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Chance Cove mental health advocate advances from social media platform to TIFF red carpet

Hooper and Constantina Ellinas, communications manager for Kids Help Phone on the red carpet for a premiere at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. CONTRIBUTED
Hooper and Constantina Ellinas, communications manager for Kids Help Phone on the red carpet for a premiere at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. CONTRIBUTED - Contributed

Stephen Hooper tells his story for Kids Help Phone at Toronto International Film Fest

TORONTO, Ont. —

Stephen Hooper of Chance Cove has been long recognized for his work with Kids Help Phone. However, his visit to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is unlike anything he’s experienced before.
The young man, who has used his social media platform to advocate for services like Kids Help Phone — including sharing his own story of growing up in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, was invited to speak at a special TIFF engagement earlier this month.
At a fundraiser for Kids Help Phone, hosted by The Source, Hooper gave a speech about the importance of mental health resources, especially in isolated areas.
“A lot of people who were attending were major donors for Kids Help Phone,” said Hooper.
He said he was able to thank many of those in attendance for their generous donations. They raised $170,000 that evening for the organization.
In addition, Hooper was able to walk the red carpet at the film fest, and watched a screening of the Australian film, “True History of the Kelly Gang”.
Hooper said the experience, meeting the cast, producers and many more people involved with the film, was surreal. He enjoyed asking the behind-the-scenes people about their motivations and why they’re interested in filmmaking.
“I feel like I was emotional for 98 per cent of it,” he said.
“I was super blessed to be there.”
Hooper said he was proud to represent Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Kids Help Phone, on the red carpet at such a major film fest.
“An event that I’ve wanted to go to for so long, to be able to go there and talk about something that’s so important—I’m super grateful.”

Jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca
Twitter: @jejparsons

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