Anti-Bulling Day is history until next year.
When the Vancouver Giants played host to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Feb. 18, it was the Giants' annual Acceptance Day. Thousands of elementary school students were in attendance and took part in a flashmob to promote anti-bullying.
The Giants defeated the Warriors 3-2 in overtime, and the Vancouver faithful left the Pacific Coliseum with smiles on their faces. For me, however, I needed to write a story for the Giants’ website.
Then it donned on me. I was going to write a story about my experiences with bullying. I really felt that with Acceptance Day just happening, my experiences could help anyone who might read the piece.
I hoped that my story might have have an impact on someone.
It did, and it was CTV's Jason Pirez and his videographer, Gary Rutherford.
Just two days after the article was posted, I had gone out for dinner.
I didn't take my cell phone with me because I just wanted an hour or so to myself, some time without having to deal with work. When I got home at 6 p.m., I checked my phone and saw that I had missed a call.
I didn't know who it was, though.
Luckily, the caller had left a message.
It was Pirez calling to ask to do an interview with me about the story that I had written. I called him back, and told him I would be pleased to do it.
“When do you want to do this?” I asked.
“Let's see . . is tomorrow okay? Gary and I can meet you at the Coliseum at 3 p.m.”
“No problem,” I said. “Thanks for the call, I'll see you tomorrow.”
I got to the Giants' office the next day and went up to the press box and worked on some things as I waited for Pirez and Rutherford's arrival.
I had sent Pirez a text message telling him that I'd be there and to come and find me when they arrived.
At 2 p.m., I heard someone's dress shoes clicking on the floor as they approached. It got louder and louder, so I looked behind me and there was Pirez, walking down the stairs on the way to my seat in the press box.
“There's the man I was looking for,” Pirez said.
“Jason Pirez!” I said. “How are you doing? You're early, I thought you said you'd be here at 3? It's only 2.”
“Yeah,” he said. “Is it okay if we shoot now? Gary's already set up downstairs.”
“Yeah, no problem,” I replied. “I'm just bugging you.”
After finishing on the afternoon of Feb. 25, the segment was scheduled to air on CTV News Vancouver at 6 p.m.
I was excited. I was nervous. I didn't know what to expect.
All that mattered to me was that my story might affect and help someone else.
Leading up to the segment, although I did tell people to watch the news, I didn't tell them I was going to be on it. I was sitting in front of my television, interested in seeing what the segment was going to look like.
At around 6:50 p.m., it finally was time.
I was extremely impressed. Pirez, Rutherford and their editors did a heck of a job.
Moments after my story aired . . . well, I didn't expect what happened next.
I was baffled by the number of emails and tweets I received. I had expected some reaction, but nothing close to what it actually was.
As I was getting all the messages on Twitter, I tried my best to retweet and respond to every single one. I felt that was the least I could do.
I wanted to show my appreciation for all the support.
I made sure to answer every phone call that came my way, telling people that their support meant the world to me.
As well, I tried my best to reply to every email I received and sent along the same message.
For all those people who took the time to not only watch the segment, but call, tweet or email me personally telling me how much the story inspired them . . . well, it really is something I can't put into words.
I'm so happy that my story can help people and I truly hope it continues to.
After all, that’s all I ever wanted.
Watch the news segment here