#DoItForCraiger fundraising horseshoe tournament slated for April 27 in Toledo

Coral, Connor and Bobbi-Jo Craig
Coral, Connor and Bobbi-Jo Craig during a Be a Donor awareness campaign. Photo credit: Submitted [Bobbie-Jo Craig].
Posted on: April 8, 2024

April is BeADonor month across Canada


After losing her husband during his organ transplant journey, Bobbi-Jo Craig of Smiths Falls has become an advocate for organ donation.

It seems appropriate during April – Organ Donor Awareness Month – that she is helping to spread the word about organ donation. 

Her husband, Chris Craig, died last spring while waiting for a liver transplant. He was just 46 years old. 

Bobbi-Jo, as a new member of the Transplant Advocate Association is hoping to encourage the Ontario government to adopt a presumed consent system, by presenting a petition to Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP Jim Jordan to be read in the House of Commons. 

The petition will be available for signatures at any one of the upcoming flag raising ceremonies in the Kingston/Belleville area, or a copy can be obtained for signature from any Transplant Advocate Association board members. With enough signatures, the opt-out system may become a reality, and shorten the agonizingly long wait for organ and tissue donations in Ontario, Bobbi-Jo noted. 

The Craig family (back, Chris and Connor, front Bobbi-Jo and Coral). Photo credit: Submitted [Bobbie-Jo Craig].

Chris Craig was diagnosed with liver disease as a teen but was well into adulthood when the symptoms worsened. In 2022 he was advised he would need a liver transplant but despite a lengthy search for a live donor, one was never found. By the time a deceased donor’s liver became available, Chris had developed other health issues stemming from liver disease, and was too sick to receive it. 

Bobbi-Jo is hosting a horseshoe tournament on April 27 at the Royal Canadian Legion in Toledo. It will be the inaugural memorial tournament in Chris’ honour. 

The family, including adult children Coral and Connor Craig, held a horseshoe tournament last year to help with medical bills. 

Bobbi-Jo said it will be “a little different than last year but still just as important to celebrate and remember Chris and raise awareness!”

A fee of $10 per player will be charged with a portion of the proceeds going to first and second place and a portion to a family going through the transplant process. 

For those not playing, a donation would be appreciated. 

Connor Craig (in the jersey) is supported by his sister Coral and mother Bobbi-Jo. Photo credit: Submitted [Bobbie-Jo Craig].

Players can register between 9 and 9:30 a.m. at the legion and a draw for partners will be held once registration is complete. The tournament starts at 10 a.m. 

“We will be accepting donations and having a 50/50 with proceeds also going to a family going through the transplant process.” 

There will be info on Liver Disease and Organ and Tissue Donation to raise awareness.

“We would love to see as many people as possible with your #doit4craiger shirts or wear green to show your support. Hope to see everyone there!”

For more info on the tournament, check out the Facebook page. 


The Transplant Advocate Association is a charitable group, whose members are comprised primarily of organ and tissue recipients, donors, and caregivers, aims to create awareness of the benefits of organ and tissue donation, and the need to register consent, as well as to support anyone through the transplant process.  

The Transplant Advocate Association members hail from numerous communities from Kingston, west to Cobourg, east to Brockville, and north to Peterborough, Smith Falls and all areas in between. They welcome anyone who may be entering or are already in the transplant process or who may just be interested in organ and tissue donation and helping to create awareness.  

Although they do not dispense medical advice, they can support members emotionally and can help to provide some financial assistance if needed.  
Each April, the group hosts flag raising ceremonies in various communities in support of BeADonor month and Green Shirt Day (April 7) which is the day commemorating Logan Boulet, who died as a result of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team’s bus crash April 6, 2018, and who saved the lives of six people, through the donation of his organs after succumbing to his injuries the following day.   

Year round, the group works to create awareness through information booths and speaking engagements, as well as social media and digital advertising at various locations and events.

In Ontario in 2023, there were 1,200 organ transplants, and 1,800 plus tissue transplants. Every three days in Ontario, someone like Chris, dies waiting for an organ or tissue donation. 

While over 90 per cent of Ontarians are in favour of organ donation, only 35 per cent of them have registered as organ donors.   

Nova Scotia has recently adopted a presumed consent system where anyone who does not wish to be an organ donor must opt out of the process, rather than having to register their consent. 

In the meantime, and in keeping with a saying in the transplant community, “Please don’t take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here!” you can register your consent at www.beadonor.ca/taa_canada and be sure to advise your family members of your intent to donate, so they will be aware of your wishes when the time comes.  

Flag raising ceremonies will take place in the following communities: 

  • Belleville Quinte Sports and Recreation Centre, (happened April 2)
  • Quinte West, Trenton City Hall, April 4, 10 a.m. 
  • Napanee Municipal Building, 99 Advance Ave., April 5, 10:30 a.m.
  • Kingston’s Confederation Park (across from City Hall), April 7, 1 p.m.  

The general public is welcome to attend any of the ceremonies and are invite to sign the petition for a presumed consent system in Ontario.

In addition, and in recognition of BeADonor month, Kingston City Hall will be lit up in green on April 7, Green Shirt Day, and the Bay Bridge in Belleville and Quinte West signs are expected to display green lighting on April 7 as well. 

For further information about TAA and some of its upcoming activities, including a fundraiser for two liver transplant families in the region.

The #DoItForCraiger Memorial Horseshoe Tournament, hosted by the Craig family, will be held on April 27 at the Toledo Royal Canadian Legion.Visit https://www.transplantadvocateassociation.ca, look for the Transplant Advocate Association on Facebook, or email info@transplantadvocateassociation.ca. You can also make a donation to TAA on the website.

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News