“I’m doing my annual tree lighting in Coaldale and then Theo Fleury is actually coming back to the town to do the lighting and then afterwards I’m having an event at Lethbridge Exhibition Park with a Dessert with Theo Fleury and auction,” said Lee, adding the campaign has also expanded to Lethbridge and a tree is being lit outside of Vancouver this year.
According to Lee, a young 10-year-old boy from Powell River (outside of Vancouver) contacted her, having met Lee through the Be Brave Ranch. Lee said she was one of the first kids to actually go through the full program this past September. “He said that he really wanted to be able to do something to help fundraise money for the ranch, so that kids can go through the program like he was able to. He really wanted to help with the Shed Light. We’ve been working back and forth and right now he has his own tree being lit the same time as mine. That’s more light bulbs that are being lit in honour of kids and also raising money. He has a goal of $1,000 for this year,” she noted.
In Lethbridge, light bulbs were lit in Galt Gardens during the Bright Lights Festival held Nov. 21. The bulbs were lit in honour of victims of child sexual abuse. “It was amazing because I really started out this campaign as being an awareness campaign. Having the light bulbs really put a picture to how many victims are actually affected by sexual abuse. That’s why it was so amazing that downtown Lethbridge wanted to be able to help me. When they first contacted me — I went to city council to ask them to expand my project and the best way possible — they came up with the Bright Lights Festival and I got all the support from them and they also sold 100 light bulbs the night of the festival,” said Lee.
Coaldale, where Lee grew up and the town where the tree lighting campaign got its start, will once again host the tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. An auction and Dessert with Theo Fleury will be held at 7 p.m. in Lethbridge in Heritage Hall at Exhibition Park. “That really gives people a chance to be able to talk to Theo and meet him. He’s such an approachable person. I know it was a big hit last year. People loved that they got to meet him and have dessert with him,” said Lee. A Dessert with Theo Fleury was held last year at the Coaldale Community Centre, after last year’s bitter cold tree lighting ceremony. Lee said the initiative has helped raise close to $25,000 over the past two years, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to Little Warriors. This year, Lee’s goal is to raise $25,000.
Little Warriors is a charitable organization with a national focus that educates adults about how to help prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Little Warriors also provides information about the prevalence and frequency of child sexual abuse and information about healing and support resources. The Be Brave Ranch, which opened in September and is located near Edmonton, is a treatment centre focused solely to help children who have been sexually abused, as well as their families. The Be Brave Ranch program, supported by Little Warriors, offers these children a place to heal and increase their chances of growing into healthy adults and supports both the child and their families in their own environment for a full year. Light bulb sponsorship for this year’s Shed Light campaign is $5 per bulb. With any donation over $25 — a tax deductible receipt is available. To buy tickets for Dessert with Theo Fleury or to donate call 403-345-5437 or visit Just For Pets, located in Lethbridge at 1241 2nd Avenue A North.
Tickets for Dessert with Theo Fleury are $20 each or a table of eight for $150.