In 2007, a young Rider fan named Chris Knox was undergoing cancer treatment at the Regina Cancer Clinic. He desperately wanted to see the Labour Day Classic and it was sold out. So the call went out to the clinic and with the help of a local radio station,not onlydidChris get to see the game but after the game, linebacker Mike McCullough went and got him out of the stands and brought him down to the locker room where Coach Austin presented him the game ball. Later that year as the Riders went on their magical run to the Grey Cup, a rider fan named Kelly Schermann asked if Chris was healthy enough to go the Grey Cup and if he could raise enough money to send him and his caregiver and mother. Hearing the story on the radio, rider fans called in and pledged the amount needed to send them. Of course knowing the rider fans and the team, team president Jim Hopson called later and said that the team would be taking care of his arrangements. Not stopping there, newly elected Premier Brad Wall offered the premier’s plane to escort Chris and his caregivers. Chris, seeing all the other brave children at the Cancer clinic, asked why he was so special and that other kids deserved a chance. Another great rider fan, Trevor Lowey, contacted Kelly Schermann and together would start a major campaign to send 10 other children and 20 family members to the Grey Cup in Toronto. The Riders won, and Chris was such a brave young man, who was so frail and weak but was so excited that he made the trip and the Riders brought the Grey Cup up to his room. Sadly, later on December, Chris passed away and we have lost several other of those initial brave 10 recipients.
The organizers of the trip knew that Chris’s legacy and the wonderful memories that these families had with this special Grey Cup trip needed to continue, so in 2008, the Chris Knox Foundation was started with its goal of helping children and young adults (up to the age of 30), to attend sporting, fine arts and cultural events during treatment, giving them a much deserved reprieve and creating some happy memories with their families. To date the foundation has made over 800 dreams come true over these past three years and that including the initial 2007 signature Grey Cup trip and this years 13 recipients and 13 family members/caregivers, the foundation will have sent 47 special recipients and close to 60 family members/caregivers to the Grey Cup. That is over 100 individuals sent on what surely is classified as a major trip.
A strong feature of the foundation is that nearly all of the donations go to our recipients. The foundation has no paid staff and the only administrative cost is for professional accounting auditing which is required from Canada Revenue Agency and for web site hosting and development.
Our recipients and their families are courageously battling cancer and our goal is to make some wonderful memories for them. It is sad to think of the number of children and young adults that are affected by this terrible disease. Our motivation is strengthened knowing this trip means so much to these families and the wonderful memories that last forever