The Watering Hole Blog

Media Release Dec 2nd, 2008

December 2, 2008
For Immediate Release

Local Author Gives Hope to Bringing Emergency Services Personnel Home Safe

Calgary, AB — Car crashes, drunk drivers, fires, abuse and violence all increase during the holiday season and emergency services personnel (ESP) and their families are often looking for a little hope amidst the tragedies and dangers they face.

“During the holidays, celebrations can often be overshadowed with concern when family members are out on emergency calls. It can be very difficult to cope with those feelings,” explains Maryanne Pope, CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and no stranger to loss. Her husband was Cst John Petropoulos of the Calgary Police Service. John died after falling through a false ceiling during the investigation of a break and enter complaint, as there was no safety railing in place.

Pope’s company produces workplace safety public service announcements, educational films and plays, and now a new book to draw the public’s attention to the role they can play in helping ensure ESP make it home safely after every shift. Pope is hoping she can inspire optimism and create awareness this Christmas by sharing the intimate details of her personal loss with her book A Widow’s Awakening.

One reader, married to a firefighter, wrote: “This unforgettable book made me feel that although there are dangers faced by emergency workers, everyone has the same right to safety. The threats emergency workers face can be reduced.”

An engaging and powerful read, A Widow’s Awakening is an uplifting story that awakens hope for those who may need it this Christmas. 20% of the proceeds are donated to the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund, a non-profit organization that raises public awareness about workplace safety for ESP. The Fund focuses on both building and traffic safety, including the ‘Slow Down and Give Us Room to Work’ message to motorists.

Maryanne Pope is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc. and the Board Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. Her products are available online at,, and her book is available at and in select bookstores. To view the book’s promo kit, please click here.


To book an interview,
please contact:

Ian Wilson
Managing Director
John Petropoulos Memorial Fund

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