Monday, June 8, 2015

Vimy Ridge 100th Anniversary

A few weeks ago, one of our high school kids came home from school with an informational booklet on a historic, educational tour to Vimy Ridge 2017.  April 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge, France where for the first time ever, four separate divisions of the Canadian military joined forces and defeated the German military.  Nearly 3,600 courageous men lost their lives in that 3 day battle but it was a victorious event that literally put Canada on the map.

The more I read about this 12 day tour, the more we talked about it, the more our 16 year old Rachel and 14 year old Samuel got excited and decided this was something they really wanted to be a part of. Touring the battle site and other historic landmarks in England and France and walking (literally) of the footsteps of Canadians that came before them, 100 years ago.

We read and discussed the cost of this trip, per student, and decided the only way it would be possible to send them on this amazing adventure, would be through some pretty diligent fundraising.  I checked under the mattress and in the hole in the back yard, and there wasn't nearly enough to cover it.

But first, they had to apply to be accepted for this trip.  A big part of the application process was to have their grades for the last year verified as acceptable and to write an essay as to why they wanted to go and what this trip means to them.  They filled out their applications and wrote their essays and late last week, both were notified they'd been accepted!  They're the only brother/sister team in the entire school, so for our family, that's pretty fantastic. And, expensive! (But I cannot adequately express how proud of both of them I am.)

We have several avenues of fundraising available to us but before I talk about that, I'd like for you to watch this video.  This is the travel company organizing the trip they're hoping to be a part of:


So now, down to the nitty gritty (and hoping this is where others may feel as excited as we all are, and want to help get these kids to Vimy Ridge!) :) They have (technically) 2 years to raise the money but there is a significant cost up front. Deposits for both of them (paid today) and 3 months payments in advance (for both) to qualify for a monthly payment (which makes paying for the trip a bit more realistic, instead of the full cost up front). That's $1,086 due within the next 30 days.

Their school will be helping them with various fundraising opportunities in the coming months but we already have two in progress. First, I helped them create this GoFundMe campaign.  It lists the breakdown of the costs and features a video of both of them explaining in their own words, what this trip means to them.

Second, I launched a brand new zazzle shop for them today, full of all kinds of commemorative gifts and awesome travel accessories for any Canadian making this trip in 2017

Personalized travel journals, water bottles, totes, backpacks, passport covers and so much more.  All the proceeds of this shop will be going directly to their fundraising efforts so we're really hoping people will share this and get the word out!  I'll be adding more designs (coming soon will be their school logo of We Learn By Doing on a wide variety of inspirational products) asap.

Third, we've created a FB page for them here to keep everyone posted on all the developments, links, etc.  I'll be updating this as much as possible.

We can't get them there on our own and we're hoping you'll help get these kids to Vimy Ridge by liking & sharing all these links in your circle of friends on social media.  If you're able to help by donating to the fundraiser, we thank you in advance!  Every dollar raised matters and will go a long way toward sending these two kids on the trip of a lifetime.