Little Jeffrey

To all our Artcast friends,

We have been working on a project that we would like to share with you.

It all began around the time of the inquest for young Jeffrey Baldwin. He was a five-year-old Toronto boy who on November 30th 2002 died of pneumonia, septic shock, mistreatment, and starvation at the hands of his grandparents. At the time of his death Jeffrey weighed slightly less than what he weighed on his first birthday.

This inquest struck a chord with a very kind-hearted man, a father from the Ottawa area by the name of Todd Boyce. He felt that he needed to do something to ingrain the memory of little Jeffrey into people’s hearts. Todd started a crowd-funding campaign to have a statue of some kind created in Jeffrey’s memory.

Meanwhile, Marcus (you know Marcus… the one with the moustache), following the story about the inquest came across an article about Todd’s crowd-funding efforts. After doing some research on the project Marcus told me that he really wanted to offer Artcast’s services in order to help make this project a reality. After several attempts at reaching Todd, Marcus finally was able to make contact.

Marcus, our son Erich (little Erich), and I travelled to Ottawa to work out some details with Todd. We grabbed coffee at the Timmies in Bell’s Corners and chatted about potential artists. We agreed that we would approach Ruth Abernethy. She seemed a good fit, being a mother of two boys and we were confident having the same compassion for young Jeffrey. We also discussed a potential layout of how Jeffrey would appear in the sculpture. For Todd it was important for Jeffrey to be in his Halloween Superman costume. We thought about the accessibility of Ruth’s Oscar Peterson sculpture and we agreed that it would be nice to see Jeffrey on a bench accessible to other children.

When we contacted Ruth to bring her into the project she quickly came back to us with an excellent sketch of the proposed piece, which we were all delighted with [drawing]

To all of us, Marcus, Erich, Myself (Cathy), Todd, the not-to-be-forgotten great Artcast crew, and Ruth, this is a project that reminds us how fortunate we are and how easily we can help to send a message of goodness.