Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in news | 0 comments

A Message from the TLC Foundation

I would like to thank everyone that supported the TLC Foundation in 2017. Without your support we could not assist the hundreds and hundreds of children that needed our help.

The TLC Foundation was able to grant many wishes in 2017. Children were sent to Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Hedley, Selena Gomez and many other concerts, and many were treated to Disney on Ice shows and other children’s shows. TLC sent over 150 children to the Harlem Globe Trotters for a private meet and greet and to watch an amazing game, the largest number sponsored by any organization. Many children were sent on weekend trips to Niagara Falls and other destinations, to celebrate some last wishes with their families. There were many wishes that TLC was able to grant in 2017 but the most amazing wish was being able to send two special boys to Los Angeles for a taping of Hell’s Kitchen. Along with a great dinner and taping of Hell’s Kitchen, all who attended were able to spend some one-on-one time with Chef Gordon Ramsey after the taping. This was a once in a lifetime experience and it’s still hard to understand how a little charity like TLC Foundation was able to make this wish come true.

There were countless visits to the Children’s hospital at LHSC, Ronald McDonald House and to children’s homes all over southwest Ontario throughout the year, all in an effort to put a smile on a child’s face. I wish I could explain to you the impact we had on a sick child’s life but it’s very hard to put in words how that feels.

Hundreds and hundreds of underprivileged children received their Christmas wish on Christmas Eve with the assistance of TLC. Hundreds of volunteers and with assistance from our local Fire and Police Departments delivered presents to these children’s homes on Christmas Eve, with every child getting what they wished for. Following these deliveries, the TLC Foundation once again visited ever child that unfortunately had to spend Christmas Eve in the hospital. While many gifts were delivered, the most important goal is to put a smile on a child’s face, or a parent’s face, during a time when smiles are hard to come by. TLC has been carrying on this Christmas Eve tradition for over 30 years.

Santa’s House in Victoria Park opened for our third year and was a huge success, with thousands and thousands of people visiting Santa and making a donation to the TLC Foundation. This year we added the dancing light show, thank you Christmas Décor for your assistance in making this show a huge success. Together with the Canadian weather, it was a true Christmas spirit in the park. The amount of work and volunteers that it takes to move and set up the house, decorate and operate is extensive. While one goal is to raise funds so we can continue to help children in need, it is truly magical to see the smiles and excitement in the children who come to see Santa in his house in the park. Thank you to our sponsors – Domus Developments, The City of London, The Downtown London, North Pole Trim & Supply, Freedom 55 Financial and Corus Radio and to the 100’s of volunteers who contributed to our success. A special thank you to Fanshawe’s Photography program and all their student volunteers.

On a personal level, I was able to meet some amazing children over this past year. Every child is special and in the end I get the best gift and that is getting to know such strong young individuals. Unfortunately, there were too many children that also left this world way too soon in 2017. This is the hardest part of operating the TLC Foundation. People always ask me how I do what I do when there is some much grief that comes along with meeting these children. My answer is always the same…because I need to, because like my mother told me, helping others is not always easy. There was one very special person that we lost this year and her name was Rebecca. Rebecca and I became instant friends from the first moment we met. What transpired in the short nine months that we spent together was truly amazing. Rebecca taught me that no matter how bad things are, always walk with your head held up high. Rebecca was very special to me and to everyone she met, she will be greatly missed. This year I dedicated Santa’s House in the loving memory of my dear friend Rebecca. Everyone that visited Santa’s House in 2017 got to learn a little about this amazing girl.

The Christmas season is now behind us but the TLC Foundation continues to assist children. We assist children not just at Christmas but all year long. Within the last few weeks I have made many hospital visits and am planning a weekend getaway for a family whose young son has terminal cancer.
All the wonderful things that the TLC Foundation is able to do could not happen without the hundreds of great people that continue to support us throughout the year. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for helping me help the children. You are the reason why the TLC Foundation continues to make wishes come true.

Leo Larizza
TLC Foundation