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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Tim Tierney

 

 

 

   

 

(Posted 9:30 a.m., Oct. 20)
Orléans resident makes dreams come true one wish at a time
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Children’s Wish Foundation Ottawa Chapter chair Pat Lowell stands with his partner in crime Jim Morrison, co-owner of the D’Arcy McGee’s Pub on Centrum Boulevard. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Never underestimate the “Power of the Wish”. Those three words are what Pat Lowell lives by in his role as Chair of the National Capital Chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.

“To fulfill a sick children’s wish really affects their lives and their will to get better and live that dream,” says the Orléans resident.

A former Ottawa police officer, Lowell always liked to organize events while raising money for various charities.

During his working career, Lowell spent time as the vice-president of the Ottawa Police Association and one day was inspir-ed to help raise money for sick kids.

“I thought it was a great idea but wasn’t really sure where to start,” said Powell.

After some thought, Powell reached out to a couple of buddies in the music business including Les Emmerson, an Ottawa native and member of The Five Man Electrical Band.

He also approached Terry King from the Cooper Brothers, a Canadian southern rock band founded in Ottawa.

Powell ran the idea of getting King, Emmerson, along with Brian and Dick Cooper, together to perform somewhere in Ottawa to help raise money for a children’s charity. They agreed to do a one-off Children’s Wish Foundation charity fundraiser at the Ottawa Civic Centre in 1986.

“The Civic Centre was provided free of charge courtesy of Jim Durrell, who was the Mayor of Ottawa at the time. We ended up selling the joint out. We wrote the Children’s Wish Foundation a cheque for $43,000,” recalls Lowell.

The event was so successful, the Children’s Wish Foundation called Lowell to see if he would be interested in opening a chapter in Ottawa.

“I thought about it for a while then told them I would get it going until they found somebody full-time,” said Lowell. “For the longest time the National Capital Chapter office was an answering machine in my living room.”

Lowell was hooked after granting the Chapter’s first wish and he immediately knew that leading the charge for the Children’s Wish Foundation in the National Capital would be his next calling. “This young girl with cancer adored Michael Jackson and her wish was to meet the legendary pop star,” recalls Lowell.

“We made it happen and the look on her face when she met him was worth every second of fundraising and organization, Unfortunately, she passed away a few weeks later, but she lived her dream and we granted her that wish.”

It wasn’t long afterward that Lowell informed the Children’s Wish Foundation that he would take charge of the National Capital Region.

In 1989, the Foundation granted Ottawa their charter and the Chapter has been granting wishes to children between the ages of three and 17 diagnosed with a life-threatening illness ever since.

Fundraising and networking go hand in hand when it comes to being successful.

One such association involves Powell and the owners of the D’Arcy McGee’s Pub on Centrum Boulevard.

The D’Arcy McGee’s ownership group of Jim Morrison, Andrew Quincy and his mother Anne-Marie have forged an exceptional relationship during the past five years or so.

“I met Pat when our kids were attending St. Peter High School and decided to get the Pub involved in fundraising for Children’s Wish,” explained Morrison.

For the last three years, D’Arcy McGee’s has hosted a golf tournament with the proceeds going to Children’s Wish.

In Powell’s first year, the local chapter granted 10 wishes. Nowadays the Foundation makes about 50-60 wishes a year come true at an approximately cost of $10,000 per wish.

For more information about the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada visit www.childrenswish.ca.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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