January 2018

"Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier." ~Author Unknown

The idea was not ours. Corporal Nick Kerr came up with the idea  of a 'challenge coin', as only he could.  Nick is a living hero. He served in the Afghan war. He saw a lot of things that he would like to forget. And he attended the funerals of eight of his fellow service friends. Eight. One of them was his best friend, James Arnal. 

We  have seen a lot of Corporal Kerr at our public tree plantings in the last couple of years. He  has driven himself from Ottawa on several occasions now, just to plant trees with us. "I  do this to help deal with my sense of loss" he explains. Nick has been diagnosed with PTSD and  is finding his own, effective ways to deal with it. Planting trees is one. It is a privilege to plant  trees with Nick and now I count him as a special friend, one of a few that I have made since  engaging in the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign. Through his experiences at our public tree  plantings, Nick has found hope.


After a successful campaign to sell Canada 150 trees last year we were looking for a new idea that would engage Canadians in our efforts. Something that reflects our commitment to the Canadian military while acknowledging the great, positive environmental impact of planting two million trees on and near the highway.

In the Canadian military a challenge coin is awarded for outstanding acts of duty. As Nick explains, "It is somewhere between a pat on the back and an official military metal." Many people in military service carry these coins with them everywhere they go. Sometimes they are exchanged between military personnel and on occasion a challenge coin will be offered up when off duty, while enjoying a beer or similar libation. If no one else at the table has a service coin, the person who has one is given a drink. If someone places a coin on the table that is of higher rank, that person is bought a drink.

We are not endorsing using our challenge coins to lever drinks from your friends, but we are suggesting that the idea of the coin has special significance to everyone who donates $150 or more. This coin is a token of our thanks for taking a crucial step in supporting our troops: the fallen, the volunteers of the past and our military personnel today.

This is our way of saying thank YOU for your commitment. Thank YOU for spreading the word about the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign. Each coin is numbered and only 500 of them were minted. To date we have sold almost 200. I would advise that you get your order in soon if you would like one. Or more.

Like planting trees to honour friends and our fallen, this challenge coin is a symbol of the triumph of hope.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Cullen
Project Lead & Co-Founder, 
Highway of Heroes Living Tribute

Last August, golf tournament attendee Joe Lynch bought a native sugar maple tree at the event's silent  auction. 

Thanks to Michael LaPorte, from Clearview Nursery, for sending this photo of Joe beside his newly planted tree. 

In the Spring, watch for details on the 2018 Tournament which is returning to the Port Hope Golf and Country Club.

Save the date! 
August 23, 2018
Name:  Private Clyde Gladwin Kent

Unit: Canadian Infantry (Sask. Regiment)

Deceased: Age 18, November 10, 1917


The remembrance and holiday season saw hundreds of donations coming in for the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign.  A special thanks to all those who gave the gift of remembrance by making a donation in someone else's honour, or in their name.

Christmas card provided by CC Planning Group in Georgetown, ON, in lieu of gifts for their clients.


Y ou continue to share stories of friends and family members who served in the Canadian Armed Forces - some making the ultimate sacrifice.  We honour those specifically named with a donation in November/December.

Donations recognizing service in the Canadian Armed Forces: 
Serena Frances Hanley-Renner and Paul Christopher Renner (Royal Canadian Navy)
MWO Daniel C. Lamoureux, serving member in the CF since 1986
Walter Frederick Sporne 125th Overseas Battalion C.E.F
John Malnick, 34 years of service in the Canadian Forces and RCMP
Lance Corporal William James Knight of the South Saskatchewan Regiment killed at Dieppe France August 19 1942.
Charles Jones, 124th Pioneer Battalion, KIA on July 25, 1917 on the outskirts of Lens and buried in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, just south of Souchez, France
Flight Sergeant Donald Leslie Ballingall, Bomber Command, KIA March 1942
Corporal Tyler Crooks
Frank Richardson one of the first 500 in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment
LCdr/Capc Hubert Tong
James LeBlanc, Nova Scotia Regiment
Major Gavin Rainnie, Killed on Juno Beach Dday June 6, 1944
Jack and Pauline Harder (nee Spencer), WWII veterans
Vernon Kenneth Shortreed Royal Canadian Regiment killed in Korea Oct. 17,1952
Capt. Frank Wencel CD
Rfn Jack Hadley, QOR
Roy Ferris, Devils Brigade, WWII

Donations made in honour or appreciation of:
William James Robinson & Angus John MacLeod
Ellwood Harold Butler