Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Being Elmo - Special Screening in Support of Zack's Dream Room

One year ago, on March 10, 2011, Heather and Paul Hamilton were faced with the unthinkable - the loss of their child. Zack was born in 2007 with a congenital heart defect and a chromosonal deletion. He faced many challenges in his short life, but he was loving and brave and brought great joy to his family and those who knew him.  I wasn't lucky enough to have met him, but I do know his family now, and they are amazing, strong, and giving people.

Zack spent a lot time during his three and a half years at the York Central Hospital, being cared for by the great team there. To honour Zack's memory, and to make hospital stays more comfortable for young patients and their families, Heather and her family started a fundraising campaign, Zack's Dream Room. The initial goal was to raise $25,000 to renovate one of the paediatric rooms, updating the equipment and decorating it with an Elmo theme, since this was by far Zackie's favourite character. The campaign has been enormously successful, having raised over $44,000 to date. The goal has been expanded to now include the renovation of a second room at the hospital.

Celebrating Zackie's love for Elmo, a special screening of the award-winning documentary, Being Elmo, will be held March 18th, 11:00am, in Toronto, at the Bloor Street Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor St. West).  Proceeds from this event will go directly to Zack's Dream Room and making children's hospital stays at York Central a little more bearable.

Your $20 Ticket  includes:
A small popcorn and drink, silent auction, kids crafts, face painting, Hasbro Sesame Street Play Area, sponsors swag bag (one per family), and more events for your family!  Tickets are available online only at 
 www.elmo4zack.eventbrite.com (no tickets will be available at the door)

Film starts at 12pm sharp. 80min, PG. Film is appropriate for kids, but activities will be in the foyer for children who don't attend the screening. 

About the film:
"Beloved by children of all ages around the world, Elmo is an international icon. Few people know his creator, Kevin Clash, who dreamed of working with his idol, master puppeteer Jim Henson. Displaying his creativity and talent at a young age, Kevin ultimately found a home on Sesame Street. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this documentary includes rare archival footage, interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop."

You can learn more about the movie Being Elmo, as well as watch the trailer, here. But better yet, go here and pick up your tickets to come to this special screening on March 18 in Toronto, and see the whole documentary for yourself, while supporting an important cause. You can continue to read the Hamilton's story on Heather's blog.

I hope to see you on March 18th!!

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