Big Bob’s Beautiful Day

The newly named Charlton Pond.

It’s a little corny to talk about the weather for a picnic, but goodness, a beautiful day around here this year is worth celebrating.

Blue skies and sunshine welcomed MRU staff and faculty to Big Bob’s BBQ in support of the Transitional Vocational Programs (TVP) for developmentally disabled adults.

This annual fundraiser was started 32 years ago by Bob Charlton and Stu Gauthier. Bob was head of Security and Stu worked in custodial when they began fundraising for TVP. They continued after retirement. The annual highlight was the Picnic in the Park, now fondly known as Big Bob’s BBQ. The event has raised nearly $110,000 over the years in support of TVP.

The outdoor courtyard where the event is held was named for Stu Gauthier. President David Docherty announced today that the Board of Governors has approved naming the MRU pond the Charlton Pond in Bob Charlton’s honour. It is one of the most beautiful locations on campus, home to generations of Canada geese, and it is fitting that is right beside the Gauthier Courtyard.

Bob passed away on April 22. MC Gord Gillies of Global Television joked that the beautiful weather – as well as the recent winning streak by Bob’s beloved Toronto Blue Jays – could possibly be attributed to Bob’s influence. A Bob and Crystal Charlton memorial scholarship has also been established at MRU and is accepting donations.

Event and prize sponsors included:

  • MRSA – Mount Royal Staff Association & Delta Hotels
    Weekend at Kananaskis Hotel – won by Dave Wanigas
  • MRFA – Mount Royal Faculty Association
    $100 Costco gift certificate – won by Muneerah Dattadeen
    $400 Costco gift certificate – won by Brenda Black
  • Calgary Correctional Centre/SAIT carpentry program
    Patio set – won by Stephanie Stone
  • BookStore gift basket – early bird prize
    Won by Janel Olinger
  • Jack Astor’s
    Food and beverage
  • Chartwell’s
    Food services

Entertainment was provided by the Calgary Fire Department’s Cappy Smart Band and the Calgary Fiddlers.

Bob Charlton’s son Dave and daughter Judy were on hand to thank the crowd for honouring their father’s legacy. They both had worked in custodial at MRU alongside Stu Gauthier.

In addition to MRU staff and faculty, former TVP students turned out for Big Bob’s BBQ, including Carol Galbraith, who was part of the first TVP graduating class in 1980. She has recently retired after working 31 years at a day care centre and was accompanied by her husband of 23 years.

458 tickets were sold for this year’s event.

Check out our Facebook album for more Big Bob’s BBQ photos.

by Karen McCarthy 

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