Did you know Canada.. The Canadian Tulip Festival is coming up! May 6-23.
Held in Ottawa and Gatineau The Canadian Tulip Festival is the world's largest tulip festival, displaying over one million tulips, with attendance of over 500,000 visitors annually.
The festival started in 1945 when Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs in appreciation for the safe haven offered to exiled Dutch royalty and the role Canadian troops played in the liberation of the Netherlands.
This is a free festival with many venues of tulip displays, entertainment, children's activities and more. Major’s Hill Park, the Canadian Tulip Festival’s main activity site, will officially be open May 6-8 and May 13-23. Commissioners Park, located at Dow’s Lake, will be open May 6-23. In spring, over one million tulips in more than 50 varieties bring the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) flower beds to life.
When I was a young girl, I worked at a summer camp as a leader-in-training and ended up spending a lot of time with a child confined to a wheelchair. I immediately wanted to help Rachael fit in with the other able-bodied children. I helped her to participate in everything everyone else was working on and not to feel left out.
Later, when I was in public school, I met a boy who was also confined to a wheelchair. Stanley was part of the special education class, and every recess and lunch hour we would play together.
I was doing some shopping in Newmarket, Ont., one day almost 6 years ago, and I saw the brochure for a Walk-A-Thon being put on by Easter Seals Ontario, an organization that aims to create a better life for children and youth with physical disabilities. I was immediately hooked.
Now it is my healthy addiction to raise as much money for this wonderful organization as possible. On May 29, 2011, my son, Charlie, and I will yet again participate in the Run/Walk-a-thon that celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.
At the end of the day, it’s more about raising money to support families of children with physical disabilities than a race. Charlie and I were the last two to arrive at the finish line last year, but we raised the most money ever: $3,500. We are hoping to raise $4,000 this year.
I am very fortunate to have a healthy son. It can cost an extra $40,000 per year to care for a child with a physical disability. This year I joined the organizing committee for the Walk-a-thon to be more involved. If you would like to learn more about Easter Seals Ontario, visit http://www.easterseals.org/ and for more on the event itself, and to sponsor Charlie and me, please visit http://www.persechinirun.org/.
Judy Brunton and family, Aurora, Ont.