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One person named Chris Tyrell

Tonight, there’s an important event at the Performing Arts Lodge – PAL – in Vancouver. PAL provides housing for artists in the performing arts – actors, musicians, dancers, who have little money later in life. It provides a rent-controlled apartment and an understanding community of fellows, and the buildings – there is one in Toronto too – hold gallery and performance spaces, so the artists can continue to ply their trades. It’s a godsend for many, who are poor despite – no, because of – having given their lives to art, and who can live with dignity into old age.

Years ago, my beloved best friend Chris Tyrell set as his goal to fundraise for PAL Vancouver, though he does not live there; he just wanted to honour and assist those who do. Through the years, he has organized fundraising dinners and other money-making events. His walk through France, which I wrote about last year, was another fundraiser – he was sponsored to march so many kilometres and would raise over $17,000 when his walk was completed. Unfortunately, the trip turned into a medical disaster for him, and he could barely begin the trek, let alone finish it. (Above, his first day.)
So he finished his journey by train, flew home, saw his doctors, and simply picked up where he left off, by walking in Vancouver. He wrote to all his sponsors explaining that the number of kilometres would be the same, only he wouldn’t have a heavy backpack and would be able to return home at the end of each ramble. He accomplished his goal just the other day – 1,205 kilometres walked, over $17,000 raised. This puts the total he has raised for PAL Vancouver in the last eight years at $82,500. One man, singlehandedly.
Tonight they are honouring his efforts, though he has asked that the spotlight not be on him but on the photographs he took as he walked in France and around Vancouver. But I hope their cheers are loud and long. In his self-deprecating way, he told me a bit about what’s planned. He wrote: The last slide says: One person can only do so much.”



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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