Cornwall ON – Kin Family of Cornwall invites you to take part in a very special event, the Portraits of Honour National Tour at the Cornwall Armories.
The Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Cornwall announced today that Cornwall has been selected as one of the first stops on the Portraits of Honour National Tour and that their members have begun planning some special events in honour of its visit.
The Portraits of Honour National Tour is scheduled to arrive in Cornwall on June 13, 2011. The Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Cornwall will be hosting a number of events while the Portrait is here, including a fundraising dinner on the 13th, a community breakfast on the 14th, a youth tour, a BBQ lunch and finishing with a family chicken dinner fundraiser.
The Portraits of Honour National Tour is centered on 10’ x 50′ oil painted mural featuring the hand painted portraits of the 155 Canadian soldiers, sailors and aircrew that have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan. The artist Dave Sopha a member of Kin Canada since 1983 has volunteered over 6,500 hours so far to paint but admits that his work won’t be complete until our combat mission in Afghanistan comes to a close.
The mural will be toured across Canada in a specialized mobile display trailer commencing May 27, 2011 and organizers expect to raise over $1.5 million. The funds raised will support the Military Families Fund and established military charities to assist families of the fallen and to assist the thousands of military personnel who return home with physical or emotional injuries.
Portraits of Honour Video
Committee Chair Melodie LeMoeligou hopes to raise $15,000 when the Tour stops in Cornwall. “There are so many brave men and women who proudly wear the uniform of the Canadian Forces and so many strong families who remain behind to support them. Many of them need financial assistance. We need to make sure that ever dollar raised quickly finds its way to the people who need it most, and that our contribution will make a measurable difference in their quality of life,” said LeMoeligou.
Kin Canada is Canada’s oldest all-Canadian service organization made up of men and women serving their communities from coast to coast to coast. With a 90 year history, Kin has raised well over $1 billion since its inception in 1920.
For information on the Portraits of Honour National Tour please visit www.portraitsofhonour.ca.
Partnership Participants: Royal Canadian Legion, Cornwall Armories
About the Military Families Fund
The Military Families Fund (MFF) was created in April 2007 by General Rick Hillier, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, to assist military families faced with unforeseen and often immediate needs that have resulted due to conditions of service. It is an agile and responsive means for Base and Wing Commanders, in concert with Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC) across the country, to help military families within hours of being advised of need. The fund helps with short-term emergencies and also provides long-term support. The MFF allows Canadian Forces (CF) leadership to meet the special-case needs of CF members and their families with speed and flexibility not always available through more traditional programs.
About Artist Dave Sopha
Dave Sopha stared at his morning newspaper on Dec. 6, 2008. The headline screamed that Canada had lost its 99th, 100th and 101st soldier. An improvised explosive device claimed their lives. At that moment, Sopha decided to dedicate the next few years honouring every fallen soldier, sailor or aircrew through the creation of a mural.
Sopha has been airbrushing murals and paintings for the past 38 years. He discovered his artistic talent during an eight-month recovery following a car accident in 1970 that left him with a broken back.
His career as an artist began to take off after opening an art studio in Toronto and being commissioned to airbrush murals on vans and motorcycles. Ten years later Dave, along with his family, relocated to the City of Cambridge where he opened a studio to create his masterpieces.
A volunteer at heart, Dave joined the Kinsmen Club of Preston (Kin Canada) in 1983. In 1990, to celebrate Kin Canada’s 70th anniversary, Dave presented the Association’s founder, Hal Rogers, with a large mural portraying his life with Kin since the service organization’s inception in 1920. For his support and tireless effort, Dave has been awarded a Life Membership in Kin Canada, the highest Honour conferred.
Dave has had an extensive career supporting military murals across the country in Legions and memorials, receiving numerous awards for his work. When the ‘Man in Motion Tour’ arrived in Cambridge, Dave was asked to paint a giant poster of Canadian Rick Hansen. Dave asked thousands of people to sign the poster in exchange for a small donation to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Kin Canada’s national cause.
Dave has been married to his wife Penny for 41 years. They have one son and three daughters, 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
About the Kin Clubs of Cornwall
The Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Cornwall promote a variety of local pride initiatives, including: fundraising for the new arena, hospital, aquatic centre, Agape Centre, playground in Lamoureux Park, the Hospice and Cystic Fibrosis research. The clubs also have various ongoing service projects and support various organizations such as; local minor soccer, baseball and hockey leagues, senior’s bingo, soup kitchen, Baldwin House, Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off and the Music Festival.
About Kin Canada
Kin Canada is the largest all-Canadian association of community service clubs with over 500 clubs and 7,000 caring and dynamic volunteers from coast to coast. Kinsmen and Kinette members have contributed more than $1 billion to Canadian communities since the Association was founded in 1920. Working together, members are enhancing the quality of life in their communities by promoting service, fellowship, positive values and national pride.
For more information about Kin Canada, visit www.kincanada.ca
“One thing we are all afraid of is that the years go by and they get forgotten. This mural means that none of our fallen is going to be forgotten, that they are always going to be remembered through generations for the sacrifices they made,” said Bev McCraw, whose son Sgt. Shawn Eades died on August 20, 2008.
“The mural is a tribute, a memorial and a place for people to connect – not just for the fallen but the wounded soldiers, too,” stated Judy Clages whose son Petty Officer Second Class (Douglas) Craig Blake died on May 3, 2010.
“With many among the Kin family having served in the military and Kin Canada’s past war efforts on the home front, Portraits of Honour is a wonderful expression of our continued affinity for our troops and the Association’s intense national pride,” said Ric McDonald, executive director and CEO of Kin Canada.