Extremely proud of the Tiger-Cats Organization

I know the Tiger-Cats organization doesn't like to take as much credit as they deserve sometimes and do things out of their heart behind the scenes that the average person doesn't know about......but sorry TiCats, I'm going to blow your cover.....

Through Owner Bob Young, President Scott Mitchell and Director of Community Relations and Communications, Shawn Burke they came through for my friend, Rodney Stafford (father of Victoria -Tori- Stafford) and his family of Woodstock, Ont. by hosting their attendance at tonight's game at Ivor Wynne Stadium.....I don't feel the need to get into details of what this family has been through the past 4 months, and, Friday (today) was a particulary bad day, so the timing of this gift from the Tiger-Cats to the family was more appreciated by the family than the team will ever know.......tonight's game was the last chance for quite a while that the family could do something together as a family in private because one member (Rodney's sister, Rebecca) flies back to Edmonton now and Rodney himself leaves on August 5 for a 3,500 km bicycle journey from Woodstock,Ont to Edmonton, Alberta in memory of his daughter Tori and as a national fundraiser for "Child Find". The ride is called "Kilometres for Kids" and I'm sure you will all be hearing about it starting in the next week and going forward as he progresses on this incredible mission of love....

Sadly, I couldn't be at the game with them due to being swamped with flood-related service calls still, but I've been in constant communication with them by cell phone during the game........they are having a great time as a family and totally enjoying the experience.......Victoria's grandmother, Doreen Graichen (Rodney's mother) says she particularily enjoys the TigerVision for the replays as she feels like she's also at home watching TV too!.......Victoria's little brother Daryn is experiencing his first CFL game tonight and brought a friend from Woodstock with him too so I'm sure this night will be etched in his and his friend's memorys forever. Rodney himself and his girlfriend will be apart for over a month now for the duration of his ride, and since this weekend will be filled with Woodstock community fundraisers before he pushes off on the road, tonight's Ticats game will be their last "date" for a spell.......great choice for a date I'd say !..... :smiley:

I profusely thank Mr. Young, Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Burke from the bottom of my heart for helping my friends enjoy a unique experience together and let them escape the harsh realities of their pain and hurt for a few hours, as a family, and in private, amongst the greatest football fans in the entire universe......

......you three helped a family in need of a boost tonight and you can feel good about that......I know neither of you three want to pat yourselves on the back, so I'll do it for you.....

.....thank you so much for the kind-hearted gesture and for making sure my beloved Tiger-Cats stepped up when I needed them to. :slight_smile:

(you can give me hell for blowing your cover and "outing" your kind-hearted nature later...which, by the way, is indicitive of the big hearts all Hamiltonians have)

Oskee Wee Wee!

now, with 4:22 left, let's hold on to that 30-18 lead!! :rockin:

I'm pretty sure I was sitting behind them in the endzone as the 2 ladies had T-shirts made out to her memory on.
Such a sad story, boggles the mind.

My condolences go out to the family.

Yes you were........Section 17 correct?

The lesson here is that if a family like that can show such strength and committment, then our own trials and tribulations seem trivial in comparison........I'm so happy the Tiger-Cats organization helped this family get at least 3-4 hours of anonymous peace and companionship amongst themselves to give them a boost for the days and years ahead.......and I won't use this space to promote Rodney's "Kilometres for Kids" ride to Edmonton.......that info can be found on any Google search............I seriously just wanted to thank Bob Young, Scott Mitchell and Shawn Burke for their heartfelt gift to this family......just a few hours of peace and normalcy is priceless under those circumstances......

I live in Vancouver now but I am originally from Stratford Ontario which is only a 30 min drive from Woodstock. My father now lives in Woodstock.

This story really hit home with me. So sad and so unnecessary.

A great story Deerhunter.

It's a small gesture for the Cats organization, but will as you say, be forever etched in the minds of the family.

Kudos to the organization.

All the best to the Stafford family and the entire community of Woodstock who will be forever victimized by this horrendous crime.

To be honest here, this is NOT a surprise to me. This is Bob Young we’re talking about here. This man stepped in and not only saved a team by his purchasing of the Ti-Cats with no experience or know how whatsoever, but for the love of the game and his home town and the people in it. For him and his team what they did is nothing worth mentioning, it’s just one of those things you do in HOPE of giving temporary relief or distraction or even a few hours of happiness as you said, to a family so in need of just that.

For the Stafford family and every parent out there what happened is a living nightmare, my hopes and prayers go out to them.

