Our community: the brother of a girl who died of a rare disease asks people to do good in his honor

“I want my sister’s spirit to live, inspiring people she loved and those she never had the chance to meet,” says Felix Townsin.

With the help of his parents, an 11-year-old Esquimalt boy launched a website that not only celebrates his sister’s legacy, but asks people to do something positive for the world in his honor.

Alexandra (Lexi) Townsin lost her life to a rare condition called Blau syndrome two years ago, just two months away from her seventh birthday. Blau syndrome is an inflammatory disorder that usually shows up in children before the age of four. It affects less than one in a million children. There is currently no cure.

To mark his birthday last month, his brother Félix launched a website.

“I created this website because I want my sister’s spirit to live, inspiring people she loved and those she never had the chance to meet,” said Felix.

“Would you like a world with less suffering? A world with more benevolence and generosity? Lexi too.

Other ways the family honors Lexi’s legacy include founding the Cure Blau Syndrome Foundation, running Lexi’s Little Leaders, a program that gives young people with big ideas access to the resources they need to realizing their visions, and facilitating the bereavement retreat, an opportunity for families to escape and mourn together while enduring heartbreaking loss.

“Life is short, and Lexi’s was much shorter than it should have been, but the love she brought into the world doesn’t go away – it’s still growing,” Troy Townsin said. , their father.

“Felix had this amazing idea that people who didn’t even know Lexi could celebrate her and make the world a better place at the same time.

“Participating is so easy – just do something right and let us know – you become one of Lexi’s legends and we can let Felix know how his sister’s legacy is impacting the world. “

Esquimalt food drive exceeds donation target

Esquimalt Township’s annual food drive, held this past holiday season, saw residents donate over 1,400 kilograms of much-needed food and groceries to Esquimalt Neighborhood House .

It was the 22nd year of the annual holiday giving campaign, which was organized by township and CUPE staff. He saw residents drop off non-perishable food at township facilities between November 24 and December 21. Residents could also have their donations picked up as part of their garbage collection service. Food in labeled bags was picked up by a volunteer in a separate vehicle.

Mary Lynn McKenna, Executive Director of Esquimalt Neighborhood House, said the Township of Esquimalt’s annual food drive is a critical way Esquimalt Neighborhood House replenishes its emergency food cabinet each year. “Normally, the township’s annual food drive allows Esquimalt Neighborhood House to have non-perishable food on hand for the short-term food needs of community members at least until early fall each year. . “

Residents of Esquimalt typically donate about 1,100 kilograms per year. This year that amount exceeded that amount, with township and CUPE staff delivering a total of three vans (approximately 1,400 kilograms) not only of food, but also household supplies like diapers and pet food to the non-profit organization.

Esquimalt Neighborhood House provides support services to children, youth, adults, families and seniors.

Girls inspire more donations for leukemia research

A popular fundraiser organized by two young girls to raise donations for leukemia research has touched many hearts since their plea was made public a month ago, raising over $ 15,500 for the Leukemia Society and lymphoma of Canada.

Bailey Paauwe and Ella McPherson, two grade 4 students at Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Nanaimo, came together to create the fundraiser after Paauwe’s stepfather was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

In a video posted to the Gofundme site on December 9, Paauwe pledged to shave his head and McPherson vowed to cut his hair short and donate it to cancer victims if they hit their goal of $ 2,500.

The fundraising took off, raising $ 6,500 in less than 20 hours. The next day, the girls decided to increase their goal to $ 10,000 and received over $ 15,500 before the campaign ended on December 17th.

UVic associate professor honored for his maritime work

An associate professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria received the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowship for her novel approaches to marine conservation.

Natalie Ban is the first person from UVic’s Faculty of Social Sciences to receive this prestigious award. It lists marine conservation, marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, marine ethnoecology, fisheries and community research as its areas of expertise.

His research aims to integrate environmental changes and threats, including climate change, into marine conservation planning and practices. His team’s research has led to better consideration of climate change in the planning of marine protected areas in the Pacific Ocean.

“This scholarship is an incredible opportunity to focus on advancing my team’s partnerships and research opportunities,” said Ban. “It allows me to spend more time thinking creatively, building relationships and co-creating research that can address important marine conservation issues. “

Ban says she is working with communities, including the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance, made up of the Wuikinuxv, Nuxalk, Kitasoo / Xai’xais, Heiltsuk nations, and hopes that consideration of both indigenous knowledge and Western science – and their interweaving where applicable – help solve modern fisheries problems and inequalities in fisheries management.

Each year, NSERC awards up to six Steacie Fellowships for a period of two years. Fellows are relieved of their teaching and administrative duties so that they can devote all of their time and energy to research.

The EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowship is NSERC’s highest honor awarded to early career science and engineering professors. Established in 1965, the scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding and highly promising faculty in all fields of science and engineering.

Mosaic Forest team steps up efforts to help the island’s needy

Mosaic Forest Management expanded its Season of Giving community and food program in 2021, donating $ 37,000 to more than 20 communities on Vancouver Island and the coast in December.

Launched in 2020, the program supports local organizations by providing access to nutritious food to those in need. The program distributed $ 30,000 to five community and food programs on Vancouver Island at the time.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has put additional pressure on families struggling to access healthy, affordable food,” said Jeff Zweig, president and CEO. “Our annual Season of Giving campaign provides support to organizations that do the important work of reaching those who depend on local food organizations to help feed their families. “

The recipients include the Alberni District High School Breakfast Club, a volunteer-run program that provides students with take-out food stations at the Alberni District High School and Center for learning.

“Donations, like the one made by Mosaic, are used to purchase food for over 400 students, five days a week,” says Melody Burton, Alberni District High School Breakfast Club Coordinator.

Other recipients include: Cowichan Valley Basket Society, Lake Cowichan 50+ Activity Center, Cowichan Valley School District 79 through Nourish Cowichan Society, Sooke Meals on Wheels, Sooke and Port Renfrew Food Banks through Sooke Food Bank Society, Knights of Columbus Community Christmas Hamper Fun, Port Alberni Christmas Basket (Community & Family Service, Port Alberni) through Salvation Army, Port Alberni Shelter Society, Powell River Food Bank , Quadra Food Bank through Quadra Island Recreation Society, Waterfront Food Bank, Comox Valley Food Bank, Great Nanaimo Toy Drive and Old Massett – Christmas Basket Program . They will also fund school lunch programs at Lake Cowichan School, Palsson School, School District 72 and Port Hardy High School.

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