The first time Randy walked into his bedroom in his new home he could hardly contain his excitement.
“I went ‘Oh, my god.’ I was almost crying but I didn’t. I was like ‘Yes,’ ” he says, enthusiastically recalling that day in late May. “I loved it, a lot.”
While the bedroom isn’t radically different from the one he occupied in his previous home, it represents a significant milestone in Randy’s life. He got to choose exactly how he wanted the room to be decorated right down to the pink walls, an important and long-held goal of his.
“I like pink a lot. I love it,” he says.
Randy, who has received support from Epic Opportunities since 2001, shared an apartment with his roommate JJ prior to them moving into their new home, a modern, spacious bungalow in Fort Richmond.
While the house offers plenty of additional space and amenities that weren’t available in their previous home, Randy acknowledges he was a little nervous about the move initially.
“I didn’t know the new house or the area so it was a little scary for me at first,” he says, adding he now feels much more comfortable about his new surroundings. “I think everything here is good.”
Randy grew up in Winnipeg and attended Grant Park High School where he was bitten by the acting bug. He has taken part in several theatrical productions and continues to act to this day.
His love of performing isn’t confined to the stage. Two years ago he joined the Central Cheer cheerleading program. He became interested in cheerleading after attending a Winnipeg Blue Bombers game a few years ago where he was intrigued by the performance of the CFL club’s cheer and dance team.
Since then he has become one of Central Cheer’s most dedicated members and has performed at everything from last year’s Grey Cup festivities here in Winnipeg to this year’s Red River Ex.
“It’s fun. I enjoy every bit of it,” he says. “I really like the competitions, especially when we win a competition. People cheer us on and take pictures. It’s very exciting.”
One of the most rewarding aspects of being part of the cheer squad, Randy says, is all the new friends he has made as a result.
That doesn’t come as much of a surprise to people who know him.
“He’s a real people person. He makes friends all over the place,” says Mallory Mitchell, a coordinator with Epic Opportunities who has worked with Randy for several years. “He’s a charmer and he gets to know a lot of people.”
In addition to his passion for cheer, Randy is an avid arts and crafts enthusiast and hopes to one day study the art of clowning. He also attends Sunday services at his local church where he is a regular volunteer.
Two of the most important people in his life are his foster parents, Mavis and Ron, who moved to B.C. several years ago. While he misses them dearly, Randy says he has never given any thought to leaving Winnipeg.
“It’s my home and I don’t want to leave my home. I love every bit of it here.”