Dionne Izzard is the manager of Annual Giving at the IWK Foundation
It’s like saying goodbye to an old friend. The last weekend in June, Medavie Blue Cross held their 15th and final Canoe Challenge in support of the IWK Health Centre Foundation and Ronald McDonald House, and it was the most successful year ever!
The day was packed with activities for kids, beach volleyball, tug-of-war and of course the canoe challenge. Every race – with the exception of the final two – had a boat tip in the water. Funland was jammed packed with families and kids having a wonderful time.
Debbie Dumaresq, the honorary chair of Telethon 2010, gave an inspiring speech at the opening ceremony about the effects of philanthropy. She spoke about how each oar stroke creates a ripple effect in the water just like the work they do for the Canoe Challenge has a ripple effect in their communities.
Quite a big ripple, in fact. More than 500 participants, including 300 team members and 200 volunteers donated their time and energy to the event, working hard and having fun to ensure the event would go out with a big splash.
Before the race, the dedicated volunteer committee that plans the event agreed that if we reached $75,000 we would all jump in the lake. Well… the total came in at $120,000 — so in the lake we went. It was chilly but worth the dip for all the hard work the teams put in! This makes an astounding $1.5 million raised by the Medavie Blue Cross Canoe Challenge since its beginning.
Team Encana took top fundraising prize raising more than $50,000. Shelly Best, the team’s captain, raised more than $40,000 herself, by hosting an event called “Shave or Save.” She looks good nearly bald.
For the teams who have been participating for 15 years, like King Insurance who won the final race, and Charlotte’s Champions (the Medavie Blue Cross team), it was sad to say good bye to this event. As sad as they are to say good-bye, so are we at the IWK Foundation, but you have more than fulfilled your promise. Thank-you.