Be Brave Luncheon
The 2017 Be Brave Luncheon, in support of the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch, was held on May 3, 2017 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, AB. This was our fifth year of uniting hundreds of professionals and community-minded individuals together with one collective purpose — to give child sexual abuse survivors the essential support they need to grow into happy, healthy adults.
We welcomed author, elite endurance athlete and advocate, Jean-Paul Bédard, as our honoured keynote speaker. Named one of the "50 Most Influential Canadians" by Huffington Post, Jean-Paul spoke courageously and candidly of his own history with child sexual abuse, delivering a message infused with hope, strength and resiliency.
We were honoured to have Angus Watt emcee the event. Angus is a long time friend and supporter of Little Warriors. MLA Angela Pitt and Kimberly Jean brought greetings from the Wildrose Party and our friend Eman Oliver said Grace. Our 685 guests were then treated to a three-course lunch featuring a beautiful salad, a mouthwatering entrée and a delightful dessert.
Our founder and chair of the board of Little Warriors, Glori Meldrum addressed the audience with a story from the Be Brave Ranch, and also touched on her own journey of being a child sexual abuse survivor and the journey she has been on to making the dream of building the Be Brave Ranch to become a reality.
Jean-Paul Bedard then gave his keynote address and the audience was captivated. Jean-Paul is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and in October 2016 he ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon 4 consecutive times on the same day (168.8 km) to raise awareness for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and in support of Little Warriors and the Be Brave Ranch. Later this fall, Jean-Paul will return to the Toronto Waterfront Marathon to run it 6 times—That’s a staggering 253.2 km, or as Jean-Paul likes to say, “253 reasons to stand up for all those kids who continue to endure the trauma of sexual abuse.”
Through his address, he shared his story of abuse, addiction, mental illness, recovery and resiliency. When it was complete, Ryan Heffleck from Winterburn Bottle Depot and Glori Meldrum presented him with the 2017 Be Brave Award.
The guests were treated to beautiful centrepieces at each table that were hand painted by the beautiful Giselle Denis. These centrepieces were auctioned off at each table and raised a total of $17,000.
We are proud to announce that this event raised over $215,000. Every single dollar generously donated at the 2017 Be Brave Luncheon will go directly to fund treatment programs for children at the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch. Little Warriors receives no government funding and so, as a charitable organization, the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch relies on the kindness of donors to allow our work to continue.
We wish to extend a sincere thank you to those who joined us at this event and opened their hearts and wallets to make this event a successful fundraiser.