Dave Batten and Eddie Mio
25 years of Dream Making
Twenty-five years ago, Dave Batten (left) saw a child with a disability waiting in line at Disney. In a flash, he realized how lucky he and his wife were to have three healthy kids. Upon his return, he and lifelong friend Eddie Mio founded the Mio Manz Charities, focusing their efforts on raising funds that would benefit kids with disabilities in their community of Essex County, Ontario.
In 1993, the Annual Celebrity Golf Benefit was established and raised $75,000. Celebrities included Wayne Gretzky, support from Air Canada, and the local Unifor chapter (formerly the CAW) automotive industry and business.
By 2010, not only had three Sunshine DreamLifts been funded by the Mio Manz Charities, but many Sunshine Dreams too. Additionally, $1M was endowed to allow donations from the fund’s interest earnings to continue to support Sunshine still to this day.
On one of the Sunshine DreamLifts, Dave and Eddie joined the day as volunteers. Both refer to this as one of the most rewarding experiences with Sunshine. They shared the story of meeting a seven-year-old girl with Leukemia, who desperately wanted a picture with the two men. With sadness, a mere two months later, Dave attended her funeral and noted that the picture of the three of them laid in her casket as one of her most prized possessions. That one day made her so incredibly happy… a day to be carefree in an otherwise difficult short life. The impact on Dave, Eddie and this sweet child was clear.
Congratulations on the 25th anniversary of the first Celebrity Golf Benefit. Thank you for your continued support of Sunshine!