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What goes around, comes around

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
Believe it or not, the saying ‘what goes around, comes around’ was popular before Justin Timberlake was even born.

Although the exact origin of the phrase is somewhat of a mystery, this whimsical sentence still ring true to this day and can be summed up in one word: karma. You do something good and you build good karma, do something bad and, well, you get the picture.

Not a believer? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Naysayers gather around, the story of Angela Beckett and Damien Burleigh is sure to convince you otherwise.

Angela, a Ph.D. student researching breast cancer initiation at the BC Cancer Agency, and Damien, a sales consultant for Standard Life Retail Markets, met in the summer of 1999 at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. The bagpiping duo had their first date at Stirling Castle at that time, and in 2006 the couple returned to the infamous battle grounds of Sir William Wallace – better known as Braveheart – for a visit. It was then that Damien dropped to one knee and proposed to Angela.

You guessed it, she said yes.

Fast-forward to 2008 and the pair, who hail from BC and are longtime Canucks fans, is busy putting the finishing touches on their wedding, which will take place on June 21 in Vancouver. The details of their big day aren’t out of the ordinary, they’re planning a medium sized wedding that caters to a relaxed atmosphere and exquisite food, but they are going out on a limb as far as gifts are concerned – they don’t want any. Guests attending the Beckett/Burleigh wedding are instead encouraged to make a donation to Canuck Place Children's Hospice.

“We feel incredibly lucky to be living our lives right now and even luckier to be getting married to each other,” said Angela, who sent out the wedding invitations with the unique donation request at the beginning of March. “We wanted to share our good fortune with others on our wedding day and this is why we chose to have donations in lieu of wedding gifts. It is a fantastic feeling knowing that we can bring happiness to people whom we have never met through our wedding. It means much more to us than any material gift we could be bought and it is a feeling we will remember forever, long after the blenders or toasters are obsolete and replaced.”

It’s true that you can only have so many toasters, but supporting Canuck Place instead of receiving gifts is truly a selfless gesture.

Canuck Place was established in the early 1990s and is today regarded as one of the leading children’s hospices in the world. North America's first free-standing children's hospice provides specialized pediatric palliative care for children living with progressive, life-threatening illnesses.

“We thought it was a fantastic charity that we never had the opportunity to support financially in the past. Looking ahead to the future when we have children, it is reassuring to know that a place like this exists in case anyone in our family should ever require their support. They are bringing comfort to the people who need it most and it is gratifying to be able to support them.”

As heartwarming as it is noble, this gesture makes for a great story in itself. Fortunately for the couple, what goes around, comes around, and good karma found its way back to Angela and Damien.

The pair was in attendance for Vancouver’s final game of the 2007-08 season, and just like they always do at Canucks games, they bought a few 50/50 tickets.

You guessed it, they won.

“Our reaction was complete and utter disbelief!” said Angela. “We kept staring at the ticket and then back at the screen with the number on it. We did not really believe it until we got to guest services and they congratulated us on winning. Damien was so excited he slept in his jersey that night! It still feels like a bit of a dream.”

Lucky ticket number 3727712 won the couple just under $30,000, the majority of which they are spending on their wedding.

“It was the best wedding present we could have ever asked for and think it was really a bit of good karma.”

Looks like what goes around really does come back around.

For more information on Canuck Place Children's Hospice, please click here.

1 - Las Vegas is the most popular city in the world to
get married
1999 - Year Angela and Damien met

2006 - Year Damien proposed

7043 - Kilometers between Vancouver and Glasgow, Scotland

115,000 - Estimated number of weddings each day throughout the world

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