What a great way to start the day! On the morning of September 22, 2016, our guest speaker, comedian Big Daddy Tazz, had people laughing so hard they had tears in their eyes. Through his personal struggles with bi-polar disorder, dyslexia and ADHD, Big Daddy has become a master at telling stories that emphasize the need to love, give hugs and to be true to who you are. He said that he reached a crossroads in which he could let his mental illness destroy him or he could learn to laugh at them. He chose to laugh.

Big Daddy doesn’t want people to feel sorry for him. He wants people to embrace his struggles and his humor. And those in attendance did exactly that. He received a standing ovation and people left with a smile on their face.

Thank you to our MCs Angela Kokott from Calgary Today on News Talk 770 and Gord Gillies from Global News kept the program moving and had our guests out the doors by 9am.

Our guests included sponsors, donors, volunteers, our partners in the non-profit sector, and friends of Distress Centre. We are grateful to our event sponsors and to Fleetwood Jewellery for donating a diamond tennis bracelet valued at $3,750 and to Taia Wind Resort for their donation of a one week all-inclusive stay on the tropical Bay Islands, Honduras and to Sportsnet 960 for their autographed Flames Jersey.

The Live Auction, Raffle and Text 2 Donate initiative helped raise $30,000 for our crisis services.

To all those who purchased tickets and tables, thank you for supporting our 2016 Lend An Ear Breakfast.

Check out a few photos from the morning. All courtesy of Gilmour Photography.

From left to right: Catherine Bell, Presenting Sponsor of our Speaker, Big Daddy Tazz, Jerilyn Dressler, Director of Operations at DC, Joan Roy, Executive Director at DC, and Greg Clark, Leader of the Alberta Party.

The morning getting into swing on September 22, 2016.

Big Daddy Tazz and Catherine Bell, Presenting Sponsor of our Speaker and Former Distress Centre Board Member.

From left to right: Distress Centre staff, Gulya Taubaldieva, Edwin Morales, Fitore Bajraktari and Sarah Xu, help out at the breakfast.