Nearly 21 years ago, a bullet fired from a gun in Somalia cracked through the air and ricocheted into Abdi Dini’s back.
It pierced his spinal cord between his shoulder blades, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. For life.
The gym at Eastview Junior Public School is full of proud parents and family. They wait anxiously for the start of the school’s second annual musical. The lights dim, the curtains part and 12-year-old Jayden Funnel, dressed as Willy Wonka, sings, “Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.”
Forty years ago, Robert Service Senior Public School opened its doors to Scarborough students. Jack Rilley, dedicating his job to his students, has been there since day one. Rilley, who is in his 45th teaching year, arrives at school at 6:30 every morning. He then prepares his classroom for his students and the upcoming day. However, none of this preparation is for his own personal satisfaction.
It began with a simple offering of a few homemade quilts and before she knew it, Jane Barbeau was a board member, selling gift baskets, helping with the Share Christmas program and leading the Fundraising Committee at the Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre. That was only a year and half ago.