I would like to thank you deerhunter though for bringing this to our attention, as this not only show’s the true nature of not only Mr. Young but the human spirit. A restoration in my faith of humanity.

I would also like to give props to the boys in black and gold themselves for putting on a hell of an entertaining show, and giving hope for a winning season, can you smell playoff’s???

I am a Very Happy Fan ... :thup:

Just an update:

Rodney Stafford did indeed get under way on Wednesday and reached Barrie yesterday.

To follow his daily progress, a web link has been set up where you can see a map of where he's been and even leave comments of support and encouragement. Don't be shy :smiley: ......send Rodney a spirited Oskee Wee Wee!......He really enjoyed being at Ivor Wynne last Friday night with all you great Ticats fans !

[url=http://www.eye-zon.com/EyezonBlack20090213/Portal/kilometres_for_kids.php]http://www.eye-zon.com/EyezonBlack20090 ... r_kids.php[/url]

To donate to the Official "Kilometres for Kids" Child Find Trust Fund where 100% of your donation goes directly to Child Find, go to any TD Canada Trust branch in Canada and give then the following information:

Branch 0227
Acct. # 5210920
TD Canada Trust, Woodstock, Ont

Signing Officers are:
Rodney Stafford
John Durant (Child Find)

All expenses and supplies for the trip itself are being funded separately through different community service organizations, private help etc. and will not draw from your donation to Child Find in any way whatsoever. That was very important to Rodney to make sure of that.

Thanks All ! :rockin:

This from Day 1 (Wednesday) :

Tori's father begins heartbreaking journey (CTV video clip)


This from Day 2 (yesterday) :

[url=http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1688611]http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/Articl ... ?e=1688611[/url]

Tori Stafford's dad riding through Barrie today

Rodney Stafford heading to Alberta help out Child Find Ontario
Updated 20 hours ago

The father of slain Woodstock girl Tori Stafford is expected to pass through Barrie today on his cross-country bike ride to Alberta.
Rodney Stafford's Kilometres for Kids trip to raise money for Child Find Ontario kicked off yesterday in Woodstock.
He's expected to arrive around 4 p.m. at the McDonald's Restaurant on Dunlop Street.

Keep an eye on us for an update.


Rodney Stafford reaches Sault St. Marie....(Edmonton sun)

[url=http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/canada/2009/08/18/10499746.html]http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/canada/ ... 99746.html[/url]

Thank you for sharing that story with us. As a mother of 2 girls (one of them is Tori's age), their story hit home with me also.

I can't express how sorry I am for their loss and I applaud the Ticats for such a wonderful gesture again. I don't think anyone can dispute the wonderful things the organization and the players have done for Hamilton and the surrounding area.

I wish Mr. Stafford success with his ride and will keep him and his family in my prayers.

Just saw this thread for the first time today. Awesome story...and thanks for posting Deerhunter.
This sort of community activity (...especially the more 'under the radar' stuff) is what really makes me proud to be a fan. Regardless of what goes on down on the field.

I think the entire organization should be far more applauded for the work they do (seen and unseen) in the community.

And, as I've said before, from top to bottom this club seems to be stocked with unbelievably good people. We all know how much of a rarity that seems to be with professional sports.

Well done folks!

Thanks for posting the progress of the bike ride, too, Deerhunter. A very admirable effort for a great cause.

Thanks Borehamgirl and Slodrive......

I'll try to update as much as possible even though I know it's an off-topic thing....

I would like to think there isn't anyone who would complain about THIS thread being off-topic...

I think Tori's story touched many people and we are all pulling for her family to come through this with some hope of having a "normal" life at some point. I know that I am looking forward to seeing justice done for her and her family.

Well, it seems like Rodney is really making tracks now.......he's past Wawa and into Marathon,Ont.

here's his daily blog which is in this website......it's really interesting to read.

[url=http://www.eye-zon.com/EyezonBlack20090213/Kilometres_For_Kids/Kilometres_For_Kids.html]http://www.eye-zon.com/EyezonBlack20090 ... _Kids.html[/url]

You can post a message of encouragement to Rodney and his support team also if you navigate around the site: (I know they are reading them all)

I just tried to call Rodney and Whitney (Rodney's girlfriend) on his cell phone before he headed out for today's ride but I know they are having trouble catching a signal in the area they are currently in. Since he's now a bonafide Tiger-Cats fan, he'd get a boost knowing that some fans are following his progress.

