Since the B.C. Variety Children’s Charity saved her younger brother’s life 21 years ago, Ashley-Nicol Cox and her family have loyally lent their ears and hands to the organization’s annual telethon, and 2013 was no exception.
In 1991, Colton Cox was born prematurely with collapsed lungs. Ashley-Nicol says Variety donated machines that enabled him to live.
“We were just so thankful for the fact that they helped save his life that we wanted to give our time back,” the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) tech support person adds.
Every year, Ashley-Nicol and her family sit for hours answering phones for the two-day telethon, taking calls for donations. Colton has also represented the organization as a child who has been helped.
This year, the event Feb. 16-17 event was especially poignant for Ashley-Nicol for a number of reasons.
First, there was the fact that she could present a donation to Variety, raised through a BACI staff pub night organized by a staff member. “It was a huge honour to be asked to do this,” she says, noting the staff member worked very hard to pull off the event and raise the funds.
Another moment she won’t forget soon was the chance to meet hard rock band Kiss member Gene Simmons, his wife Shannon Tweed-Simmons and their two children.
“That was the highlight of my night,” she says, noting she grew up listening to the singer with her family, all of whom are fans.
“They all got to meet him as well, so it was family meeting family,” Ashley-Nicol says.
“Along with the tons of coffee, good friends and family, this Variety club was a memorable one,” she concludes.
Ashley-Nicol has been working with BACI for four years. She notes that as a person who has a disability, she brings a unique perspective to the organization. “I can see from both sides of the fence so to speak,” she says, adding she’s grateful each day she is able to work with the organization.
The Variety telethon this year was the organization’s 47th. It raised $7,124,264 to support children who have a disability and their families.
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