December 18 12

Over the last few months, I have talked to you about the importance of play and the importance of a really special organization called Right To Play.

I talked about big life AHA! moments and I have sung the praises of the best teammate a girl could ask for—Olympic gold medalist and Right To Play athlete ambassador Kyle Shewfelt.

I have stressed the importance of leveling the field and the importance of equality when it comes to sport and play, specifically when it comes to gender. I am the mama of two young girls—I want and need them to know that they can do, play, and be anything that they want.


Right to Play We Help Children Lead

I told you that Right To Play’s Level The Field program was offering a really unique prize—a chance to send one parent ambassador to have the experience of a lifetime with Right To Play in West Africa. The winning parent will visit a program in Liberia to learn about Right To Play programming, particularly Health Care and to help raise awareness of the organization’s global impact.

I am pleased to announce that the winning parent ambassador is Jill Amery!

Jill Amery is a Mom and the Publisher of, a digital magazine that inspires parents to thrive. She believes that one common goal for Moms and Dads across the globe is to delight children and give them wings. She plans to do everything in her power to help parents understand how sport and play can educate children and shape their futures.  The world should get louder as we listen to the laughter of so many kids.

There was actually second part of the Facebook contest—any person who voted was entered to win the trip to West Africa as well. The lucky winner of this prize is Lora Harasem. Congrats Lori!!

Lori Harasem lives in Coalhurst, Alberta, with her husband, 3 children and pets.  She works as the Recreation and Culture Development Manager for the City of Lethbridge and is heavily involved in her community in a volunteer capacity. Lori has always dreamed of going to Africa to volunteer and as a supporter of the values of Right To Play, she says that she “couldn’t pick a better organization to share this experience with.”

As for me, well, as you can see, I didn’t win the trip to West Africa.

I could tell you something incredibly cliché about still being a winner even though I didn’t win. Because it would be the truth. Being a part of this program has been a little early holiday gift for me. It has taught me new things, it has opened my eyes, and most of all, it has opened my heart. This will not be the end of my relationship with Right To Play. In fact, it’s only the beginning. And it doesn’t have to be the end for you either. I highly encourage you to click here to sign up for the Right To Play newsletter to get updates from the organization.

But no, I’m not going to tell you that I’m still a winner. Because in reality, the real winners look like this.

Right To Play Kids Africa

And this.

Right To Play Kids Africa

And this.

Right To Play Kids Africa

They are the winners. Because of Right To Play, all children—everywhere—are able to play—even in communities affected by war, poverty, and disease. But at a more sophisticated level, though, through the power of sport and play, these children are building essential life skills.

I really, really want to take a moment thank everyone who voted for me, and especially to Sharon DeVellis and Zvi Woolf and Adina Moss who knew that it was hard for me to ask for votes and did it for me and to everyone else who worked extra hard to try to win this for me.



This campaign was made possible through funding received from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

The Level The Field campaign focuses on countries in the WAFA region (Liberia, Ghana, Benin, Rwanda and Mali) and raises awareness about the work Right To Play does in their communities.

Images: Right To Play Canada

  1. You are such a winner for participating in this program, Ali. I’m so proud to call you my friend. xo

    Comment by Sharon on December 18, 2012
  2. So inspiring, Ali! xo

    Comment by Haley-O on December 18, 2012
  3. This program is so great. Congratulations for participating in the campaign and for continuing to work with them.

    Comment by Kat on December 20, 2012

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