Christmas is an exciting time of the year. It is a time to celebrate, a time to enjoy the company of family and friends. It is a season of generosity, a time of giving and a time to give thanks. And there is so much to be thankful for, here in Saskatchewan. I am grateful for the people that I have met during my time as Premier: inspiring people, compassionate people, strong people.
People like Cassidy Evans.
Cassidy is an 11-year-old girl from Saskatoon. Cassidy was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was only four years old. Life for Cassidy and her family changed forever that day.
But how we respond to adversity, how we deal with the challenges in our life, can define who we are.
Cassidy and her Mom and Dad, they talked about how they could turn Cassidy’s diagnosis into something positive.
Cassidy decided to start a lemonade stand – to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research - and to raise awareness and to encourage others who also had the disease.
That was in 2013, when she was only five years old.
Six years later, Cassidy’s Lemonade Stand is still going strong. In fact, the stand is now a truck that travels to events across Saskatchewan. And Cassidy has branched out – she sells jewelry and other merchandise on her website – CassidysLemonadeStand.com.
All proceeds go to Cystic Fibrosis research and awareness and, so far, Cassidy has raised $100,000.
And she’s done this all the while dealing with the demands of Cystic Fibrosis.
It’s hard not to be humbled by what Cassidy and her family have done. And what’s even more humbling is to know that there are so many other Cassidy’s in Saskatchewan: people with a disposition of the heart whose first priority is helping others, even though they may be bearing a heavy burden themselves.
This the Saskatchewan that I have come to know. This the Saskatchewan that I am proud to serve. And this is the Saskatchewan I will always defend.
Our province is a hopeful place. And hope is the central message of the Christmas Story.
More than 2000 years ago, the Christ-child was born, and our world changed forever. That child grew up to be a man, who showed us what loving others is all about.
He showed us that every person matters. He inspired with his example – a life lived with humility, with courage and with compassion.
He sacrificed everything for us.
The Christmas story reminds us to look around, and to lend a helping hand where we can, to give a little extra to those in need, to comfort those who are lonely or discouraged.
And to do this, not just on one day, but on each and every day, all year long.
So, from my family to yours and on behalf of my colleagues in the government of Saskatchewan, I want to wish you the very best this holiday season.
“May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace.
The gladness of Christmas give you hope.
And the warmth of Christmas grant you love.”
Merry Christmas everyone.