About the Raymond Dietrich Memorial BBQ

The Raymond Dietrich Memorial BBQ is a yearly event put on in memory of Elmira local Raymond Dietrich, to raise money for community and special needs programs in the area.

This event started in 2017, and with the generous support of local sponsors, volunteers, and the community who supports it, funds in excess of $50 000 have been directed to local programs and organizations that benefit those in need. Please visit our ‘Past Events’ (link) to learn about those beneficiaries.

About Ray

Raymond Dietrich was born in 1963 the eighth child in a family of nine children on a dairy farm outside of St. Clements. Raymond lived with Down Syndrome.

Raymond lived, went to school, and flourished with the help and support of family and a community that values diversity and inclusion. Elmira District Community Living was integral to his growth, development, and vibrant life. Raymond lived his last years in the Assisted Living Center in Elmira cared for by family and EDCL staff until his passing in 2011.

Raymond was a fun-loving, social guy who lived for a party and a good time! He attended school in Elmira where he flourished and met friends that he kept for life. Here he had the opportunity to get involved in sports. He played floor hockey, he swam and bowled. He loved all sports, wrestling, baseball, hockey. The Maple Leafs and the WWF never had a bigger fan. Raymond loved to dance; always the first on the dance floor and the last to leave it. The Chicken Dance was one of his favorites and break dancing was his specialty.

His spirit and smile were infectious, and he inspired others. He and his family exemplified inclusion at a time when exclusion was the norm. In honour of Raymond, the Dietrich's remain active in the special needs community and this annual RDM Barbecue Fundraiser is a living example of that support of a community that supported Raymond and others in need.

Beneficiaries and Organizations

The Raymond Dietrich Memorial Committee has committed to distribute all funds generated from the BBQ to support Special Needs Charities and Organizations alike. The Woolwich Sun Rays Special Hockey Team will be a primary beneficiary year in and year out, with a second to be named each year.

  • The Woolwich Sun Rays Special Hockey Team

    The Woolwich Sun Rays is a special needs hockey team that formed in 2015 with incredible support from the community and from EDCL. The Sun Rays team players live with some form of developmental disability and range in age from 6 to 52. There are about 20 players, an energetic coaching staff and many volunteers to support the team and keep them safe.

    Players learn to skate and to play the game of hockey at their own pace in a safe setting where they can have fun and make friends.

    The Sun Rays have ice time once a week when they practice or meet other teams for games. They participate in two tournaments per season, one of which is out of town and players enjoy the fun of hotel stays and socializing with team mates away from home.

  • Sunbeam Community & Developmental Services

    Sunbeam’s goal is to provide individuals with disabilities, who are residing in Waterloo Region, excellent and appropriate dental care in a supportive environment. Sunbeam has chosen to completely renovate and retrofit its specialized dental clinic to provide enhanced infection prevention and control (IPAC) safety standards.

    Many individuals will greatly benefit from receiving their dental treatments in an environment that has been thoughtfully designed to meet their therapeutic and emotional needs while ensuring their safety and comfort.

    Your support of the redevelopment of Sunbeam’s specialized dental clinic will make a meaningful difference in improving the dental health, comfort and wellness, and overall quality of life for the individuals whose dental care needs we support.