Carbonear boys to attend We Day
Invitation to Halifax event in recognition of a good deed they performed
It’s been an exciting few months for three young men from Carbonear.
This past August, Andrew Green, who is 14, Josh Griffin ( 13) and Anthony Griff in ( 11) received provincewide attention after selflessly fixing five-year-old Ben Clarke’s beat up go-cart, which had been vandalized.
The boys felt bad, took the go-cart home, fixed it up and returned it to the family the same day.
The boys had no idea how far their story would reach and how many people it would touch, until last week, when they learned their story was shared by thousands of people and reached as far as Vancouver in the west, Texas in the south and the United Kingdom in the east.
We Day nomination
In September, the three Good Samaritans were nominated for an event in Nova Scotia by phone company Telus — one of the event’s biggest sponsors —called “We Day.”
We Day is an event that happens internationally to honour teens for their contribution to helping the world become a better place. This year, Halifax will be the first city in Atlantic Canada to host the event. Tickets must be earned and cannot be bought. The event will take place Nov. 27. Jacqui Dupont — one of Telus’ representatives for Newfoundland and Labrador — read the go-cart story on social media and immediately thought the boys would make excellent ambassadors for the province at the event.
“When I read (The Compass) article, my thoughts were that these three boys are the epitome of kindness, selflessness and community spirit,” Jacqui wrote in an email to The Compass Aug. 29.
The nomination was kept a secret from the boys because the parents and Jacqui decided if they won, it should be a surprise.
It was more than a month before the results were announced.
The parents were told in advance that the winners had been chosen, and their boys would be going to Halifax to represent Newfoundland and Labrador. They did not tell the boys.
On Oct. 22, Carbonear Mayor Sam Slade and the Green and Griffin fam- ilies met at the Conception Bay Regional Community Centre to hear the news.
Once in the council chamber, Jacqui told the boys they, “touched my heart” with their story, and she couldn’t think of anyone else she could have nominated.
The boys lit up with excitement when they heard they were chosen, and would be going to Halifax to experience one of the biggest youth events in the world.
Some 13,000 students are expected to attend the Atlantic Canada event, and the three boys were the first confirmed to be going from this province. Two unidentified schools were also asked to attend, but it is unknown right now if they will.
To top off the surprise, Jacqui explained her company was going to cover accommodations for the families while they are attending, and as an additional bonus, the boys and their families will visit the Halifax military base, highlighted by a tour of a submarine.
The boys acknowledged they didn’t think they needed the recognition, but were excited to be attending.
Although the accommodations have been covered, the boys still need to cover transportation costs, including flights and transportation from Halifax International Airport to downtown Halifax for the three of them and one member of each of their families.
They will begin fundraising in the coming weeks, trying to decrease the out-of-pocket expense they may encounter for the trip.
Arrangements are being made to sell tickets on a technology basket — a collection of elecronic items — and more fundraising plans will be announced.
Mayor Slade said the town will do everything it can to help out the boys to ensure they get to attend, and invited them to attend a council meeting in the coming weeks for an introduction to the council members.
“These boys are the ones who will be sitting in those chairs, running the show in Carbonear someday,” Slade said, pointing to his seat in the chamber.
“The town is so proud for what you have done, and we know you have influenced a lot of people to start doing things for others.”
The boys will be seeing some big names in music and many motivational speakers throughout the daylong event.
Some speakers include Martin Luther King III, Molly Burke — a visually impaired motivational speaker — and Craig and Marc Kielburger, who founded Free the Children. There will be performances by Canadian band Hedley, Nova Scotian rapper Classified, the Kenyan Boys Choir, who sang at U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, and many more.
The boys were surprised but excited, saying they can’t wait to represent the province in Halifax in November.
The families of three boys who were acknowledged for a selfless act met at the Conception Bay Regional Community Centre in Carbonear last month to announce to the boys they would be attending a student humanitarian event in Halifax. They were, from left, Jacqui Dupont (Telus representative), Ken Griffin, Karen Griffin, Jacob Griffin, Josh Griffin, Jennifer Griffin, Anthony Griffin, Paul Griffin, Andrew Green, Sheila Green and Mayor Sam Slade.