Why We Give: Snowbirds and C.H.I.L.D.
By Scott Harrold, C.H.I.L.D Foundation
“The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are extremely proud to perform in the ‘Fly for CH.I.L.D.’ fundraiser air show, the only charity so designated in Canada. Each year for the past 15 years, we perform an amazing aerial show at this free family event in different cities throughout British Columbia,” explained Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French, Commanding Officer 431 Squadron (AD), CF Snowbirds. “As ambassadors for CH.I.L.D. we perform in a dedicated air show which helps raise the awareness for the cause of helping to find a cure for children suffering from intestinal and liver disorders.”
When Snowbird 1, Major Steven Will, and the late Honorable Grace McCarthy, Founder of CH.I.L.D, met in 2002, they were destined to become a team made in heaven. More than 15 years later, the world-famous Canadian Forces Snowbirds continue to be ambassadors for the CH.I.L.D Foundation.
The annual air shows passionately dubbed “Snowbirds Fly for CH.I.L.D” have raised awareness about Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and liver disorders, among well over a million attendees over the years.
I had been working with the Snowbirds for years, and when Grace asked me to lead the charge and coordinate with the Snowbirds and CH.I.L.D, I was honoured. Over the years, we have come to realize more and more the importance of the Snowbirds to Canadians, We felt the pride and overwhelming support coming from just about every entity we deal with.
I have had the pleasure of working with many Snowbirds over the years. This will always be an important relationship between the two organizations, but more importantly, we have evolved into a family.
A day before the air demonstration, we always hold a meet and greet with the children and families of those who are affected by IBD and Crohn’s. Once the show starts, seeing the faces of children light up as the team performs certainly puts a smile on your face.
The close personal interaction between the children and the Snowbirds is as rewarding as it can be. I can tell you that the genuine enthusiasm that the children and the Snowbirds generate produces a trickledown effect to all involved with the Foundation, including the researchers, the board, members and supporters.
Whenever the Snowbirds Fly for CH.I.L.D, attendees at the numerous cities where we have had the air show are so impressed with this partnership that we see social media light up with postings in absolute awe of the show.
As the Honorable Grace McCarthy, Founder of CH.I.L.D Foundation, reminded the board, researchers, and government partners, we cannot stop working until we find a cure.
As the ambassadors for CH.I.L.D, the Snowbirds have been and will always be very inspirational and instrumental to helping CH.I.L.D find this cure.
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