If you imagine the best possible party, you'd probably picture a huge gathering of friends in a super-cool setting, include some of the most impressive world-changers on the planet, some iconic Canadian musicians, and sprinkle in the odd hero.
That's exactly what went down the other night in beautiful Vancouver. Labeled as the Night of Heroes, it was an opportunity to gather friends and rally support for Free The Children's Redefine Possible campaign. It turned into the single-most humbling and overwhelming event I've ever experienced.
My buddies The Barenaked Ladies and Hedley were on hand to perform some awesome tunes and mingle with other supporters, young and old. They also had such kind words of support.
Not only did Free The Children co-founders Marc and Craig Kielburger talk about the climb and underline their personal support, but the great Rick Hansen was also on hand to offer support and advice, which was incredible for me. I'd really like to thank him, as well as Chris Carnegie, David Aisenstat and The Keg Steakhouse & Bar for making this evening happen.
Even though the vibe was really cool and there were lots of big laughs, there was no shortage of exciting, heartfelt moments and a genuine outpouring of support. And probably nothing struck a deeper chord with me than when Rick Hansen took me aside toward the end of the evening. He shared with me why the climb will be a success (and who better to understand what it takes to tackle a massive physical and mental challenge, and nail it, than Rick?). He had caught the occasional glances between me and Dave, my best friend (and one third of our climbing trio, along with our other best friend, Alex). And what he said were possibly the most insightful and reassuring words imaginable. Rick recognized, in those brief moments, the strength of our friendship - a powerful bond between me and Dave that will conquer anything.
And we'll need it. Because no one climbs a mountain alone.