Dear Colleagues, Friends and Family, I am holding my own fundraiser, via Ironman Italy on September 21, 2019, to support CAMH, Canada's leading mental health hospital. I am doing this to raise funds to not only help CAMH but to honour a colleague and freind, Mr. Paul Woolford.
Tragically Paul was killed last October 31, 2018 on Hwy 407 while on his was home from work.
Paul is survived by his wife Joanne and their two children, Nathan( 28 yrs) and Stephanie (19yrs). It was while attending Paul's "Celebration of Life" that I realized CAMH would be the benefactor of my fundraiser via Ironman. On this day Joanne shared with the 943 attendees that Paul had struggled greatly with mental illness for many years and that the only positive from this tragic loss was "Paul would never have to face another one his dark periods ever again".
It took so much courage for Joanne to share this intimate part of their life, it took my and many others breathe away. Amazingly very, very few knew of Paul's challenge with mental illness, even his closest partners at KPMG and Quantum Shift did not know, it was just Paul's way as he did not want to burden others with his issues. Paul was always at his best when he was helping others. I saw this many times and know it personally when he helped me with business and personal challenges. He made me look myself in the mirror and help (push) me to change even when I didn't really want to change. He was a gifted mentor and trusted friend, he is, and will continue to be, greatly missed.
It's our turn to stand up for Paul, and others like Paul, who face the challenges of mental illness ever day. CAMH has done a wonderful job in raising awarness over the past few years but its not enough. There are still stigmas that need to be broken down and awarness needs to continue to be built.
So now its our turn. I am asking you to support this effort to raise $25,000.00 as I race a full Ironman race in Italy on September 21, 2019. My goal is to break 13 hours and I will donate my time, in dollars, to the funds as well. I hope you will find this fundraising effort truly worthwhile and donate what ever you can afford and remember ever dollar helps. Thank you for taking the time to visit and read my page.
....Update: August 29, 2019.... 95% of the training is behind me. Its been a busy summer with huge miles on the bike and run but it will all be worth it on race day.
I AM SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FINISH AND THE FUNDS WE WILL RAISE TOGETHER TO HONOUR PAUL WOOLFORD AND CAMH!
Stephen K. Benson