How a dedicated support worker, empowered by a caring family and service provider, found Allan a way to the game of a lifetime.
As a child, Allan loved baseball and dreamed of going to see his favourite team, the Toronto Blue Jays play. As Allan’s life progressed he never lost his love of the game. No matter where he lived, Allan was a fixture at local community baseball games and his dream to see his favourite team play stayed alive inside him.
Now 72 years old, Allan continues to attend Revelstoke games. But with one difference; he knows what it’s like to watch and cheer his favourite team in their home stadium. Allan’s dream came true in the summer of 2016 thanks to a support worker who wasn’t afraid to say, “why not?”
Will Moores, Allan’s support worker, has known Allan for many years and knows he is huge baseball fan and adventure seeker.
“It all started on this one day,” remembers Will. “Allan began telling everyone he saw that he was going to become a pilot and fly a big jet to Toronto to achieve his life-long dream of seeing the Blue Jays. I knew I had to help make Allan’s dream come true.”
The first step was to make sure Allan’s family was okay with the idea. Will connected with them and they were excited and supportive. The next step was to talk to his director Kelly, at Community Connections in Revelstoke, to tell her of his idea. Knowing Allan’s love of baseball, she immediately gave Will the go ahead. “Kelly not only said she would support me, but that I should go for a full week,” said Will.
“Community Connections has a great track record of making sure the people they support are active community members with individualized connections being made based on each person’s interest,” says Russell Cox, CLBC Regional Practice and Service Advisor. “They are intentional in finding what is each person’s passion and dream and they empower their staff to be creative.”
“This trip is a good example of how they got to know Allan’s passion and they found a way to make his dream to come true,” – Russell Cox, CLBC Regional Practice and Service Advisor
Once Will had the support of his manager and Allan’s family, things started to progress quickly. Will, originally being from Ontario, contacted a family member who works at the Rogers Centre and she was able to secure tickets and souvenirs for Allan. Westjet jumped on board and provided Will with a free flight as Allan’s care provider and Will’s parents offered their cottage on the lake for the guys to spend the weekend fishing and cooking s’mores.
“With the help of my friends and family, all I really had to do was book a hotel room for a few nights and a rental car and we were ready to go,” says Will. “The next thing to do was the part I was looking forward to the most – telling Allan.”
Allan was over the moon when he heard the news that he would be taking an airplane to Toronto to see the Blue Jays play. “I still smile when I think about Allan’s reaction,” says Will. “He was ecstatic. Everyone in his group home was excited and happy for him, congratulating him. It was a great day.”
The trip to Toronto was a success. Will captured the highlights in a video, grinning all the way. The Blue Jays won their game and the next day they were able to see them win another one through the glass floor of the CN Tower. After some more sight seeing, the rest of the trip was spent at Will’s family cottage, catching fish and sitting by the campfire.
“My favourite part of the trip was seeing Allan’s face as the plane took off,” said Will. “It was the first time he had flown, and he was grinning from ear to ear.”
When asked about his adventure to Toronto, Allan replied, “Since I was a little boy I have cheered on the Toronto Blue Jays from my TV set, but I never thought I would get to see them play. I had the time of my life at that game, and Will made my dream come true. I still want to become a pilot so I can fly back to Toronto to see another game,” says Allan. “Maybe I’ll even take Will with me,” he says with a chuckle.
During the winter, when the local baseball field is filled with snow, Allan and Will go to hockey games and Allan is active in several Special Olympic sports. This March, they are going on a local adventure to Kamloops so Allan can compete in a Special Olympics Curling bonspiel. “Curling is another one of Allan’s passions,” says Will. “For a quiet guy, he sure loves to yell, ‘hurry hard!’”
“This was one of my most cherished memories working as a care worker,” says Will. “I want to say thank you to Allan, his family, Community Connections and everyone else who helped make Allan’s dream come true.”
As for Allan, he keeps dreaming up amazing adventures and Hawaii seems to be next on the list. Will has no objections to going on that next adventure.
In 2017, CLBC adopted a new strategic plan with the vision for lives filled with possibilities in welcoming communities. Read the CLBC Strategic Plan here to find out how CLBC is seeking to improve outcomes, strengthen individual and family experiences, and strengthen partnerships with service providers in order to achieve its vision.