head out of town I would like to mention two individuals, from Mississauga, I 'ran' into while in Fredericton.  Kurt Warren, former football teammate at Lorne Park S.S., now serving in the Canadian Armed Forces and Denine Ellis, LP alumni as well, now a UNB graduate, who showed me around the city.  It is nice to have those surprises along the way!

The Dream Continues....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rolling Up The River....

Greetings from the Saint John River, just north of Perth-Andover.
The pace has picked up significantly. On Monday, over the course of a two part run, a new personal best was achieved!  In the morning, I ran 24 kms with Brian Rimpilanen and three other members of the Canadian Armed Forces from Oromocto to Fredericton.  Their home base, Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, is the largest base (total area) in the British Commonwealth.  It was truly amazing to hear some of their stories from overseas about missions in Afghanistan, the Golan Heights and Serbia.  As we were sharing stories we were greeted roadside by students at Oromocto High School, Lower Lincoln Elementary School and the New Brunswick Autism Resource Centre (Fredericton).  The run concluded at City Hall before noon!  Thanks boys!  After a brief lunch and nap part two of Monday was a 36 km run, which made the daily total a new one day record of 60 kms!  The body has adjusted!
The majority of today and yesterday were spend on the road running through Hartland (home of the world's longest covered bridge), Florenceville (home of McCains headquarters), as well as other towns such as Bath and Upper Kent.  All this running took place on the east side of the Saint John River.
Well, it is time to take a one day break and head back to Fredericton for our fundraiser tomorrow night at the Delta Fredericton.

The Dream Continues...

Monday, June 2, 2008

An Invitation To Run The Dream Supporters....

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments towards organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people attain uncommon results."
-Andrew Carnegie

While we've already attracted some great sponsors we still have more requirements to fulfill and more sponsors required to fulfill them- Food, Lodging and Fuel for the road crew being among the primary three. While we're working on closing the gap I would like to ask you and anyone you'd like to invite, if you'd be willing to help us out in the three current critical areas. If you can help, and contribute $20 or more towards these needs, I'd like to recognize you help and put your name in acknowledgement on the official Run The Dream Escort Vehicle.

Since all of you who do this will be "Leading" the sponsors that we want to sustain this initiative, your name will occupy a place of honour on the hood of the vehicle, applied virtually through graphics technology. When you send your financial contribution, please enter your name in the 'comment' box. Be sure to enter your name exactly as you want it to appear on the car, with the name of the font which you want it printed in. If no font is indicated Run The Dream will choose one for you. Your name will be reproduced in a 1" high x 2" wide (2.5 cm x 5 cm) area, of the total graphic of all signatures collected.

To send your financial contribution please use Pay Pal, and click on 'send money' using my e-mail address, as the benficiary.

Once we have collected at least 100 names, we will convert them to a decal for my escort vehicle.

It will be a constant reminder of all the people that are supporting me and this cause. Your name will be driven all the way to Victoria and you will be helping Run The Dream!

Since this is a contribution towards the operational costs of Run The Dream a charitable tax receipt cannot be issued.

It is people like you who help keep the dream alive! Your support is greatly appreciated!
Two big events this week- This morning (Monday) I'll be running a half marathon with the Canadian Armed Forces, from C.F.B. Gagetown, and on Thursday night will be our Run The Dream Fundraiser at the Delta Fredericton (7pm). You can visit to buy your tickets and come join the festivities!

The Dream Continues......