News and Views from the world wanderings of Pj Kwong.  Finally!  A place for all of the things I write and think about!

Posted By SkatingPj

Hi everyone - this story is too beautiful to not share...Sarah just turned 9 yrs old 2 weeks ago and is one of my skaters and she has been busy over the last month with her 4th annual Food Drive to benefit the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank - I originally told her story on my blog - check closer to the bottom of the page or check out her web page: ...I just received the following email from Mom Lynda...(Did I mention that Sarah just turned 9?????) 

"Okay...sit down...
Do not read this while driving or operating heavy equipment.
Sarah's 4th Annual Food Drive results
Sarah's goal was to raise 1 tonne of food.
Here are the totals:
508 pounds ( from our street, friends, family and from North Toronto Skating Club)
1870 from Sarah's School
2286 from Tremblett's Valu Mart ( including 25 turkey dinners)
4664 pounds of food
In addition, she raised just under 2K in cash, which the Daily Bread Food Bank counts every dollar as a pound of food.
All in, cash and food donations:
drum roll please.....
3 tonnes of food.
Can you believe it???
We can't. We are all in shock.
Not too sure if you heard her, but Gail Nyberg was on CBC Radio today and was talking about Sarah. She was talking about the great work that Sarah has done. It was awesome!"

Great work indeed!!  Way to go Sarah -  If this is what you are doing at 9 - I can't wait to see what you will be doing 10 years from now!!

What a great way to end my Thanksgiving ...Thanks to the fans and families who helped support this cause...and thanks to Sarah for letting me part of this!

Sarah - the newest and maybe best example of what a Skating Warrior Princess can do (she just got named to this very select group)...would like to challenge everyone else to do their best this week!!

The Power of One. :)

Pj :)

Posted By SkatingPj

My best stories always come back to skating and this one is no exception. I have gotten the chance over the last 20+ years of coaching to spend time with lots and lots of young people and many hold a special place in my memories but none more than my current student Sarah J or Sj as I like to call her or sometimes the Sarah-nator and sometimes Sarahsaurus...this is the third season that we will be working together and we initially bonded over the old and trusted adage: "girls rule and boys drool".  As far as girls ruling, this one may just take over the world: she is 8 years old (turning 9 in a couple of weeks) and is set to launch her 4th annual food drive to benefit Toronto's Daily Bread Food Bank - a project she started in Grade 1 when she found out on Thanksgiving that there were people who could be found within a 5 minute drive from her home who were hungry. She told her Mom Lynda that she wanted to help and start a food drive. Lynda copied down what Sarah wanted to say on her posters; things like what she wanted to do and why and that she needed help. Sarah wrote them up and her Mom took the finished flyers to Staples for copying which were then distributed. 

Her target that first year were the families on her street "I knew that lots of people on my street would help. They are very nice." Year 1 they raised 300lbs of food. Year 2, with the help of Sarah's class and daycare, they raised 540lbs of food. Last year, younger sister Claire (now 5) chipped in with help from her senior kindergarten class as the program gained momentum. In 2011, the program will be school-wide at Sarah's Toronto school for the first time. To date, Sarah's Food Drive  has raised 1.3 tonnes of food!!!!

One of the cool things about having a food drive, is you get the chance to take the food to the food bank and see it weighed. Sarah says: "the first 2 years we got a tour and to see how the food is sorted but last year we couldn't because they were too busy."

Sarah, with the help of her family has decided to up the ante this year: "I want to break my record and raise another tonne of food." With Sarah at the helm, they have turned to members of the community for some help. The owners of the Valu-Mart located on Bayview south of Millwood, Rob and Jessi Tremblette, jumped immediately on board to help Sarah. The Trembletts will have paper bags filled with food donations for $10 available for purchase at the checkout and are also planning on making Thanksgiving hampers including more festive food for ditribution through Sarah's campaign. During our interview earlier today, I took Sarah with me to talk to (Prince) Eric Anweiler, our rink Manager at the North Toronto Memorial Gardens and without hesitation he offered up a large plastic bin that will be located in the lobby of the rink to accept more food donations - he also told her to "keep going with this, you're doing a really good thing."

Just imagine - if Sarah can do this at 8yrs old - what can the rest of us do?

Sarah's Food Drive runs until October 8th and is accepting cash donations for the first time this year,  as well as food  and Sarah has set a fundraising goal of $500. Information can be found on their website:

In the meantime, what does Sarah want to be when she grows up? "A figure skater"

My work here is done :)




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