Sunday, February 2, 2014

Less than six degrees to William Shatner

Just before Christmas I found out that I have an almost direct connection to William Shatner of Star Trek fame.

 I have mentioned  before about my volunteering at the York Durham Aphasia Centre for over 24 years. I have done a wide variety of things from Board Chair for 5 years, to fundraising; organizing garden tours, raffles and selling all manner of items to raise money. I am also still a weekly communication facilitator working with clients in group settings.

I also developed and deliver an Art for Communication program to the clients in 3 programs. Through art, this program helps people gain another tool for communication.

It is not an art lesson; most people would not be interested in lessons. It is not art therapy; art therapy is a powerful tool used to make connections to deep thoughts and feelings .... for people who have a challenge communicating this could be very problematic! My explanation of Art for Communication is here.

With other volunteers, I have also used some of this art to create note cards or "Cheery Notes" for a fundraising and aphasia awareness. Over the years we have raised a significant amount of money for the Aphasia Centre.

In 2001 twenty four client paintings were shown at The Latcham Gallery a local public art gallery.  I worked closely with curator Maura Broadhurst to present these beautiful works of art and raise Aphasia Awareness. This show was displayed in many different venues over the years with the final exhibition at 19 on the Park in Stouffville during the 2009 celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the York Durham Aphasia Centre. Where possible each of these paintings was given back to the clients who created them. There were a few paintings that we couldn't return.

So what does all of this have to do with William Shatner?

In 2010 the York Durham Aphasia Centre became a program of March of Dimes Canada.  For more information about the York Durham Aphasia Centre, a program of March of Dimes please visit here.

William Shatner is the spokesperson for March of Dimes.

As a gift of appreciation one of the paintings that was not returned to a client was presented to him.

So my connection to William Shatner is the painting that was presented to him.
Pretty neat!