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 BLAST 2012 Thank you appreciation summary

        From B.L.A.S.T.  Building Life After Stroke Together
       To  B.L.I.S.S.  a Better Life In Stroke Survival

This year we had 47 campers "Building Life After Stroke Together”. (An increase in stroke survivors from 27 to 34.) Stroke Survivors, Caregivers, Family and Friends made it possible to bring success in creating our BLISS. (Better Life In Stroke Survival). Thank you everyone.

BLAST is not affiliated with any organization and that’s what makes us special. It is what WE make it. The fees are low, largely because we are 100% volunteer driven by generous people. Paying campers are responsible for the basic duties, organization and fundraising. It’s the passion in BLAST that powers it and makes the rewards and benefits more meaningful. 

Participation is what makes it happen. Personally, I am amazed at how far it has brought me. I am elated to be able to do something productive with my life. The best part of my personal gain, is sharing the joy through BLAST "Building Life After Stroke Together". We are proud Turtles and thus planning and promoting is ongoing throughout the year. 

Our amazing Easter weekend at camp Squamish can't be done without a little help from our friends. In my case, a lot of help :). Colleen Fraser of Whistler Healing  Arts, completely organizes the massage team. Saturday, we were all treated to an hour long massage, all gratis! 

Ernie Ledgerwood was my doctor 20 yrs ago. His wife Lynn, the receptionist. Together with their friend and fellow volunteer, Donna Forchuk, they bake the goodies, host the Tea Party, offer a ride around the park on the mini rail and get us free admission. All to support stroke survivors "Building Life After Stroke Together”. 
This year, 34 people were shuttled to the park. Except for three able bodied, 31 people managed to get their leg over the 18 inch bench.

These remarkable people make BLAST unique. The gifts they offer are from their hearts and that’s something money can’t buy. Lucky for us! It wouldn't be possible if we had to pay for all that we received at BLAST. $225 doesn’t even cover the tangible items. The labour cost, if we had to pay for volunteer hours, excluding Turtles, is unthinkable. The only people related to BLAST that receive payment, came with the package. ie Squamish staff, bus driver and band members.

Having Margaret Hansen at the helm doing a wonderful job of keeping everything rolling smoothly on the weekend is an added bonus. There are really too many other generous people with individual qualities and expertise to list. From our special guest volunteers to the stroke survivor who may struggle to just to be 
there, everyone contributes in some way. We are all "Building Life After Stroke Together”. Doing the best we can, and that, makes the BLAST Family unique and very special.

The Metro Swingers Band for BLAST 2011 and 2012 have been paid compliments of the Martha and Blair Band Fund, a derivative from their wedding. That fund is now depleted and we thank Martha and Blair for making it possible.

Presently, with all the freebies we still need to raise about $10,000 in order to maintain the fees set this year. We are grateful to Hastings Community Association  (parent to Templeton Turtles) for their contribution and March of Dimes. Specifically Brent Page (adopted at BLAST 2011), who arranged for funds from the Rock for 
Dimes benefit and brought Sue, our new recruit from Calgary. The rest of the funding comes from individual donors.

Lastly, I would like to thank Karel Ley for jumping on the band wagon in March 2009 when TurtleTalk first began. BLAST may not have come to fruition without her strength and support getting over the hurdles set before us in 2010. As Committee Chair she stood up and presented the the benefits from the old Easter Camp and the loss for stroke recovery without it. Karel is involved with other community groups and abdicating her role for 2013. I expect she will continue come to the BLAST Easter weekend event to rip up the dance floor and enjoy the 92 degree pool. Thanks Karel. On behalf of all the BLAST campers who appreciated your help.

Thank you everyone else. Hope to see you in 2013. Mark your calendars March 29 - April 1, 2013. Earlybird deadline is December 15th, 2012. Registration will begin after Labour Day and gift certificates will be available year round.  Slideshows and more on can be found at

                                   From B.L.A.S.T.  Building Life After Stroke Together
                                  To  B.L.I.S.S.  a Better Life In Stroke Survival