You never know who might just show up to a Project Give Back class!

Cameo appearances are always appreciated; whether it’s watching an episode of SNL or spotting that random someone in a scene of a movie. But it is even more awesome to witness these appearances within our very own classrooms! It happens quite often, without much pomp or circumstance. It is truly impressive to think of the people who have come into our lessons to help our students spread their messages.

Most recently, we had Rick Mercer of the Mercer Report. He came to support the charity, Spread the Net. Gord Martineau spoke on behalf of the Herbie Fund, a charity that is near and dear to his heart. Johann Koss, creator of Right to Play and Olympic Champion came to address his cause, bringing with his Olympic medals to share. The late Barbara Turnbull spoke about resilience and the importance of a positive outlook.

Ellen Schwartz will never forget when Larry Tanenbaum visited one of our classrooms to speak about his love and support for The Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and Mount Sinai Hospital. He shared with the children, “The most valuable gift you can ever give is your time.” When his time with the children was over, Ellen thanked him so much for visiting our classroom and explained to the children how lucky we were that Mr. Tanenbaum have given his time to come to chat with us. He looked at Ellen and the children and said, “Can I sit and stay to the end of the class?”

While these are just a few of the known personalities, it is often our lessor known speakers that truly shine bright. We have had founders or executive directors of various charities visit our classes. We have had heart surgeons, radiologists, cancer survivors, survivors of heart attacks and strokes, child ambassadors from Easter Seals, just to name a few. There have been war veterans, sports’ heroes, actors, and playwrights too. We’ve had friends or neighbours whose impact has been so profound. They may have faced challenging physical disabilities to overcome or remarkable skills and abilities to endure. There have been parents and relatives with their own courageous stories who have left an indelible mark upon all our young students. These stories are too numerous to count.

The list goes on and on. And although their stories or the causes and charities may vary, one thing remains constant and that’s the ability to impassion and inspire. Project Give Back brings out the best of everyone who is involved, no matter who that may be.

Who knows, that next special appearance may just be made by you!