Compass gets the message out
“ 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.”
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.
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.