A terrible tragedy occurred on June 29, 2014, when five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents disappeared. However, Nathan’s spirit continues to inspire people to make a change in this world for the good of society in the form of the Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation.
With the support of volunteers and friends and colleagues and corporations, Nathan’s family received a wonderful gift to honour Nathan, a hockey game at the Saddledome, to make his dreams come true while helping other children. It was an unforgettable evening which featured superheroes and flash mobs, TimBits hockey players, Flames and NHL alumni, and Nathan’s heroes, which included Calgary police investigators, generous corporate citizens, and our MLAs. The O’Brien family felt that it gave them the opportunity to follow Nathan’s lead in life, to always play hard and have fun. The game raised almost $60,000 for children in need, and the family thanks every single supporter, whom they refer to as real-life superheroes.
Now, since then the Nathan O’Brien Springbank TimBits tournament donated their proceeds of $11,000 to the foundation, and the Airdrie Dads golf tournament and Shaw Communications added to that, and the Cougar Ridge soccer association, Nathan’s previous league, recently held a drive to send soccer jerseys to Central and South America, and there is more. The first annual Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation superhero decathlon with Kids First will be held on August 15 and 16 at Springbank park for all seasons.
The fundraiser will keep children in sport by adding coaching and equipment and extra sport training. Jennifer and Rod O’Brien have told me: “We’ve seen tragedy turn into something beautiful and quite unbelievable. We’ve been blessed beyond belief with our foundation and our chance to be parents to Nathan’s spirit forever. Our prayer is that other parents who’ve lost a child could receive such blessings. We invite everyone to follow the Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation on our Facebook page to see just how great his spirit is and the great work that continues in his name for other children.”
On June 24, Dave Rodney recognized supporters of the Nathan O'Brien Children's Foundation:
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