When Benny MacDonald rose to the challenge of being Sault Ste. Marie’s Easter Seals Ambassador for 2015 (and then again for 2016), he brought his entire family with him – including dad Scott.
“Being an Ambassador Dad for two years was one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” shared Scott MacDonald, Department Head of Lifeskills at White Pines, “Not only were we welcomed into a family of inspiring mentors and real life heroes, we got to see our son take his disability and turn it into a strength.”
On Sunday, March 31st, Benny will return for his fifth year as a Guest Host on the Easter Seals Telethon, and for the first time will be joined by his father, Scott, as a Co-Host. Scott’s first role with the Easter Seals Telethon was a panelist, which he considers a life-changing experience. “I think what I wasn’t ready for was the outpouring of support from the community. I am looking forward to working with the Telethon hosts who have inspired me, my son, and my family over the last few years.”
When Scott and his wife Heidi’s son, Benny, was first diagnosed with Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy, they felt helpless. At first, all they saw was the disease that was going to take away their son’s independence, and slowly strip away his mobility. Through the support of Easter Seals they learned that they didn’t have to take a back seat to the disease, but through it could help inspire, educate, and support all children with disabilities.
The MacDonald family was profoundly impacted when Easter Seals helped them with funding for a wheelchair lift at their home. “We used to have to cancel events or just not go on trips due to the complications of not being able to transport Benny’s chair,” explained Scott. “This lift has given us a freedom we never felt before.”
Benny has a number of tips for Scott on hosting this year’s Easter Seals Telethon, including speaking from the heart, connecting people who genuinely want to help to a great cause, and wearing a fedora. “He has been a wealth of information and truly is my inspiration.”
Scott wants the community to know that by supporting Easter Seals on March 31st, you are changing lives, helping children with disabilities regain their independence, providing them with life-changing experiences, and easing the financial burden that so many Easter Seals families experience.
As Benny once said “The call may only last a few seconds, but the effects can last a lifetime!”
Tune in to the Easter Seals Telethon on Shaw Spotlight and online at www.TelethonSSM.ca, give generously, and help kids BE KIDS!