Thanks to people like Borehamgirl for the continuing interest :rockin:

Update: Toronto Star

Rodney Stafford making headway in ride to Alberta

Aug 23, 2009 06:26 PM

THUNDER BAY– The father of slain Woodstock, Ont., girl Tori Stafford is more than halfway to Thunder Bay on his bike journey to raise funds for Child Find Ontario.

Rodney Stafford is travelling more than 3,000 kilometres to Edmonton, where he plans to release one purple balloon on a mountain his little girl once visited.

Stafford is now averaging about 70 kilometres per day as he nears Thunder Bay.

At this rate, Stafford says he hopes to reach Edmonton by mid September where he will be met by his sister.

Stafford’s eight-year-old daughter Victoria disappeared in April after returning home from school.

Two Woodstock residents have been charged with her murder.


Please follow the information in my “signature” if you wish to make a contribution to "Child Find’ in support of this project/journey of Rodney’s or for children everywhere.

Updates from Rodney's Trip Blog...(almost in Manitoba)... :rockin:

Tues. Aug 25

Thunder Bay

Yesterday in Thunder Bay.

Lots of media attention at MR LUBE on Arthur St .....many thanks Cori (owner)

Also did some awareness and fundraising at Walmart.....Thanks Ryan and Jason.

Paid respects to Terry Fox at his memorial along the hiway...very emotional time as I feel the weight of the legacy of a real Canadian hero. I will carry a little bit of Terry in my thoughts the rest of this journey.

Thank-you T-Bay..............today we are in Kakabeka Falls for a fundraiser at CR mini Mart....these girls who are organizing have gone above and beyond....Thanks CR and AMY...there will me more on these guys tonight after the event.....

Wed. Aug 26


WOW....CR and Amy did a amazing job fundraising and creating awareness. I think the whole town came out to say hello.

CR MINI MART supplied muffins,coffee,balloons and a great location in Kakabeka Falls just outside of Thunder Bay. I dont like tto discuss money raised but, great job for Child Find.

A great lunch was provided by the local Hotel/ Tavern owner,,,,good food.

The roads are starting to flatten out so the ride is a little easier on the body.

In Ignace and stayed at the North Woods Inn, great supper...thanks Chickey for your generous hospitality.

Getting close to leaving Ontario...thank you all for your love and support....

See link to view some photos too....... http://www.eye-zon.com/EyezonBlack20090 ... _Kids.html

For donations, see the info in my "signature" below

Inching even closer to the Manitoba border.......Wow!....I'm really proud of my friend!... :rockin:


We left Ignace this AM and started our final leg of Northern Ontario through to Dryden tonight and Kenora on Thursday.

The roads were a little friendlier with less hills. Met some well wishers on the way and we were invited to have a visit with a nice couple in Dryden.....we plan on going and I’ll fill you in on the details later.

As we came within 10 kms of Dryden we were met by the local radio station and the police. I felt like I was in a parade...horns honking, people waving ,,,awesome welcome.

Special Thanks to Con. Bob Wright, Con. Max Rapine......Bruce and Andrea from 97.2 fm...who made this all possible and also got us 2 rooms at the Holiday Inn Express. Thanks Rick(manager) .....great rooms. Thanks Dennis from A&W....mmmmmm.

I feel I am constantly thanking people in this blog, but when people offer out of the goodness of their hearts it is easy to be thankful.

Dryden residents, you should be proud to be from here!

Off to Kenora in the AM....Peter leaves us and heads home, thanks for all your help, my friend. Couldn’t have done it without you.

Update on Rodney Stafford's "Kilometres for Kids" (Winnipeg)

For Blog and photos go here:

[url=http://www.eye-zon.com/EyezonBlack20090213/Kilometres_For_Kids/Kilometres_For_Kids.html]http://www.eye-zon.com/EyezonBlack20090 ... _Kids.html[/url]

Monday, August 31, 2009


Rode into Winnipeg today to Inn at the Forks, accompanied by Winnipeg Police Cyclists, Motorbikes and Cruisers, as well as MP Shelley Glover.

Huge media scrum when I arrived - haven’t seen that many since Tori first disappeared. Met a load of people at The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, thanks to all of you for doing what you’re doing!

Helps me remember that I am not alone in this whole thing, and there’s a world full of kids that need our protection.

Christy & Sandra – thanks for taking us to Dinner, delicious at Red Lobster. Off to City T.V. first thing tomorrow!

Winnipeg’s great!