April 22nd, 2024

Green Shirt Day campaign kicks off

By Lethbridge Herald on February 21, 2024.

Toby and Bernadine Boulet speak about this year’s campaign during the Green Shirt Day kick-off and new logo design unveiling ceremony Wednesday at city hall. Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

For the last six years many Canadians have made the decision to become organ donors as part of the Logan Boulet effect, which is commemorated by Green Shirt Day and Wednesday marked the official campaign kick-off leading up to the April 7 event. 

Logan’s parents Bernadine and Toby Boulet spoke Wednesday at City Hall about Green Shirt Day and their son’s legacy after a short ceremony in which multiple speakers shared how Green Shirt Day has touched their lives.

The 2024 campaign logo design was also unveiled. 

Bernadine began by speaking about the importance of everyone’s support throughout the last six years which include Mayor Blaine Hyggen’s efforts to change the name of Adams Ice Arena in north Lethbridge to the Logan Boulet Arena. 

“That makes a difference, just knowing that support is there, the support of our family and friends and of the community,” said Bernadine. 

She said many times the Boulets have been approached by people on the street or at events and they shared their stories with them, and have been told how grateful they are for the effect Logan’s legacy has had. And in some cases, how the fact that so many registered to become donors because of it, allowed them or a family member to receive an organ that prolonged their lives. 

Toby spoke about how the Logan Boulet Effect comes to people’s minds before Green Shirt Day, and how that is first in their hearts as well as his family. 

“So many people we meet all over they bring up the Logan Boulet Effect first, then they talk about Green Shirt Day, and then they bring them both together,” said Toby. 

He talked about how the numbers are staggering when it comes to people making the decision to become donors. How thousands of people across North America, not just in Canada, have been inspired to become donors. How it is all about making that decision and talking to family about it.

Bernadine said one of their biggest pushes with the campaign is to encourage people to have that conversation with their family members once they have made the decision to become donors. 

“Because we know that in a time of tragedy, when you’re having to make that decision, you may not want to make that decision because you may not know what that person would have wanted, so having that conversation is huge,” said Bernadine. 

She said that was an irony in their family’s case as Logan had the conversation with his father about wanting to become a donor but not with her, and when the time came it was Bernadine who asked if he could become a donor without knowing that had already been decided by Logan. 

Toby spoke about the moment he had that conversation with Logan about becoming a donor in the summer of 2017, and how he did not speak about it until that tragic day when they realized their son was not going to survive. He said Logan told him during a casual conversation on the family’s back deck about wanting to become a donor. 

“That day, when Bernie brought that up, I went (blank expression) and she brought it up again and that’s when I said ‘well Logan told me,’ and that’s when she found out,” said Toby.

 “I didn’t want to share because I just didn’t want to tell people Logan wanted to become an organ donor, because he was 20 years old, he was talking about his death and I just didn’t want to.” 

Bernadine said their whole philosophy on that has changed, as they realize how important it is to have those conversations as well as the importance of removing the fear behind it.  

This year’s logo was designed by Hali Heavy Shield, who has a strong connection to the Boulet family. Her design depicts a yellow and green star that has a lot of meaning behind it, as well as the Blackfoot translation of Green Shirt Day “Otsskoi Sookasim Miiksistikoo” in the banner. 

The star’s yellow and green hues are representative of the Humboldt Broncos’ team colours as well as organ donation. The eight points of the symbolic shape embody the key values of kindness, humility, honesty, respect, healing, forgiveness, wisdom and love. And finally, the star design pays tribute to the Morning Star, which symbolizes new beginnings and hope. 

“I’ve chosen the star, inspired by the star blanket gifted to the Boulet family by the Waywayseecappo First Nation in Manitoba. For Blackfoot people, star blankets represent comfort, healing and generosity, reflecting the impact of Logan’s story on the global community,” said Heavy Shield. 

This year’s campaign goal is to inspire 100,000 Canadians to register their decision to become organ and tissue donors and to talk to their families about it.

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