So about a month ago, I announced that I was going to start a weekly feature for 2017 entitled ‘People of Orangeville’ to highlight some of the amazing humans that exist in our community. I had started a list of people that I wanted to approach and with the holiday craziness, I hadn’t had the chance to speak to any of the people on my list.

Shortly after opening The Edge Wine Bar and Grille

Sean Coulter, owner of The Edge Wine Bar and Grille was on my list. Not just because he is a local business owner and close family friend, but because he is an awesome human with an inspirational story. Sadly, I didn’t get the opportunity to talk to Sean about being one of my “feature people” before he was taken from us, far too early. Sean lost a courageous battle with cancer on Thursday, January 5th and his family, friends and the community are overwhelmed with the feeling of loss. Kaylene, Gary, Angie, Amber, Candace and the rest of Sean’s family, I have no words that will ease your pain…

Community Love

Let’s start this with a bit about Sean’s contributions to Orangeville. There were so many, but I will touch on a few. Sean was passionate about giving back to the community. Whether it was the Orangeville SPCA, CHOICES Youth Shelter, The Food Bank, Princess Margaret Hospital or OneSight, just to name a few, he was the first one to find a way to raise some money and have some fun doing it!

Golf Tournament for the Orangeville SPCA

Martini’s for a Cure benefiting The Ride to Conquer Cancer for Princess Margaret Hospital

But Sean’s passion really kicked in to high gear when he launched ‘Taking The Edge Off Cancer’ in support of Headwaters Healthcare Foundation’s Oncology Department Expansion. A number of fundraisers have been held over the past couple of years with all proceeds going to support bringing cancer care closer to home.

‘Taking The Edge Off Cancer’ Gala (Photo Credit to Tammy Schneider of SNAP Dufferin)

Donations to Headwaters’ Oncology Expansion from the Gala and BurgerFest (Photo Credit to Tammy Schneider of SNAP Dufferin)

Life is too Short – Live it to the fullest

One of the coolest things about Sean, and there were many, was that if he didn’t tell you that he had cancer, you’d never know. He didn’t let the cancer become his only story. He lived life to the fullest and with no regrets. I like to think that he left this world knowing that he lived a very full, although short, life. My husband and I recently went to visit Sean in the hospital where he had a bit of an extended stay. We walked into the hospital room expecting a quiet, short visit. Well we should have known better. Take away the hospital bed, the machines and the ever-so-flattering hospital gown, and you’d think we’d just walked into a party! There was loud laughter echoing throughout the room and ever a few beer being cracked open. I had to laugh, because only Sean could turn a hospital stay into a party where everyone was welcome 🙂 And even though he was quite obviously unwell, his smile never faded, his laughter never quieted and he never for one moment stopped planning his next move. He talked about needing to get back to work “cause it’s Christmas-Party-Time, ya know” and was planning a trip to the Florida Keys with his lovely girlfriend, Candace so she could get a well-deserved break and get her feet in the sand.

Sean lived by the motto “It is what it is” and chose to keep living, to keep loving and to enjoy every moment. It was one of the many things that I loved about Sean and one of the best lessons he could have ever taught me. I take that part of Sean with me and you should too…sometimes life throws you a curveball….or ten…but it is what it is…accept it and keep on keepin’ on. Don’t stop laughing. Don’t stop loving. And most importantly, make the most out of every moment. Life is too short.

I wish I could be a fly on the walls of heaven – because I am sure that there are a lot of great people up there enjoying the BEST party they’ve ever seen now that Sean has joined them! I don’t know if there are bars in heaven, but if there are, I’m fairly confident that one of them is lined with shots and is likely on fire.

(special thanks to Aristea Doukas for posting this video from New Year’s Eve)

A celebration of Sean’s life is being held at the Edge Wine Bar and Grille on Sunday, January 8th from 2-6pm. Donations to ‘Taking the Edge Off Cancer’ would be appreciated! Let’s keep Sean’s memory and mission alive.

Rest in Peace Sean. Orangeville was made a better place with you in it. We will miss you.

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