Paul Heppleston

I am a husband, father of two, and junior high special education teacher in Western Newfoundland. Our family was introduced to the Candlelighters in September 2013, when our older daughter was diagnosed with medulloblastoma. Beyond providing the snack cupboard, and beyond bringing sweetness and light into our lives during some dark, dark times, the Candlelighters gave me people to connect with; parents who could speak to our fears with the kind of wisdom and compassion one only gets from living through excruciating circumstances.

Our girls attended Camp Delight for the first time in 2019, thanks to the encouragement of friends whose children had also attended for years. Camp is now the highlight of the summer for them, even through the virtual camp in 2020 and the family camp in 2021, and we are so grateful for all the hard work that goes into making them happen. 

Though I am new to this board, I am not new to volunteering. I served for three years on the board of directors with MusicNL, the provincial organisation that helps support musicians and other music professionals in their pursuits. I also ran a non-profit youth music project called “Mr. H Presents.” As “Mr. H” I hosted concerts, open mics, songwriting conferences, and benefit concerts. The annual benefit concerts for families spending Christmas at the Janeway were most dear to me, as they not only raised money for families in hard times, but they also provided me opportunities to pay forward some of the kindness shown to our family. 

I am so glad to be a part of Candlelighters, and especially grateful to help with Camp Delight.