My grandfather was a fire chief and my Dad was a fireman. In fact, my Dad was born on the day of a big parade firemen were scheduled to march in, so my Dad was made an honourary fire chief the day he was born. Even after my Dad was no longer active, I remember being awakened to “bring your pillow, we’re going to a fire.” I assumed all kids did this and never questioned it. Off we’d go in our station wagon and we’d have a front-row place to watch the excitement. Usually, my Dad would help in directing traffic or something. It was a small town, and the fire department was in his blood.

I also remember a few very special Christmases where I woke up to a bicycle under the Christmas tree. Well, the first technically was a tricycle, but no less special.  I would have been 3, 6, and 10. Great memories. I grew up to love cycling. I have done many long-distance cycling trips including Niagara, Falls, Vermont, Boston to Philadelphia, and San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Since I started in real estate, I have always given a portion of my income to a community charity. I have decided to dedicate those monies to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive. I thought this was just a Christmas campaign, but I found out it is a year-round effort, since fires happen all year long and children lose their toys when their family loses everything. I love the thought of giving new memories to kids who have suffered a loss. My loyal clients create the opportunity for me to do that.

This Christmas I donated four bicycles to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive.  Tamara Sylvan told me there was a distinct need for ages 10 and up, so I purchased two appropriate for 10-year-olds and two larger ones for older ages. Tamara told me when she delivered two of them, the children receiving them screamed with delight.

I am hoping to be able to make even more children scream with delight at Christmas 2021.