|Naya Rivera in Toronto - July 2012
"It didn't take much. It was just a question of whether I had the day off and I'll be there!", says stunning Glee Star Naya Rivera. The Actress/Singer flew into Toronto yesterday, her first-ever appearance in the City on her own other than having toured with her Cast Mates last June. Dressed in an eye-catching neon number, she colour-coordinated perfectly to shine a bit of her radiance to the Occasion. That Occasion of course being her working together with Winners and HomeSense in their on-going efforts for the Sunshine Foundation. The Clothing and Home Furnishings Retailers since 1999 have been helping make the dreams of disabled and severely ill Children come true.
Attaching her name to a noble Cause is nothing new to Rivera. Since propelling to Stardom in her starring role as Cheerleader Santana Lopez on Fox's prolific Musical Comedy Series, the Actress/Singer has shown her support for a variety of Organizations raising awareness for the GLBT Community, Alzheimer's Disease, Autism and Down Syndrome. "I'm definitely always looking for any cause that I feel really is making a difference and it doesn't matter where it is", Rivera says. "Obviously, Kids are very near and dear to my Heart having Siblings and always growing-up with younger Kids.".
Appearing alongside Rivera this Morning were Fraternal Twins Ty and Jasmine (pictured above), born prematurely and suffering from Cerebral Palsy. Although Jasmine appears calm and reserved, her Brother Ty is the Yin to her Yang, being the outspoken one. They are just an example of the Children who are benefiting from the kind and hard work of the Sunshine Foundation, recently spending a magical week at Great Wolf Lodge with fond memories of endless Buffets and Prizes. "A Kick-off? Is she here to play Football or something?", jokes a spirited Ty, drawing a big laugh from Rivera after she is introduced to myself and two other Journalists on her reason of visit. "He's definitely a Comedian!", Rivera jokes.
Rivera is scheduled to appear later today at a Press Conference where she will be meeting a Girl named Taylor who once was Olympics-bound before suffering a career-ending fall. It has always been a dream of hers to meet the Cast of Glee and one-by-one, the Foundation are helping make her dream come true starting first with one of her favourites, Santana. "I'd jump at the opportunity to meet people that are going through things I'm not going through", Rivera tells us. "I'm thrilled to make a couple dreams come true today".
The Goal of Winners' and HomeSense's Spread a Little Sunshine Campaign is to raise $25,000 for the Sunshine Foundation. Shannon Johnson, AVP of Communications and Community Relations for TJX Canada: Winners/HomeSense explains that for every Tweet made between now and August 25, 2012 using the Hashtag #SPREADSUNSHINE, the Retailers will be donating $5 to the Cause. Donations also can be made before that date at any location across Canada in denominations of $2, $5 or $10. Upon reaching the Goal of 25,000 Shares, 80-85 Kids will be sent on a trip to Disney World this October.
While on the topic of achieving dreams, Rivera reveals that although she's visited historic Niagara Falls before, there's one thing she never got to do while there. "Yes, I went there not long ago, but really wanted to ride Maid of the Mist ...but didn't", she regrets. One day perhaps. Surely several of her Toronto Fans wouldn't mind playing Host?
Although tight-lipped about her upcoming Solo Disc via Columbia Records/Sony Music, Rivera humbly accepted my compliments on her soulful vocals and how much I look forward to her Album, before snapping a Photo together.
Visit Spread a Little Sunshine's Official Page for more details on how you can contribute to the Cause.
Follow Rivera on Twitter here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)