The following was written by a friend of mine, Jim Stechyson a successful businessman in the Ottawa scene for many years.
Last night I attended the annual Fight for the Cure event in Ottawa – an amateur and “white collar” boxing event dedicated to raising funds for cancer patients and their families in the Ottawa area.
The fundraiser was a first class event organized by a group of entrepreneurs in their mid twenties who are already thinking about how they can give back to their community at such an early stage of their careers! There’s inspiration for you!
My good friend Kevin Dee was one of eight local business executives who volunteered his time (and body!) to get in the ring and compete against another fellow exec in a friendly match mixed in with the amateur bouts.
I’ve attended many fundraisers over the years. They always have the objective of providing the attendees with a chance to socialize, have good time, and enjoy some entertainment and, of course, the opportunity to donate to the cause – So I pretty much expected the same with FFTC. What I didn’t expect was to walk from the evening feeling an unusually high level of emotion.
Kevin’s was the fourth match of the evening. After watching the first “white collar fight” it was obvious that these “board room warriors” had taken the event very seriously and dedicated significant time to incorporate training into their busy schedules.
So – why the emotion? To begin with, after going down once in the first round, the referee stopped the fight part way through the second – Kevin lost his match. Watching my friend fall to the canvas bothered me. It upset me…there…I said it. Of course the emotion would have been very different if the outcome had been the opposite and by the end of the evening I’m sure he was over it, Kev knew what he signed up for and saw it through to the end. Even if the outcome in the ring wasn’t what he’d hoped for he accomplished his greater goal by helping to raise money for a very worthwhile cause.
But, the fact is, I wasn’t over it. Watching my friend put himself through what he later told me was “one of the hardest physical workouts he’s ever endured” for the sake of charity helped me to realize that I’m not doing enough to give back and his performance last night inspired me. I’ve known Kev for almost 15 years and truly admire his passion but this time his commitment and generosity really hit home. I don’t plan to step into the ring – I`ll leave that to the “English Bulldog” but today I signed up for the Ride the Rideau fund raiser for Cancer research – a 100km bike ride along the Rideau River. Training starts tomorrow!!
We all have the capacity to give more back to our community in one way or another. Find your inspiration and get started!! Thanks for giving me mine Kev!
Thanks Jim … you are a class act my friend!