My parents provided me with the greatest opportunities and enabled me to learn from them. Along that path in life it was a series of very special teachers and coaches who changed my life in the most positive and influential ways. It was great teachers who showed me how to take what my parents provided me with in character and values and what life threw at me in adversity, joy, and experience and learn to be a better athlete, student, and person. The power of teaching is magical when you see the positive influence it can have on others. To empower and enable others is a remarkable gift and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be in a position to teach others.
Interim Executive Director
The Education Foundation of Niagara
I recognize that I cannot effectively contribute to every worthy cause that is meaningful to me or to my community. However, as a father and educator, I understand how access to education provides the best tools for our youth to be better prepared for their future. Our own success as a society is predicated on our youth being able to start where our current and past generations have gotten us and take us to a better place. The Education Foundation of Niagara works to remove barriers from education such that every child has the chance to contribute and make a real difference in our world.
When I was still racing triathlon professionally I often swam with a local varsity swim program. One youth, in their teens, was swimming at a National level and training with the older varsity swimmers. I learned about their background and about the people around them supporting their journey. A gentlemen in their neighbourhood was responsible for getting them to all their early morning swim practices all season long despite not being connected in any way to them or their family. Just a committed person doing something for a young student who didn’t have the means otherwise. It was very moving to hear that in light of the young swimmer’s situation. In my life I have benefitted from the generosity of others who were contributing to my success without the desire for recognition. I’ve always wanted to be in a position to do that for someone else.
In 2017 I started Christmas Wish and with the help of the Mayor and some incredible local business leaders I was able to put together a campaign of secret surprises where recipients are nominated by a friend and they are surprised in public and brought on a beautiful festive tour while we surprise each of the other recipients. They are all brought back to Lock Street Brewing Company for a Christmas Dinner and where we take the time to let every person who made a nomination share their story with everyone about their selected hero. It’s pure Holiday Magic to create these moments for incredible people.
2018 Christmas Wish
2019 Christmas Wish
In the Media
Christmas Wish comes true for Niagara's best people
By Niagara This Week
December 16 2019
Candidates night draws crowd in
By: Karena Walter, Standard Reporter
September 28 2018