Bereaved Families of Ontario - Durham
"Bereaved, helping the bereaved to learn to live with grief. We can help the healing begin."

 
 
 









The BFO-D Brunch with Santa was held on December 4th at Harmony Creek Community Centre in Oshawa. A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers who helped make the event successful! All our guests were treated to a lovely pancake brunch prepared by an amazing group of volunteer chefs. Our young visitors enjoyed the jumping castle, crafts, cookie decorating, colouring and Christmas themed games. Spiderman made time to swing by, and all the little ones were over the moon to see him. Santa arrived looking as jolly as ever, and had a special gift for each child. The event was a perfect way to kick off the holiday season and a great time was had by all! Happy New Year to everyone and see you at the 2017 Brunch with Santa.


~ Nicole Dickhoff


 

This past November 24, 2016 a splendid crowd gathered at the Durham District School Board building for the annual Angels’ Tree of Light Ceremony. As in the past, a multitude of magnificent angels and clear lights adorned the tree as a solemn tribute to the memories of our loved ones. This year the angels were ceramic, hand painted and decorated by Marian Rehr. The honour of lighting the tree was given this season to the Brown Family, Debbie, Brad, Cameron, Noah and Sarah, in memory of Alan.

 

Jane Carter, the Executive Director, welcomed all who attended. The opening remarks were provided by Marian Rehr. She spoke about several angels on the tree, of all ages, and it was heart-warming to hear the stories she shared. Caroline ad Gary Goswell presented the tree dedication and thereafter moved us with compassion in reflecting on memories of their daughter Kelly. Magda Zoelman and her granddaughter Victoria Zoelman led the assembly in a responsive reading which touched the entire gathering. We were also privileged to have Lauren Rohrbach, Kaela Campbell, Kirsten Ptashnik, Alison Anderson and Kathleen Fulton sing a couple of absolutely beautiful songs.  Light refreshments served after the ceremony provided an opportunity for all people to mingle and share their stories of grief and renewing life.

 

Thank you to The Durham District School Board, M&M Meats (Joyce and Paul Smith and Michele Taylor), and Patty and Allan Hale for their contribution towards the refreshments.  Also thank you to Susan and Vince Hendricks for their contribution towards the programme.  Many thanks to Tara Rekker-Griesbrecht for the beautiful poinsettias.

 

A very special thank you to everyone who assisted the Committee at various times and to the Committee members for their ongoing support of this event. We thank Beth Bryan (Chair), Marlene Charewicz, Caroline Goswell, Joyce Smith, Magda Zoelman, Nancy Raby, Lauren Rohrbach, Debbie Brown, Jenn Carter, Bonnie Lane, Anita Fellows, Sharon Sears, Marian Rehr, Denise Love, Angela White, Jane Carter (office support) and our many volunteers who work in the background at this event. It is always nice to see the same young volunteers each year.

This ceremony is truly special for all of us at Bereaved Families-Durham and we thank each and everyone of you who support it by your presence and participation.

 

Our event, Bike Blade Board 4 Blake, was successful in raising $9,647.00 in the first year! The event was intended to help raise awareness of mental health and addiction in our community and also an opportunity to raise awareness of the support and services available at BFO-D. The money raised was divided between Bereaved Families of Ontario, Durham and Durham Mental Health Services.


Bike Blade Board 4 Blake was held in memory of our eighteen year old son, Blake Garvey, who we lost on February 21st 2013 to the disease of Addiction. Blake suffered with anxiety and depression and turned to drugs to suppress the effects of these mental health issues. He was a fun-loving young man who enjoyed skateboarding and often had a contagious smirk on his face.


The walk, run, bike, blade or board event was held on October 1st 2016 at East Beach Park in Bowmanville. It all started during a conversation with my sister who wanted to raise money in Blake’s memory by blading from her house in Tweed to the skateboard park in Bowmanville where Blake had spent a lot of time. We soon realized a walk/run event would be easier to manage but still wanted to include blading and boarding. We came up with the catchy name for the event and started planning!


In addition to the walk/run, we had a BBQ, guest speakers, a silent auction, a raffle table, door prizes and even a musical guest.  We had some great donated prizes that many participants were determined to win. We had a fantastic turnout and many comments that the event was enjoyable and generated such positive energy. It was truly a memorable event that allows us to keep Blake’s memory alive.


We are grateful to the many sponsors and event participants in helping to raise funds and awareness about mental health and addiction and also support services available for those of us on this never ending journey of child loss. Hopefully you can join us on September 16, 2017 for our second Bike Blade Board 4 Blake event.


