Made For Lovin' Shine

When Shine volunteer Ralph first heard about the Shine Foundation, he and his brother were running a fundraiser in memory of his late daughter Amanda. He loved how Shine brought a ‘ray of hope’ to young people living with disabilities illnesses, inspiring brighter, more hopeful futures and wanted to support the mission. 

Over the past three years, Ralph and his team have been champion volunteers for Shine, raising over $85,000 in the greater Toronto area through the AMCOH golf tournament.  

This past August, Ralph and his partner Tammy had the unique privilege of attending Victoria’s KISS Tribute experience. The Shine Experience was the perfect pairing since Ralph was a huge KISS fan and could offer his photography skills to capture the moment when Victoria met her idols.

Victoria’s KISS Dream Come True

Shine recipient Victoria is from Saint John, NB. She lives with a neurological developmental delay and longed to meet her favourite KISS tribute band, Mr. Speed. This band originates in the U.S. but for the first time, they were headed to Toronto for a private show and were honoured at the opportunity to make Victoria’s Shine Experience come to life. 

Dressed in KISS makeup and costume, Mr.Speed band greeted Victoria who wore Starchild’s signature makeup. “She was glowing with joy and she could not contain her excitement,” Ralph recounts as he took photos of her with the band. They even performed her favourite song in acapella, “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”. “There was lots of laughter, there were tears, there were hugs and there was hope,” Ralph adds. 

“I had never seen her have an emotional attachment [to people] like that. She didn’t realize people could care that much," Victoria’s mom explains. 

Since Victoria’s Shine Experience, her world has opened up so much more – all thanks to a little rock and roll, and many big hearts. Victoria and her family have made a strong connection to Mr.Speed and Ralph who have become her friends and advocates, inspiring them to explore more adventures. 

Thank you Ralph, Tammy, the Mr.Speed band, and all of our volunteers who go above and beyond to helped change the lives of young recipients from coast to coast to coast. 

“In Victoria’s case, no one saw she was in a wheelchair. She was in her element. It didn’t matter if she had a disability or not, everyone was enchanted by this moment that her Shine Experience was coming true.” - Victoria’s mom, Debbie.

Learn more about how Shine Volunteers make an impact.