Cowichan connection in organ-donation video contest

Former Valley resident is delighted that her video has been chosen as one of three finalists in a national contest.

Former Valley resident Lia Michalski is delighted that her video has been chosen as one of three finalists in a national contest sponsored by the David Foster Foundation.

The competition is all about organ donor registration and you can check out the competing videos and vote by visiting the David Foster Foundation Facebook page.

“I’m in a bit of whirlwind now that this has happened. It’s crazy,” Michalski said Monday, the day she was notified that she’d made the cut.

“Obviously, the David Foster Foundation wants to raise awareness about organ donation, trying to get more Canadians to sign up and become registered donors. All we can do is get the message out there as much as we can,” she said.

Michalski now lives in Victoria and teaches at Claremont Secondary.

“I heard about the contest from a friend of mine here in Victoria. I teach the film and television program here so I have my hand in it that way but this whole contest came about because I am very passionate about the cause.

“Then away I went and sent it off without thinking that anything would come of it. This is exciting. David Foster is amazing. The foundation is incredible, they are always promoting organ transplants and awareness and things like that. To be a part of this is more than I’d ever hoped, to get this message out on such a big scale.”

Of the other two finalists, one is ex-CFL player and the other is a group of Ryerson University students, all media people.

“I feel like I’m the small-town underdog here,” Michalski said.

She was notified two weeks ago that her video had made the top 10 and would go to a panel of judges from across Canada to winnow those down to the top three.

Her heart was pounding when she heard she’d made the final.

“To be in the top 10 would have been a good enough success for my video.”

Now, she’s just waiting for people to actually vote, which has to be completed by this Sunday.

To vote, go to the David Foster Foundation Facebook page and find the vote contest link. Michalski’s video is the second one down. At the very bottom of the page, click the “like” button beside the video.

“I think they’re counting the most likes by the end of Sunday,” Michalski said. “The winner gets flown to Toronto in September to have their video played in front of thousands of people at the David Foster Foundation annual Miracle Gala. It’s a pretty big deal and would be a surreal experience to go to it.”