A Night of Heroes

March 2, 2011 – Lamplighter Inn, London, Ontario

Community Living London‘s annual Night of Heroes was a huge success, raising a record $42,000 in support of the organization and people with intellectual disabilities.  The event boasts a fashion show and silent auction, and invites local heros to strut their stuff on the runway alongside true heros, those who benefit from CLL’s services and enjoy independent and fulfilling lives despite immense challenges.

CLL is proud to remain London’s biggest and oldest not-profit organization.  It advocates and develops services to “move towards a future where all people are valued and included in the community in ways that everyone can realize their goals and contribute their talents.”  This vision (found on CLL’s website) is really inspiring, encouraging those it reaches to see the person first, to come from a place of acceptance and opportunity rather than judgement and limitation.  Everyone has something to offer.  Like the kid riding the city bus and carrying a huge tuba in a Concerned Children’s Advertising commercial says, “nobody is good at everything, but everybody’s good at something!”

I was honoured to be invited to this event as a local hero.  It was an incredible night, from the energetic crowd, to the inspiring and enthusiastic heroes around me, to the dance party grand finale.  My partner, the kindhearted Gerald, all decked out in a beautiful suit supplied by a local business, and I entered the stage to the song that Gerald picked, Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life“.  After the MC read our biographies, we did our runway walk and enjoyed the moment!

Waltzing with Gerald…first time waltzing in a track suit and running shoes!  …although now that I think about it, I may have waltzed at practice once or twice!?

My favourite part was when we were all invited back on stage for the grande finale.  The crowd was on it’s feet and it is amazing that the runway didn’t collapse under the jumping, smiling, enthusiastic dance party!

Thanks to Gerald and Community Living London for an awesome experience!!!

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