Joanne, Mother of Toronto Inside Line Winner Dakota
Why did you decide to participate in the Inside Line Experience?
When Dakota heard about a little boy who was 2 that had, had so many Brain operations Dakota said immediately “I want to help him he is a fellow MXer’s son.” We explained to him all that was involved in the task of this fundraising. We were a bit nervous about him being 6 and having the will and attention span to complete it. But every night after school he would run home off the bus, do his homework and he would start knocking on doors. It was actually really exciting to see how many people were willing to help. He had a great sales pitch and people would say to him, “how do I say no to that?” Dakota has seen a lot at Sick Kids with the amount of time we spend there for him and his sister. He was happy to help. We told him on November 23rd that he had won the Inside Line Experience and what it was all about and he was beyond excited and he didn’t quite know what to say.
What did you think of Experience itself?
Are you kidding me? It was OUTSTANDING! We got to meet those amazing young men. Talk about thrilling. Exciting and something that anyone who likes Dirt bikes would die to do. Dakota walked in the door and said “Mommy that’s Chad Reed” He could not believe he was in the same room as him.
Then Chad said you have a Travis hat on is he your favorite? Dakota said yes I ride #199 on my bike, Chad said heknew Travis Pastrana and that they “hang together” and Dakota was star struck. Chad gave him cornering tips and talked to Dakota about things. It was really quite an experience to have those Riders take the time out of their lives to do this for the kids. We are proud of all of them. James, Tim and Chad were all very kind in signing things and with making the kids feel like number 1 for the day. It was jam packed with amazing opportunities. From pictures, autographs, press conference, private practice, pit passes. There is nothing more amazing. Nothing better as a parent to tell your child all these really wicked things are going to happen and to him. It was like Christmas. This was thee single best experience we have had with our son. We saw this little boy full of compassion and excitement. Not for himself but to help out and see how much he could do. He had this side of him we didn’t even know existed. He was persistent, and loving and he really has a kind heart. I am proud to say he is my Son. His door to door speech made me realize that he really learned the meaning of compassion on this journey. We can not thank you enough for that.
In addition to the “rewards” of the Inside Line itself, can you tell me what it meant to you as a parent to have your son participate in this event?
It meant so much to us to hear our son ask for our permission to help out this strangers son. We were floored that he would think on those levels. He is 6. The world usually revolves around them. At the time he said he wanted to, he had no idea of the end result of his efforts. Proud does not explain the emotions his father and I have. We are so grateful to Paul and Penny for giving us the opportunity to get to know our son and be able to teach him such a valuable lesson about compassion and giving back. You know we learned things about ” Our son” that we as parents did not even know. We learned through his eyes how a child can help change things. That children do think of others before themselves, they are not afraid of hard work and they want to help out. Dakota had the opportunity to learn compassion for another human being. He wanted to buy jerseys with his own money once he saw how much money James Stewarts Jersey made at auction for Sick Kids. We didn’t think that children thought about those things but we were really proud that our son did. He wanted those jerseys autographed to donate them back to our club Lake Shore Dirt Riders to have them auctioned off at our annual Sick Kids charity event so they could have more money. He did not ask for himself to have them and his friends and who ever else he could impress. He asked to help out Sick Kids and Paul’s son. Pride is all we feel for our son.
We want to thank you Paul more than we can say for giving us the opportunity as parents to teach him such a valuable lesson in life.
Thanks for such an awesome ride.
Joanne, Kurt, Dakota and Sierra Yaskow