Because our veterans are making the most of summer and living to their fullest

Relaxing in Muskoka chairs gazing over the calm waters of Lake Joseph, 15 veterans from Parkwood Hospital savored every moment of their 2012 camp experience.

The beautiful weather ensured the veterans from Parkwood and from Sunnybrook Hospital could take part in a full range of camp activities, including boat trips, live entertainment, fishing, and weiner roasts.

Veterans Peter Brown, right, and Don McLean (in white jacket) sing along with the music therapist from Sunnybrook at the campfire.
(above: Veterans Peter Brown, right, and Don McLean (in white jacket) sing along with the music therapist from Sunnybrook at the campfire.)

Thanks to the dedication and fundraising efforts of legion branches, this event has taken place every year since 2005.

Among the highlights from the trip were the evening events. One night there was a 1950s sock-hop with participants dressed in 50s outfits including poodle skirts for the women, and slicked back hair, white tee-shirts with cigarette packs stuffed in the sleeves, and a generally “cool” demeanor for the men. The next night the theme was country and western, and the saloon girls and cowboys played their parts well. Both nights, the room was dressed to the nines with convincing props made by the dedicated camp staff.

The feedback from campers was terrific, with comments such as, “I had the best time in my life at camp this year”. Veterans are already asking about next year’s trip.

Staff members and veterans dancing at the 50's sockhop; from left dancing partners Erica Burt and John Dwyer, Trish Blahout and Wilf Crowder, and Elena Grech and Don McLean.
(above: Staff members and veterans dancing at the 50's sockhop; from left dancing partners Erica Burt and John Dwyer, Trish Blahout and Wilf Crowder, and Elena Grech and Don McLean.)

You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em

On July 20, 2012 a few lucky Parkwood veterans joined NHL players, experienced poker players and the Millars Law team for the Millars Law Texas Hold’Em Poker Tournament at London’s prestigious London Club. The event was full of exciting hands of chance, a few pints, heartwarming conversation and great memories.

Veterans Bob Manningham and Don McLean enjoy a hand at the poker table.
(above: Veterans Bob Manningham and Don McLean enjoy a hand at the poker table.)

For the second year in a row, this poker fundraising event was held in support of the Veterans Care Program at St. Joseph’s Parkwood Hospital.  This year’s funds, which are still being tallied, will again be used to support a variety of veteran care and comfort items like the replacement of the awning located on the Western Counties Wing patio, updates to several palliative care rooms, and updates to the Western Counties Wing Greenhouse which is used regularly as an activity area and is now showing its age.

Thank you to all who were able to join in the fun, and the Millers Law team for organizing such a great event.

Read more about how you can help support the veterans in our care through St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation.

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