Twelve Canadian Families Celebrated Aboard Rocky Mountaineer

Group of Starlight Children's Foundation heroic children and families to embark on a trip to Canadian Rockies

VANCOUVER, Sept. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - In celebration of their decade long charitable partnership, Rocky Mountaineer has selected Starlight Children's Foundation as their partner for the third annual Life Changing Trains for Heroes program. This year, twelve incredible families from around Canada will travel together from Vancouver, British Columbia on a five-day journey to the Canadian Rockies aboard the iconic Rocky Mountaineer train.

These twelve heroes and their families were selected together with Starlight Children's Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring laughter, joy and hope back into the lives of children with serious illness and their families. For the last 33 years, they have granted wishes, provided support programs and aided families in and out of hospitals.

"Rocky Mountaineer has proudly supported Starlight Children's Foundation for 10 years through various initiatives including the annual Escape to Whistler program, and we're excited to give back in a more impactful way by expanding the program to the Life Changing Train for Heroes," says Randy Powell, President and CEO of Rocky Mountaineer. "For these heroes, this time together will create space to connect with each other and other Starlight families, which is the most precious gift. We are thrilled to play a part in creating these special memories."

Life Changing Train for Heroes is an annual program hosted by Rocky Mountaineer that aims to honour heroes and their families who have supported them along the way. For the past three years, a different worthy cause has been recognized, allowing Rocky Mountaineer to give back and raise awareness for these partner organizations.

"At Starlight Children's Foundation, we encourage smiles, laughter and joy at a time when children need it the most," says Brian Bringolf, Executive Director of Starlight Children's Foundation. "For an ill child and their loved ones, five days away together lets them forget about sickness and reconnect as a family."

The group of nearly 50 will travel together, starting in Vancouver on Monday, September 28th, overnighting in Kamloops, B.C. and reaching their final destination of Lake Louise, Alberta on Thursday, October 1st. The journey will include special on-train activities such as cooking classes and music lessons for the children, gondola rides and canoeing in Lake Louise and a commemorative star gazing event. The families will fly home on Friday, October 2nd with new friends and connections.

The following Canadian families will be embarking on the life changing trip on the Rocky Mountaineer:

  • Aidan Calhoun - New Westminster, B.C.
  • Amy Dewolff - Langley, B.C.
  • Isabelle Ghioda - Coquitlam, B.C.
  • Kate Mitchell (Starlight Alumni) - Burnaby, B.C.
  • Nakita Sekhon (Starlight Alumni) - Victoria, B.C.
  • Quinn Fowlie - Coquitlam, B.C.
  • Stephanie Cruz Parada - Surrey, B.C.
  • Tristan & Angela Ashby - Surrey, B.C.
  • Lauryn Dirks - Calgary, AB
  • Danielle Leys - Strathmore, AB
  • Kellen McDonald - London, ON
  • Debbie & Tayvie Van Eeuwan - Richmond, B.C.

For more information on Rocky Mountaineer's Life Changing Train for Heroes or to donate to Starlight Children's Foundation, please visit To learn more about our heroes and follow them on their life changing journey, follow us on Twitter at @rmountaineer and use #HeroesTrain.

About Rocky Mountaineer:
Since 1990, Rocky Mountaineer, the world's largest privately owned luxury tourist train, has welcomed over 1.7 million guests to inhale the mountain air and let nature take their breath away. The unparalleled experience onboard the all dome-fleet offers rich, historic storytelling, World Class cuisine and a first-hand look at the vast and untouched wild beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

With over 65 vacation packages, guests can chose from four unique rail routes, including the newly upgraded three day rail package, Rainforest to Gold Rush, and travel through iconic destinations such as Seattle, WA, Vancouver, B.C., and the majestic Canadian Rockies in Alberta. Known as one of the only ways to see the Rocky Mountains, it's no wonder that Rocky Mountaineer has received numerous international awards and accolades for service excellence, including eight World Travel Awards for both "World's Leading Travel Experience By Train" and "World's Leading Luxury Train." In 2013, it was also recognized as one of the world's "Dream Trips" by the prestigious Travel +Leisure magazine.

About Starlight Children's Foundation Canada:
Starlight Children's FoundationTM Canada is part of Starlight's global network, serving kids and families through partnerships with more than 130 healthcare facilities. Over the past 30 years, Starlight has become a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. Starlight partners with more than 1,750 healthcare facilities and pediatric hospitals in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, serving millions of children every year.

SOURCE Rocky Mountaineer

Image with caption: "Rocky Mountaineer Life Changing Train for Heroes (CNW Group/Rocky Mountaineer)". Image available at:

For further information: or to schedule an interview, please contact: Cecilia Kim, Citizen Relations,, 604.647.6281; Hilary Strath, Rocky Mountaineer,, 604.606.6322


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