Juvenile Attorney Faith Dickinson hosts the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Ceremony at Lakefield College School

LAKEFIELD — Local youth advocate and founder of Cuddles for Cancer, Faith Dickinson, will host a bonfire lighting ceremony at Lakefield College School Thursday night in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

She was also invited to attend the Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday night, a BBC broadcast from Buckingham Palace, London featuring live performances by Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow , George Ezra, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli, Mimi Webb, Sam Ryder, Jax Jones, Celeste, Nile Rodgers, Sigala and Diversity.

She plans to depart on Friday and return on Monday.

A newly appointed member of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, Dickinson, 19, is one of 54 young leaders from each Commonwealth country selected to serve as torchbearers to mark the historic milestone.

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning monarch, is being honored for 70 years on the throne.

Dickinson is representing Canada at the international celebration.

“It is a great honor to be able to host an event celebrating the Queen’s history. I’m excited to be the Canadian representative and I promise the love from Canada will be shared,” Dickinson said.

The Lakefield College School Sunset Ceremony with 70 students and the Rock Choir will be held on the school’s shore on Katchewanooka Lake.

Dickinson, who just completed her sophomore year at the University of Ottawa, grew up in Lakefield and graduated from Lakefield College School in 2020.

About 50 guests are expected, including some of Dickinson’s former teachers and classmates.

As host of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Youth Beacon Lighting, Dickinson will make a “grand entrance” before lighting the beacon. Youth representatives across the Commonwealth will do the same on Thursday.

Hosting the ceremony at her hometown school makes the honor all the more special, Dickinson said.

“I’m experiencing this big moment with my former teachers and colleagues, as well as my supporters and some volunteers. Celebrating with them means the world to me. It just brings everything together perfectly,” Dickinson said.

Founded by Dickinson when he was nine, Cuddles for Cancer is celebrating its 10th anniversary. What began as a summer project has now brought more than 9,500 blankets into the hands of those in need in more than 50 countries around the world.

When Dickinson isn’t delivering blankets to patients in hospitals in Canada, England and Scotland, she’s visiting schools to instill passion and leadership in young people.

As the host of Thursday’s ceremony, she is delighted to be part of a celebration that recognizes the service of Queen Elizabeth II while also spotlighting young leaders around the world.

“My motto is: You’re never too young to make a difference, locally or globally,” she said.

Dickinson is working to bring Cuddles for Cancer to the UK, Australia, Greece and other countries.

Brendan Burke is a reporter with the Examiner. Its reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative. You can reach him at [email protected].

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