We did it! Our cycling team collectively covered over 1,100 kms for Damian’s Campaign. We completed the 25 mile and the kids rides in suboptimal cold and rainy conditions. We then defrosted our hands and feet in time to cheer on our teammates tackling the 50 and 100 mile distances. And the Campaign raised over $70,000 for Blessings in a Backpack. THANK YOU for your support. It means so much to us and of course to Blessings in a Backpack. $330,000 has now been donated in Damian’s memory. More detail on this year’s campaign is included below.

BabyDamian Our son Damian would have been four years old on September 20th. This would have been his first year of school – one of many milestones that we will not experience as Damian’s parents. With this milestone in mind, we wanted to focus Damian’s Campaign 2014 on a charity related to kids and school. We have chosen Blessings in a Backpack as our 2014 partner.

Damian’s Campaign was our simple answer to achieving two goals that became extremely important to us after Damian came into our life – to hold on to the memory of our infant son; and to try, in some small way, to assist families and kids that find themselves dealing with hardship. We had no idea how amazing this small idea would become. Having just finished our fourth year, Damian’s Campaign has donated over $330,000 to causes helping families and kids facing challenges. In his seven days with us, Damian taught us more than anyone else in our lives and we are so happy to be able to give back in his memory in this magnitude.

Blessings in a Backpack runs a unique program that feeds elementary school children who have very little or no food at home on the weekends. These children may be supported during the week through various school food programs but they return home on the weekend to very little. Every day in cities across Canada, children arrive to school hungry. This shouldn’t happen.

The program works like this: kids take home a backpack filled with food every Friday and return the backpack empty on Monday, ready to start their week. The benefits and impact are immediate: attendance and productivity soar; students report greater attentiveness and improved energy; teachers see improvements in study habits and demeanor; and parents feel relief and support for their own family.

It only takes $100 to feed a child for the school year. Proceeds from Damian’s Campaign will be used to sponsor a downtown Toronto elementary school where about 100 kids or 25% of the school’s population participate in the Blessings in a Backpack program. Damian’s Campaign’s fundraising efforts will support this school for at least the next five years.

To support the Campaign, we participated again this year in the Centurion cycling event. On the weekend of September 13-14, our team tackled the hills in Collingwood in support of Damian’s Campaign and Blessings in a Backpack. Over 30 people rode with us participating in distances including the 1km kids ride through to the 100 mile challenge. And many others came out to support us for the weekend.

We also had an awesome matching program this year. Our close friend JD Christman participated in the ride and organized $25,000 of matching from the Macquarie Foundation. We are pleased to report that this opportunity was taken up in full.

It’s not too late to donate to this year’s campaign – please click here.

Thank-you so much for your ongoing support.

Lindsay and Tim and our Team

Damian’s Campaign Cycling Team:

  • Tim Close & Lindsay Holtz
  • Wing Armstrong & Helena Sawicki
  • Aidan & Liam Asher
  • Stacey & Maja Cenanovic
  • JD Christman & Tanya Grygaski
  • Mark, Khaleen, Simone & Celeste Day
  • Barbara McWhirter
  • Nicole, Sofia & Matteo Musicco
  • Nancy Noble
  • Alex Roberton
  • Monika Sykut, Ben, Sebastian, Kuba and Filip Armstrong
  • Nate & Tyler Shiu
  • Jason, Kelly Anne, Tralee, Teagan & Joey Trainor
  • Charles, Sylvia, Madison, Ben & Abby Walker