Happy birthday Fred Arsenault! Brighter Together's warmest wishes to a Great Man, Pride of Canada.
Updated: Mar 5
World War II veteran Fred Arsenault has one wish for his 100th birthday: he wants to receive 100 old fashioned birthday cards.
Fred Arsenault is a decorated Canadian World War II veteran who served with the Cape Breton Highlanders from 1940 to 1945. He was involved in the Italian Campaign and helped liberate the Netherlands.
Today Fred lives at Sunnybrook Veterans Centre after spending a decade in Scarborough with his son Ron and his wife Betty.
He will turn 100 on March 6th, 2020 and even though he has some memory loss and doesn’t say much due to his age, he can't help but feel excited for this milestone.
“Darn right. I never had such a big birthday, never, never; 100, yes sir, it's hard to believe”
he said CBC News.
It was Ron Arsenault, 63, Fred's son, who started the initiative to fulfill Fred’s wish to receive 100 birthday cards for his 100th birthday.
Ron explained during the interview how receiving handwritten letters is such a joy for his father.
“When my dad was in the Second World War, in the slip trench, he used to get the odd letter from his mom. How many times he told me he used to read them in the night, in the darkness, but he could read them from the tracers overhead,”
Ron, inspired by James South from Texas who asked for 100 birthday cards last October, posted the popular picture of his father holding a poster and asking to receive 100 birthday cards in the mail for his great day.
The picture was posted during the last Super Bowl and it immediately went viral at which point Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Doug Ford tweeted about Fred Arsenault's wish.
We at Brighter Together couldn't help but join this amazing initiative, and to contribute to Fred's happiness, so we started working on our card.
As a charitable organization founded to support our Canadian community through a meaningful change, we wanted to send him a big thank you.
Fred’s dedication and courage are an inspiration to us all and his sacrifice is what allows us to call this wonderful country our home today.
For this reason, having the opportunity to honour him for this great day is a privilege and honour for Brighter Together.
Blayne Kumar, Brighter Together's founder, was the first to learn about this initiative and the whole team welcomed it with excitement.
Fred loves old-fashioned, handwritten cards, which is why we opted for a simple but BIG card. As Big as his accomplishments, and as big as Fred's heart and soul.
Each member of the team, one by one, wrote a personal birthday wish to Fred. The moment was heartwarming and everybody was in awe, as we acknowledged what Fred Arsenault’s contributions mean for our freedom and for the whole world.
Brighter Together's card for Fred was sent on March 3rd 2020 and should soon reach Fred's house, where another 100,000 are expected to be delivered.
Ron Arsenault will take care to deliver them to Fred at Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.
Happy birthday and long life wishes to Fred Arsenault, Pride of Canada!