Earl McRae Award

Earl McRae an award-winning Sun columnist died of a heart attack in the newsroom Oct. 15 2011 as he worked away on deadline writing the lead story of the day.

Not a writer himself, Stephen Dinelle Vice President AED Authority Canada figured out the perfect way to pay tribute to McRae — something practical, something thoughtful and generous.

A former paramedic with over 22 years on the road, AED Authority Canada — an Ottawa-based centre of expertise and excellence of automatic external defibrillator, training and Public Access Programs decided to donate one to the Sun in memory of Earl — someone who was a part of his morning routine for as long as he can remember.

“One of those things where I sit down in the morning before going into work and having my cup of coffee, starting off my day with a real good chuckle,” he said. “Earl was notorious for bringing us all back to where we needed to be. He had that ability to kind of centre me for the day.”

Together with his partner,James wood President decided the donation was fitting not only due to Earl’s influence in the community, but also because of how he died.

“I think this community needs to reach out to the Sun and say — you know what — you guys lost one. We need to do something to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Dinelle said.