Heroes of Hope 2014 – An Evening With Chris Hadfield

A couple of weeks ago, we had the privilege of spending an evening with an astronaut. Which astronaut? How about Col. Chris Hadfield, the former commander of the International Space Station – and a fellow Canadian!

Why was he taking the time to have dinner with  around 250 of his fans? Well, he came to support something bigger than even himself! He came to support Canadian Humanitarian!

Yes, this was a magnificent fund raiser for Canadian Humanitarian, organized by the Regina, Saskatchewan chapter, and sponsored by K+S Potash Canada. It is a yearly event, called “Heroes of Hope” and they always have fantastic guest speakers.

We arrived in Regina about an hour before the event to help get a few last minute preparations done. It was set up beautifully, and filled the large room at the Conexus Arts center.

Each table had these for the center pieces, which were also auctioned off. They included a variety of astronaut food (way cool) and a copy of Col. Chris Hadfield’s fantastic book, “An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth”.

 The event had a silent auction as a part of their fundraising efforts. There were SO MANY fantastic items for absolutely anyone and everyone, including sports memorabilia, purses and jewelry, paintings, and even framed artwork created by the children in the programs run by Canadian Humanitarian (more on that later.) 

Some of the wonderful items they had for their silent auction:

 This was only half of the silent auction display. Like I said – there were SO MANY wonderful and unique items to bid on.


 There were other excited individuals in attendance who were anxious to hear from ,and meet, their hero! This fine looking group of cadets were looking sharp and happy to be there!

Lots of wonderful people came out to support the event!


Canadian Humanitarian’s Heather Woodward and  her husband, Lyle, manning the child sponsorship table. There are a lot of children in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Malawi who need sponsorship so they can benefit from the wonderful programs run by Canadian Humanitarian in their communities.

 There was a lot of media buzz around the event, and different tv stations there to interview Col. Chris Hadfield.

 A lot of people took their time browsing through the silent auction items, placing their bids on their favorite items!

  Some interested folks asking about child sponsorship:




  Lots of posters displaying kids in Africa who can see their dreams realized through the help that Canadian Humanitarian offers !



  We had the wonderful Sheila Coles, host of the CBC Morning Edition in Saskatchewan, not only sit at our table with us, but was a wonderful emcee for the evening.

There was a great turn out for the event!

 As part of the fundraiser, the Regina Public and Catholic School Districts held a rocket – designing contest where children would design, build, and launch a rocket. The four winners who built the best rockets won a limo ride to the event and sat at the same table as Chris Hadfield, who enjoyed dinner with them after his speech. These were a couple of the winning students:


Our Executive Director, Lyndon Grunewald, spoke about the wonderful work that Canadian Humanitarian is doing and garnered even more interest and support for the charity, sharing stories from his experiences during his recent trip to Ethiopia in February and March.


 We will be sharing a post shortly, sharing more details about the amazing experiences we had on our recent expedition to Ethiopia – amazing! But now, back to the fundraiser and Chris Hadfield!

 It was time for Chris Hadfield to speak to us, and he did not disappoint! He shared his experiences from when, as a child, he watched the first moon landing, to his (bumpy) landing after his last mission as commander of the International Space Station – with so much in between. It was a fabulous presentation.

 He was a very engaging speaker and a wonderful story teller!


 His presentation also included stunning photos that he took from the space station, as well as photos that illustrated his journey as an astronaut.

He even serenaded us with his song, I.S.S.:

Chris Hadfield also tirelessly made himself available to each and every one in attendance who wanted to meet him personally. These Cadets were beside themselves with excitement to shake his hand and meet him.




It was a wonderful evening; one that anyone who was there would love to be able to do again. Canadian Humanitarian has similar events in chapters all across Canada (and some starting in the States through Kids Hope Ehtiopia) that you can get involved with any time.

(All photos of this event are courtesy of Bobbi-Jo Grunewald Photography who donated her time, talent, and photos for this event.)