A Special Gift from Northbridge Insurance to DAREarts Kids
Thanks to Northbridge Insurance’s generous gift of a special day in Toronto’s beautiful Ed Mirvish Theatre, 50 kids from all over the GTA had a fantastic opportunity to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of the Wizard of Oz.
Northbridge Insurance generously donated the tickets, transportation and lunch and snacks. Famida Esmail, CIP,CRM Office of the President, personally greeted each guest and served up the pizza. “Seeing the excitement and the pending awe of a magical theatrical experience for the DAREarts children, made me proud to be able to play a small part in it.“
The Mirvish front of house staff and coodinators Maryanne Terzis (who planned the whole event with Northbridge) and Marie Holowaty (who went to extraordinary lengths for the DAREarts Delegates) made the children’s experience a truly flawless and enjoyable one even before they sat in their seats.
Marilyn Field, DAREarts Founder, along with Chancelor McQuigan, 2013 Leadership Award Winner and graduate of the program greeted the children and observed the anticipation in the air.
Adam Stickland, DAREarts volunteer enthused, “The day was so great and to see such joy expressed by the kids through their experience at the show was truly memorable and a highlight of my summer. I feel more than lucky to have been part of it and that sentiment goes for everything I have taken part in as a volunteer with DAREarts.“
Laura MacKinnon, Lead Teacher for DAREarts, witnessed a terrific opportunity to expose not only DAREarts Program participants, but their siblings and friends as well. “Many of our students have never been to a live, professional performance in a theatre. This special event allowed them to not just enjoy a great musical, but to take in a truly special and enriching life experience. It was also a fantastic way to stay connected with our students beyond our regular program months. We care about these students all year, not simply from December to June, and this was an amazing way of reminding them (as well as their friends and families) of this fact. Many of the students brought a guest – either a sibling or a friend – and those new students became excited about DAREarts and the possibility of becoming a delegate one day. We know that the change we ignite in students reaches beyond those whom we directly teach into their families and communities, and this was a great reminder of that fact. Our students are all facing some kind of obstacle or difficulty in their lives and those challenges do not disappear when school ends for the summer, and thus neither does our obligation to continue to support and empower these future leaders.”
Following the performance, there was a question and answer period with three of the performers as well as the stage manager, extending the experience and enriching the educational element of the trip.
DAREarts Director of Operations, Brenda Norton, rode with the kids on the bus to and from the theatre: “As I rode home with some of them back to north west Etobicoke, I was reminded of why these students are in DAREarts. Some are shy, some have very short attention spans, some have learning issues but during the ride home, they were all discussing the play, the wonderful special effects and how grateful they were to have attended. Many were asking when will the students be chosen for the next DAREarts programs and wanted to know what they needed to do to be part of next year’s group of delegates.”
“What DAREarts does for these children goes beyond any endeavor the corporate world could ever undertake or comprehend. We could learn something from you, DAREarts!!! ” – Famida Esmail, Northbridge Insurance