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Calgary police officer wins big donation for his anti-bullying initiative
An insurance company has awarded a Calgary police officer $125,000 to use towards his charity aimed at ending bullying in schools all over Canada.
Tad Milmine, who works as a CPS constable during the day, visits 100 schools across the country every year for his charity called Bullying Ends Here.
“It’s something that from the day I started this, back in 2012, I always envisioned that there was going to come a day where we’re going to do everything I’ve hope for and then some.”
He knew that he was in the running for the prize, offered by the IA Financial Group, a Quebec-based insurance company, but never thought he would win.
The organization received applications from all over Canada for its philanthropic contest to celebrate its 125th anniversary.
The public ended up voting on the final 10 entrants.
Peter McDougall, with IA Financial Group, says Milmine’s charity really resonated with Canadians, Calgarians as well as in his own life.
“As a father of two young boys, this is an important issue for us.”
Millions have seen the message of Keaton Jones, a boy from Tennessee who shared his tearful story of bullying online. The teenager was so afraid of the abuse that he didn’t want to go to lunch.
Milmine says situations like Keaton’s are what he’s trying to stop.
“You can’t help but of course tear up and feel pain for these individuals but, on the flip side, because I see it so often, I also can’t help but wonder why more people aren’t stepping up and doing something.”
Milmine says he started his journey when he heard the story of Jamie Hubley, an Ottawa teen who took his life to escape the pain of severe bullying.
“There’s nothing weak about reaching out. It’s very stoic, its strength because you’re looking for make your life that much better and I want everyone to know they’ve never been alone.”
He says the money will be used to make information booklets for adults to teach them techniques about how to properly respond to teens worried about bullying.
The IA Financial Group, instead of awarding just one winner, donated $125,000 to each of the top three finalists, including a Quebec City group encouraging kids to stay in school and a Toronto charity that helps women deal with the effects of cancer treatment.
(With files from Ina Sidhu)