~ Chris and Suzanne Garvey

On September 10, 2016 we held another “Beach Dance” at the Harmony Creek Community Centre. 
 
It was a fun-filled night where family and friends danced to the music of DJ Steve Meek. There were many winners of the numerous raffle gifts and silent auction gifts. We had a booze basket and 50/50 tickets. 
 
A special thank you to all the young volunteers who helped out tremendously during the day and at the “Beach Dance”, these young people are always ready to lend a hand. Thanks go out to our Dance Committee for all their hard work in selling tickets, getting prizes and helping out at the Beach Dance. 
 
Members involved were Debbie and Brad Brown, Beth Bryan, Chris and Suzanne Garvey, Rick and Sherry Mitchell, Wayne Wanamaker and Angela White. 
 
We would like to thank all of our sponsors who generously donated gifts to make our Beach Dance a great success. $7,000 was raised for Bereaved Families of Ontario – Durham Region. 
THE RIDE TO REMEMBER is proud to contribute $15,000 to Bereaved Families of Ontario – Durham Chapter. This brings the total donation to over $65,000 since the inception of the ride 6 years ago. 

It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and 85 motorcycles touring the countryside with the riders in their matching orange T-shirts. Starting off in Uxbridge with complimentary refreshments from Tim Horton's, the riders proceeded to their first stop at the Riverside Restaurant in Norland.

After lunch, we mounted up for a scenic tour down to a riverside park in Lindsay where the riders took a break and stretched their legs for the final leg of the trip which would bring us back to Uxbridge. 

Wixan's Bridge supplied the venue for the evening get-together where raffles, silent auction, food and live entertainment provided the backdrop for friends and family to get together in a pleasing atmosphere to remember loved ones lost. 

Each year we are joined by new participants who enjoy the opportunity to dedicate the day to their personal loss. The positive feedback, in particular from people new to our event, provides the energy to look forward to next year. 

Special thanks must go to ride organizers Lorne Johannessen and Donna Sherrard who donate countless hours to benefit BFO-D. Just knowing their efforts are having a positive impact on people handling the enormous challenge of losing a child is enough to motivate their efforts. 

We are fortunate to have friends that are so supportive. Of course our sponsors are crucial to the success and special thanks to the many who have supported this event every year from its inception. In closing, we hope that this event and BFO-Durham are pieces to the puzzle that help people navigate the challenges that grief presents.

19TH ANNUAL WALK TO REMEMBER CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

Sunday March 6, 2016 marked our 19th annual “Walk to Remember” event at Five Points Mall in Oshawa. We were happy that so many families showed up to take part in such a heartfelt event.

 

Registration for the walk began at 9:15 a.m. and after an energizing warm up

routine by Donna Davidson, the Walk began at 10 a.m. Refreshments and prizes were available for participants. The band ROKZ volunteered their time and talent to provide live music for the entire duration of the walk. Jonathan Onley also performed a special song which he wrote in loving memory of his daughter, Sarah Onley.

 

Without the help of the generous community: walkers, volunteers, donors and sponsors, BFO–Durham would not have been able to surpass their fundraising goal of $10,000. These funds are vital to ensure that our bereavement support program stays open and available for those in need.

 

All the donations made were greatly appreciated. This year’s walk banner was

donated by Sherri Mitchel and family, in loving memory of “#14 “SUGA” – Shane Rodgers; one of many special angels taken too soon. Cathy and Fritz Wiener donated the refreshments in loving memory of their son Karl. Denise Robinson and Phil Warne donated the use of the button maker in memory of their son Jeffrey.

 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO DONATED GIFTS FOR OUR TOP PLEDGE EARNERS

* MARK GREENS FROM LAFARGE CANADA IN MEMORY OF DENNIS ZOELMAN

* MOUNT LAWN FUNERAL HOME

* ARMSTRONG FUNERAL HOME

* BARNES FUNERAL HOME

* MCINTOSH-KELLAM FUNERAL HOME

 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR TOP PLEDGE EARNERS

* BONNIE LANE $1,750

* SHERRI MITCHELL AND FAMILY $1,305

* MEGDA ZOELMAN $ 800

* GREG WRIGHT $ 650

* SHERRI AND STEPHEN STICKNEY $ 580

 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR HARD WORKING VOLUNTEERS

* Debbie Brown John Gordon

* Denise Love Alexis LoveGordon

* Sharon Sears Heather Love

* Marian Rehr Kyle Stephenson

* Margaret Beth Bryan

 

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE “WALK TO REMEMBER 2016”!

