Cochranites serve Cups of Light to the world over holidays

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, January 7, 2016

From top: Martin Parnell completes 6th Annual Run for Charity, raising $12,000 for  playground in Africa;
photo-artist Robyn MacKay raises $1,200 to sponsor nun from  India on cycling pilgrimage;
Glenpatrick Ct. neighbours attract two carloads of donations for Food Bank.  
Photos by Warren Harbeck
Click for a larger version

Our readers really connected with this column’s New Year’s resolution to serve many more Cups of Light in 2016.

Raj Patwardhan responded: “Hats off to you for the way you keep on inspiring people around the world. Please keep serving such Cups of   Light from which we can sip and savour.” Just where was Raj writing from? From Mumbai, India!

And speaking of India, I must highlight one of the Cups of Light Cochrane photo-artist Robyn Mackay has served to a cyclist friend of hers in India.

Last Wednesday Robyn wrapped up her Gentry Espresso Bar exhibit of images taken while cycle-touring India and Sri Lanka (Oct. 22 column). The proceeds from sales of prints, she said, would sponsor a cycling pilgrimage by Karma Lhazon, a young Buddhist nun whom Robyn befriended while visiting the Rumtek Monastery in Gangtok, India.

And how have Robyn’s fans responded? With a Cup of Light to the tune of $1,200 for Karma’s pilgrimage!

On New Year’s Eve Day, Cochrane’s “Marathon Man” Martin Parnell served his own special Cup of Light. Still recovering from last year’s near-fatal blood clot in his brain, Martin ran his 6th Annual Run/Walk for Charity in Cochrane.

His goal was to raise $10,000 for a playground for the Lindsay Kimmett Kindergarten, Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania, Africa. In fact, he and those who ran with him exceeded their goal by over $2,000. Not a bad Cup of Light for a day’s run, eh?

But some Cochrane folks have taken the idea of a Cup of Light quite literally – Christmas lights, that is. Four neighbours in the Glenpatrick Court cul-de-sac – the Sampsons, Lows, Faupels and Moores – teamed up to provide festive lawn displays that drew countless admirers and garnered many donations to the Cochrane Food Bank in the box in front of the Moore home.

Just how much was donated by New Year’s Day? “I’ll be hauling two carloads to the Food Bank when it opens,” Laurie Moore told me.

Yes, by doing something beautiful, whether it’s celebrating life through art, running a marathon, or teaming up to create eye-catching neighbourhood Christmas light displays, these Cochranites have indeed served Cups of Light and Hope to many thirsty souls.

Thank you, my friends. Through your contributions, our community and the whole world are better places.


© 2016 Warren Harbeck

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