Com­pass gets the mes­sage out

The Compass - - NEWS -

“ The Com­pass has had three or four ma­jor, ma­jor sto­ries — the last one was two pages.”

The chair­man noted, “we’ve had two suc­cess­ful walks in Har­bour Grace and vis­ited schools in Old Per­li­can (Bac­calieu Col­le­giate) and Bay de Verde (Tri-Con Ele­men­tary).”

In some cases, he ac­knowl­edged the foun­da­tion didn’t even have to make a call. “ They called us be­cause they saw the pub­lic­ity in The Com­pass. So in CBN we’re on the map out there. We get a lot of calls from CBN all be­cause of The Com­pass. They re­ally do an ex­traor­di­nary job.”

Debbie Cooper of CBC’s Here and Now, who acted as hon­ourary chair­woman for Eat­ing Dis­or­der Aware­ness Week (Feb. 1-7) was also on hand for the a.g.m. And last week The Tele­gram car­ried a two-page spread on Eat­ing Dis­or­der Aware­ness Week.

Withers said all me­dia have been sup­port­ive of their or­ga­ni­za­tion and its cause, so they are al­ways re­luc­tant to sin­gle out any me­dia. But in this par­tic­u­lar ge­o­graphic area (Con­cep­tion Bay North), “a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion has been made by The Com­pass and we want to rec­og­nize the con­tri­bu­tion made by Denise.”


Hum­bled by the award, Denise Pike said, “as a re­porter quite of­ten you get to write hun­dreds of sto­ries. Be­cause of the fast pace na­ture of the work, af­ter your sto­ries go to press, of­ten you don’t think about them any­more un­til some­thing re­lated lands on your desk. But it wasn’t like that for me when it came to writ­ing about peo­ple with eat- ing dis­or­ders,” Pike re­called.

“I can truly say I was truly moved by the per­sonal sto­ries I heard from peo­ple with eat­ing dis­or­ders and their loved ones.”

When it comes to peo­ple with eat­ing dis­or­ders, Pike said, “one of the things clos­est to my heart is the need for sup­port.”

Looking at the foun­da­tion mem­bers around the room, she said, “I see so much of that sup­port here to­day with the foun­da­tion. Pike ap­plauded Vince Withers and his wife Delores for hav­ing taken their own per­sonal tragedy and us­ing that to help some­one else.

The Withers’ daugh­ter Re­nata El­iz­a­beth passed away

in Au­gust 2005 from Anorexia Ner­vosa. At the time of her death, Re­nata was 27 and weighted 70 pounds.

De­ter­mined to help other fam­i­lies around the prov­ince in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions, in 2006, Withers founded the Eat­ing Dis­or­der Foun­da­tion of NL. They have been on a cru­sade to ed­u­cate the pub­lic and sup­port fam­i­lies deal­ing with eat­ing dis­or­ders.

As a writer, Pike said she al­ways likes to end on a pos­i­tive note, which is not dif­fi­cult when writ­ing about the work of or­ga­ni­za­tions like the eat­ing dis­or­der foun­da­tion be­cause there is so much pos­i­tive hap­pen­ing.

“ The thing I see com­ing through in all of this is the deep sense of com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially among par­ents, fam­i­lies and loved ones, and how that leads to sup­port and help for your cause.”

Pledg­ing her con­tin­ued sup­port for the cause, Pike told the foun­da­tion, “I’ll be fol­low­ing your progress and writ­ing more sto­ries in the fu­ture.”

Enor­mous con­tri­bu­tion

The Com­pass was one of four groups to pick up vol­un­teer and sup­port recog­ni­tion awards dur­ing the event.

Bill Wad­den ac­cepted an award on be­half of F. J. Wad­den Ltd., which spon­sors an an­nual golf tour­na­ment, which Vince Withers de­scribed as the foun­da­tion’s “sec­ond largest an­nual fundrais­ing event.”

Mem­bers of the bands Shan­neyganock and The Mas­ter­less Men were also on hand to ac­cept awards for their in­volve­ment in an an­nual con­cert of hope, which has net­ted some $44,000 for the foun­da­tion over two years. “ Without that $44,000 we’d be in big trou­ble,” Withers ac­knowl­edged.

Wilf Cur­ran, the foun­da­tion’s vice chair­man also hap­pens to be a for­mer mem­ber of The Mas­ter­less Men.

Cur­ran said peo­ple of­ten come away from a ben­e­fit con­cert say­ing, “isn’t that lovely for that group to give one and a half hours of their time. But they didn’t, they gave eight hours.”

When you fac­tor in the time it takes to set up equip­ment and do a sound check, “it’s an eight-hour do­na­tion of their time,” he ex­plained.

When he was in The Mas­ter­less Men, Cur­ran said the de­mand on

“So in CBN we’re on the map out there. We got a lot of calls from CBN all be­cause of The Com­pass. They re­ally do an

ex­traor­di­nary job.” — Vince Withers, chair­man, Eat­ing

Dis­or­der Foun­da­tion of NL

their time for ben­e­fits reached the point where “we had to have a meet­ing and ad­mit it was out of con­trol.”

Es­ti­mat­ing such groups prob­a­bly do 12-20 ben­e­fits in the run of a year, Cur­ran added, “and when­ever one of their own gets sick, they’re there to help out.”

Re­mind­ing his au­di­ence that some of th­ese peo­ple make their liv­ing at mu­sic, Cur­ran couldn’t help but won­der, “ how many give up­wards of 12 to 20 of their work­ing days in the run of a year?

“ When you think about it, that’s an enor­mous con­tri­bu­tion, he said. So the next time you hear of a mu­si­cal group do­ing that, keep in mind they’ve given up a day of their work week. I think that’s a fan­tas­tic con­tri­bu­tion to this or any other or­ga­ni­za­tion,” he con­cluded.

CBN dy­namo

Withers also rec­og­nized Pat and Shirley Collins of River­head who at­tended the meet­ing. Pat is the foun­da­tion’s di­rec­tor for the CBN area. De­scrib­ing the cou­ple as “a dy­namo for the area,” Withers said they were in­volved in both walks in Har­bour Grace and de­vote their time and en­ergy for the cause.

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