On November 26, 2015 BFO-Durham held their 20th anniversary annual memorial service “The Angels’ Tree of Light” at the Durham District School Board premises.  As in past years, hundreds of people attended the service in memory of their loved one.  

 

The tree was a moving sight, decorated with hundreds of angels with silver ribbons attached.  Every angel represented a deceased child, relative or friend.

 

Sharon Sears welcomed everyone and Randy Gill was very sensitive in his opening remarks. 

 

Marian Rehr touched on every one’s grief in her dedication and assured people they could still celebrate the holidays, although some changes may be necessary. 

 

The tree was lit by young Wesley, Braelyn and their mother Lisa Fogg.    After a moment of silence, special songs were performed by Lauren Sears and Sabrina Moreino. 

 

The memorial portion of the service was closed with a Responsive Reading, given by Anita Fellows and her friend, Margaret. 

After the service, tables were set with trays of refreshments and many  people took advantage of the opportunity to socialize with friends and other bereaved families they have met through our organization.  


THE RIDE TO REMEMBER is proud to contribute $13,550 to Bereaved Families of Ontario – Durham Chapter. This brings the total donation to over $50,000 since the inception of the ride 5 years ago.

 

It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and 85 motorcycles touring the countryside with the riders in their matching orange T-shirts. Starting off in Uxbridge with complimentary refreshments from Tim Horton's, the riders proceeded to their first stop at the Riverside Restaurant in Norland. After lunch, we mounted up for a scenic tour down to a riverside park in Lindsay where the riders took a break and stretched their legs for the final leg of the trip which would bring us back to Uxbridge. Wixan's Bridge supplied the venue for the evening get-together where raffles, silent auction, food and live entertainment provided the backdrop for friends and family to get together in a pleasing atmosphere to remember loved ones lost.

 

Each year we are joined by new participants who enjoy the opportunity to dedicate the day to their personal loss.  The positive feedback, in particular from people new to our event, provides the energy to look forward to next year.

 

Special thanks must go to ride organizers Lorne Johannessen and Donna Sherrard who donate countless hours to benefit BFO-D. Just knowing their efforts are having a positive impact on people handling the enormous challenge of losing a child is enough to motivate their efforts. We are fortunate to have friends that are so supportive.

 

Of course our sponsors are crucial to the success and special thanks to the many who have supported this event every year from its inception.

 

In closing, we hope that this event and BFO-Durham are pieces to the puzzle that help people navigate the challenges that grief presents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On May 24th, 2015 the 7th Annual Run to Remember event was held with all proceeds donated to BFO-Durham.  On this beautiful morning, friends, families and BFO-Durham members gathered together to walk, run or cycle through Petticoat Creek in Pickering.

 

Thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and participants who once again helped make this event, a very successful fundraiser. 

 

All monies raised was donated to BFO-Durham in memory of Jeffrey Warne.


Sunday, March 1, 2015 marked the 17th annual Walk to Remember event for Bereaved Families of Ontario – Durham Region. Registration began at 9:15 a.m. at the Five Points Mall on Taunton Road in Oshawa. After Donna Davidson took us through a warm up, the walk began at 10 a.m.

This memorable day included fun for the whole family. There were refreshments available for all participants and The Bella’s provided live music as people walked in memory of their lost loved ones. Princess Parties by Simone sent three princesses and a spidey man to the event to provide the children in attendance with some entertainment.

 

Thanks to the help from our generous community; walkers, volunteers, donors and sponsors, BFO Durham surpassed our fundraising goal of $10,000. The support from this annual fundraising event funds and ensures our program stability.

 

Brad and Debbie Brown donated this year’s walk banner, in loving memory of their son Alan Brown. It reads “Donated In Loving Memory of Alan Brown Loved and Missed by all and a Huge Leaf Fan”.  Colleen Timmins donated her son Gregory’s artwork in his memory. She has generously donated an owl print that Gregory sketched himself for many years now. Cathy and Fritz Wiener donated the refreshments in loving memory of their son Karl. Denise Robinson & Phil Warne donated the button maker in memory of their son Jeffrey.

 

A special thank you to those who donated gifts for our top pledge earners:

Mark Geens from LaFarge Canada in memory of Dennis Zoelman

Comfortwave Heating & Cooling Ltd.

