Easter Seals Ambassador Brett Robinson beams as he accepts an Easter Seals contribution and a card from Alberton Elementary School kindergarten student Summer Gordon. Looking on are his mom, Lynn, left, and Easter Seals tour coordinator Janice Blacquiere. She presented her school’s $200 contribution as well as the $224.80 she raised through a special fundraising initiative.
Pop star Katy Perry’s song Roar, which features the refrain ”'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar”, is P.E.I. Easter Seals ambassador Brett Robinson’s favourite song.
He beamed with delight Monday when the song was used as the background music for a slideshow of images from the 2014 Easter Seals campaign.
It was the campaign’s wrapup luncheon and the excitement was clearly building in Brett as the time arrived to announce the amount of money raised during the fundraising drive.
When the total of $155,500 was announced, Brett and the rest of those attending the wrapup at Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown burst into applause. The campaign had a goal of $130,000.
“Brett is an amazing young man and tremendous ambassador for Easter Seals,” said campaign chairman Tim Wolfe.
It was the 58th annual Easter Seals campaign, which raises money for people dealing with disabilities. It is a major project of the Rotary Club of Charlottetown, along with the Summerside and Montague Rotary clubs.
Wolfe says Brett, 16, was kept extremely busy attending the multitude of Easter Seal events, such as the Easter Beef show, an Islanders’ hockey game, Storm basketball game, pool tournament, a barbecue, CUPE conference, speaking engagements and the 65-school Tim Hortons trip across the province.
The ambassador is the son of Lynn and David Robinson of Mermaid. He describes his sister, Jade, as “the best big sister ever.”
Wolfe said the annual Easter Seals campaigns have raised the level of acceptance across P.E.I. on the issue of inclusion.
One of the highlights of the campaign came when Brett visited his home school, Charlottetown Rural High School. A total of $24,246 was raised at the school alone by students and faculty.
A lack of oxygen at birth resulted in cerebral palsy, a disease that greatly limits Brett’s mobility. He uses a Panasonic Tough Book with a Tobii communicator to communicate, and during Monday’s luncheon he thanked everyone who helped make the campaign a success.
He said he hopes his visibility during the campaign, and the fact he is a non-traditional communicator, helps start a conversation around his form of communication and how it can be helpful to others.
Charlottetown Rotary Club president Edna Reid says the success of the campaign is due to everyone across the province coming together to support a very worthy cause.
Reid, who spent some time on the bus with Brett during the school tour, had some words of advice for anyone travelling with the ambassador.
“Don’t eat his Boston Cream donuts,” she laughed.