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Hello, I’m Gary Freeman – the founder of the Barry Penny Foundation. All of my adult life I have been involved with kids. From the bringing up of my four children to now caring for my granddaughter. I was always the coach. Soccer, baseball, Softball, Football, I coached them all. When my youngest quit playing baseball I got involved on the board of directors of The Maple Ridge BC Softball Association. I am also a carded baseball umpire because at that time there wasn’t enough to go around. Volunteering has been an important part of my life and, as such, I have spent time helping out at the Boys and Girls clubs and have been serving dinners at the Calgary Drop in Center. I have been doing some fundraising for Kimappi Kids as well. I am also one of the founders of Calgary Acoustic Music (CAMJAM). This is a group of Calgary’s musicians that get together for jams. The group has gone from 4 members to 125 in the last year and a half.
I figured it was time I merged two of the things I cherish most, kids and music. Thus the Barry Penny Foundation was formed.
I love music and to create things in yarn, I can be heard singing (although I sound terrible) as we enjoy many nights sitting by the fire singing with my husband. If I don’t have a hook in my hands it’s shocking and I am teased by my family on holidays that I must be going into withdrawal without my yarn and projects close by.
I am truly blessed by my beautiful granddaughter of currently 18 months. She brings so much joy and love in our home. It’s wonderful to be part of this group. There’s nothing like helping a young man or lady do something that they wouldn’t be able to do without the help that we can provide.
Hi, as Barry’s partner in life and good friend for over 25 years, it is an honor to be involved in an organization that brings interested children and the gift of music together, in his name. Over the years, I have been involved in many charitable organizations that assist underprivileged children with opportunities for growth and choice. As a person who has enjoyed and played music for most of my life, it’s very important to me that music is offered to every person who has a desire to learn and experience it.
I’m a married father of 2 kids and have always enjoyed music as well as helping out kids. Over the years I have volunteered at numerous charity’s and rec sports in my community as well serving meals at the drop in center. Through a good friend I was able to get involved in this foundation. As a kid myself I was fortunate to benefit from groups like this and I am very excited to give back to musically inspired kids.
Music has always been a huge part of my life thanks to my parents. They instilled this appreciation at such a young age and even when we struggled financially as a family they always found the means to ensure I was in voice lessons, piano and choir. Music gave me passion, purpose, confidence and discipline it helped me through some of the darkness of being an adolescent. I dont know where I would be if I didn’t have the means of writing my thoughts and feelings and putting them into song…it was therapy at its best. Music opened the door to Barry and Heather. I met Berry when I was much younger.Heather and Barry would jam with my Dad. I can remember jam sessions at their house in Airdrie. When I turned 18, I started jaming with them at Curlys. We spent summers up at the camp site in Elkton Valley and there were days and nights filled with nothing but sweet music. I got involved in the foundation shortly after it started up because of Barry, because of Heather and because my heart hurt over the loss Heather was feeling and the loss we all felt at Barrys passing. I have found comfort in the cause and find this a productive way of grieving…giving back and allowing Barrys legacy to live. I have a strong union back ground and thought I might be able to contribute in the formation of the society and be helpful in meetings. I have a belief in the foundation and its mandate and a passion for youth to experience the beautiful doors that are opened through the gift of music.
Growing up I didn’t have the opportunity to take music lessons of any kind. I could always be heard singing loudly from my bedroom, (not that I was a good singer) I just loved to sing. I spent a lot of time in my room learning songs word for word. I could always find the release I needed through music.
I am proud to be part of the Barry Penny Foundation. I am given a chance to see that joy on a childs and parents face when we give them the gift of music. I enjoy the Foundation meetings spent brainstorming new ideas and the hours of hard work we put into our Fundraisers. We are always rewarded with thanks. The feeling is awesome!
Jordan’s bio will be coming soon