Armstrong Funeral Home

Barnes Funeral Home

McIntosh-Anderson-Kellam Funeral Home

Garvey Family in memory of Blake Garvey


A special thank you to our top pledge earners:

Bonnie Lane                                       $1600.00

Garvey Family                                    $1340.00

Bob Munshaw                                    $1305.00

Sherry Mitchell and Family                 $1161.00

Evelyn and Al Amurao                        $955.00

 

A special thank you to our hard working volunteers:

                                                The Sears Family & Friends

                        Debbie Brown                                     Alexis LoveGordon

                        Marian Rehr                                        Heather Love

                        Margaret                                             Connor Curzon

                        Marlene Charewicz                             Kyle Stephenson

                        Angela White                                       Brendan Whitters

                        Denise Love                                        John Gordon


Thank you to everyone who participated in the Walk to Remember 2015!

 
 

The Fourth Annual Ride to Remember in support of BFO-Durham took place on July 30th. The most successful ride to date raised $13,500, for a total contribution of approximately $38,000 since its inception. We are proud to contribute financially but the ride is so much more than that. Inspired by the loss of our son Brent, we wanted to bring attention to a good organization as well as create new memories with loved ones lost in a positive atmosphere. The feedback from everyone involved indicates that we have created a unique avenue to take time out to remember and raise awareness for BFO-D.  

 

This year we were pleased to have Sharon Sears’ daughter Lauren, accompanied by her father Rick on guitar, take part in providing entertainment with a heartfelt rendition of Miranda Lambert's “Over You” being the highlight of her set. The personal connection of the people involved is what makes it special.  

 

The day started at Tim Horton's Uxbridge with complimentary refreshments and registration, then at 11 a.m. 65 bikes roared to life in a salute to those remembered, our special guests for the day. Upon departure, Durham Regional Police controlled the intersections to ensure a smooth exit from town leading to the riders enjoying a 200 km relaxing scenic ride with stops in Fenelon Falls and Lindsay to stretch and socialize.

 

OPP were instrumental in allowing us to stay together as a group by assisting with a very busy intersection at Highways 7 and 35. Upon returning to Uxbridge we were joined by family, friends and supporters at Clem's for dinner, entertainment, a silent auction and raffles where all involved had a chance to mingle and remember. 

 

Many thanks must go to Ride organizers Lorne Johannessen and Donna Sherrard who dedicate so much time and effort to make this event a success, but more importantly are so supportive of those having to deal with such a daunting challenge as moving forward and keeping a loved one lost in their lives. Special People!  

 

“IF YOU LISTEN TO THE WIND, YOU CAN STILL HEAR THEM PLAY” 

 

~ Brian and Jackie Foster



 
 
 
 
 
On Sunday March 2, 2014 Bereaved Families of Ontario- Durham Region held our annual “Walk to Remember” event. Friends and family gathered to share in the memories of children they have lost.
 
Thanks to walkers, volunteers and generous donors, BFO- Durham was able to raise over $8000. The support from the walk allows us to offer free support programs and services for bereaved families throughout Durham Region. 
 
This memorable event involved fun for the whole family with activities such face painting compliments of our princesses. Greg Cave, Sean Battam and Carol Channeling provided live entertainment. This year, the banner was donated by the Campbell family, in loving memory of Michael Campbell. A special thank- you goes to Cathy and Fritz Wiener who graciously provided refreshments for the walk.
 
This year’s event involved many new faces, which bravely attended the commemorative event for the first time. We cannot express how thankful we are to our generous sponsors whose contributions helped to create an unforgettable day. We are incredibly thankful to all who participated this year and contributed to the success of the event. Many wonderful prizes were available this year including an owl print sketched by Greg Timmins, which was donated by his mother Colleen in his memory. 
 
A special thank you to those who donated gifts for our top pledge earners:
 
McIntosh-Anderson-Kellam Funeral Home- Monetary Donation
Armstrong Funeral Home- Monetary Donation

These wonderful prizes went to our deserving top pledge earners:

 
Bonnie Lane
Garvey Family
Debbie Brown 
Janice Hicks
Marcie Miles
Magda Zoelman

 
Lastly, we would like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers, staff, families and organizations that participated in the walk. A special thank you goes to Wendy Marshall, Debbie Brown, Kelly Grieg, Marian Rehr, Margaret and all those behind the scenes who made the event possible. 
 
Yours truly,
Leah Mirowski
Public Relation Student 
 
Sharon Sears, Executive Director
Bereaved Families of Ontario- Durham Region