But I do know I have to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this past weekend a success.
The crew at CTV Morning Winnipeg started us with a great interview Thursday morning. Lauren at Nott Auto helped us host a great “Thank you” event at their indoor showroom on Waverley Thursday evening. That gave me a chance to personally meet and thank just some of the many contributors to the book and supporters of the Never Alone Foundation like Gene Dunn, Daria Zmiyiwsky and Rod Hill.
Friday morning, Greg Mackling and Brett Megarry invited Lyle and I on their CJOB morning show. Of course Greg was in his full Bomber gear and ready to talk about Saturday’s Banjo Bowl. I think Lyle gave him more information off the air than he did when the microphone was on. The 15 minutes we had went by far too fast and I think we could have filled up their entire show. As we were leaving, I noticed a copy of What Doesn’t Kill You on the desk. Greg shook my hand and said, “Great read. By the way.” I asked if he had read it already and he replied, “Of Course I did.”
I think the afternoon was a complete surprise. The plan was for Lyle and I, along with former Blue Bomber, David Black and the Foundation’s executive director, Michael Schiefer, to present Mayor Bowman with a special autographed and numbered book and an signed #59 Blue Bomber jersey. I knew Mayor Bowman was huge Blue Bomber fan and supporter and thought he would appreciate the gift. Well, he surprised us all. He had made arrangements to shoot a quick little video with David and Lyle that has made the rounds through almost every social media feed in the city. Once again, our Mayor has shown what a class act he is and just how much he cares about the people of our city.
McNally Robinson has hosted the official launch of What Doesn’t Kill You on Friday evening. We arrived early to help with set up and found people had already arrived. One woman was sitting in a chair reading book. Peter Young hosted the question and answer portion of the evening. One young man stood up and said he had already read the book. He said that Lyle was a true inspiration for him and he wished he had read it during his own battle with cancer.
Personally, the big highlight for me was seeing my brother Jim who had changed his travel plans just to be at the Friday event. Jim had just finished his own fight with cancer and it was a pleasure to see him.
The line-up for signing was too long to thank everyone the way I would have preferred but I appreciate everyone who attended. John, Carter and Kristian and everyone else from McNally Robinson organized a spectacular evening. Thank you.
Saturday morning, Chris Walby joined us at Chapters Polo Park. The bond that started in the 80’s between him and Lyle grows even stronger today. The way those two can bring a smile to others is truly remarkable to see.
Barley Brothers on Pembina hosted us during the Banjo Bowl on Saturday. We could hear the crowd noise from IG Field as the Bombers took their revenge against the Riders. After the game, excited crowds joined us in a post celebration. Sydney and gang at Barley Brothers were amazing in the way they accommodated us.
I was hoping the Indigo Kenaston event would be a little quieter after such a whirlwind weekend but that wasn’t the case. More people showed up. We got to see some old friends and we made quite a few new ones.
One couple came in and the husband was surprised to see us. He was amazed to see Lyle’s three Grey Cup rings. He took a picture of his daughter beside Lyle who had all his rings on her little hand. The guy was so excited that he almost dragged his family from the store so he could the picture on his Facebook page.
All in all, we have no idea how many books we sold since we first launched Lyle’s story. But we had a blast. We couldn’t have done it without the help of the dedicated Never Alone Foundation volunteers and supporters.