On November 15, Team 4 Hope was awarded the Generosity of Spirit Award from The Association of Fundraising Professionals at The Empress Hotel. The event was an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of giving and all that it has made possible. It is a chance to celebrate the endless daily contributions individuals and organizations make, here in our community and beyond, to countless causes and missions. The guests were welcomed by Sarah Black, President, AFP-Vancouver Island and Bruce Williams of CTV Vancouver Island was the Master of Ceremonies.
Guest Speakers were Diane and Ella Lloyd, Angela and Lily Cote, who gave a lively talk about how they came to start the very first worldwide 100 Girls that Care. http://100girlsvictoria.ca Their mission is to inspire girls to come together to make a difference! #givelikeagirl Love it! The first two awards of the night were to Youth in Philanthropy. Andrei Marti who is 6 years old was awarded the 5-10 year old category for his work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He had the best quote of the night. When Andrei was told at the hospital by a doctor when he was diagnosed with Diabetes that “there will be no cure in my lifetime” Andrei replied, “Well there will be in mine!” The Edward Milne Community School Leadership Class was awarded the 11-18y old category. These kids spearheaded a school district wide food drive called 10 000 Tonight in which the raised over 12 000 food items for the Sooke Food bank in 4 hours! This in addition to numerous other fundraisers for their area. It is so refreshing to see these young people not only engaging but also changing their communities for the good of all.
The Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award was awarded to Gerry McQuade, who after being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer spearheaded a new frontier for the Island Prostate Centre in the way they rely on funds and has been a board member for the last 6 years. The Provincial Employees Community Services Fund was the recipient of the Philanthropic Service Club Award. They were started 50 years ago and have granted $45 million to over 900 charitable organizations throughout BC. Lastly the Victoria Times Colonist was awarded the Corporate Responsibility Award who have been a long standing and very generous supporter to so many charities in Victoria. Our favourite Jack Knox was in attendance as “eye-candy”! http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/times-colonist-saluted-for-community-philanthropy-1.2789729
It was a GREAT honour to be in the company of such amazing individuals and corporations that night. Team 4 Hope is the true definition of “team”. We have worked together for many years to help others who are unable to by themselves. There is a very long list of thank you’s to all the people that make this happen and we are so grateful that you do the things you do to make our mission possible. When we first started trying to fund Neuroblastoma Research it was hard to find researcher to give money to!! With a lot perseverance and a great amount of effort from BC Children’s Hospital Foundation we were able to start something new and it is continuing to grow with our latest project Development of Patient Derived Xenografts for Neuroblastoma Research. This is a 2 year $100 000 project in which the ultimate goal is to make primary NB samples a less limiting resource in research. The availability of primary NB tissue at CFRI will make a significant contribution to the clinical relevance of our ongoing NB studies and would provide the critical material for the development of new research areas. By facilitating a broad, group-wide interrogation of pathway dysregulation in primary NB cells, this project has significant potential to identify novel cellular targets that could be leveraged for further funding and ultimately be pursued for clinical benefit.
We would also like to acknowledge The Victoria Foundation for whom we have worked with for the last 3 years. The Victoria Foundation is a community foundation and a registered charity accredited by Imagine Canada. By connecting visionary donors with causes that truly matter, they are able to invest in people, projects and non-profit organizations that make our communities stronger – now and for the long-term. The Victoria Foundation been doing so since 1936. A gift to the Victoria Foundation makes a difference to the communities we serve now and in perpetuity.
Here is a copy of our acceptance speech:
Thank you to the AFP and to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation for their nomination. I believe most people who get involved in philanthropy do so because of personal experience. In 2001, our 2 year old son, Jordan, went from a happy, healthy little boy to one with Stage IV NB. With this diagnosis we were given only hope for survival. In our case, hope won. Our family and Jordan’s survival of that diagnosis caused us to evaluate what was being done to improve the odds for survival of kids with NB. We were shocked to find a lack of meaningful research due to a shortage of funding to develop better treatment options and better outcomes and we felt a need to do something more. Team for Hope seemed an appropriate name for our fundraising to this end.
Our Team for Hope includes members and volunteers from the lower island, the mainland, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Our total fundraising to date is over $330 000. Most importantly we have been able to work with the doctors and researchers at BCCH, the Michael Smith Genome Institute and the BC Cancer agency to fund 3 different NB projects. Our most recent project is just being announced and is establishing a new technique called patient-derived xenografts(PDX) which would provide the means to expand samples, allowing primary tumor cells to be used the research of a significantly greater number of investigators. This project has potential beyond CFRI as samples then can be made available to all researchers. This project has significant potential to identify novel cellular targets that could be leveraged for further funding and ultimately be pursued for clinical benefit.
We have met with families here on the Island and the mainland that have children newly diagnosed with NB. We have endeavored to support them in a situation with an overwhelming diagnosis. They can meet our son, Jordan, who is now 17y old and will be graduating from high school in the spring. There are not very many survivors for the families to meet. We have offered support to help them remain as a family. This support for families has included a trip to Tofino with specialized wheelchairs, private trips to the local firehall, the observatory and organization of a graduation night for a teenager who passed away before starting grade 12. We have given financial aid to families travelling out of province for treatment. We have also provided financial aid to families to just simply be able to pay the rent while they stay with their child in the hospital. Finally, our team has also filled the treasure chest at the Victoria oncology clinic.
We are able to do these things through donations by family and friends. Additionally we have two major events, Handbags for Hope in February held here at the Empress for the last 5 years and Touch a Truck a family event at Panorama Recreation Centre in May. You can learn more about them on our Team for Hope website. Finally, our team has raised money through participation in running events and collection of pledges for completion of the goal of finishing an event.
For the last 3 years we have decorated a Tree of Gold at the festival of trees and every year the oncology kids and staff at VGH decorate new Christmas balls one for each new child in Victoria diagnosed with Cancer. Incredibly there are now over 100 ornaments as every year another 6-10 children here are diagnosed. Every year I also make 3-4 gold angels for those children who have died. We do not see how we can stop children from being diagnosed with cancer but we are doing our best to support research to reduce the number of little angels being hung on the tree every year.
Thank you again for this award, and thank you to my wonderful family and friends who have helped out with so many things – mainly being there to support our vision and goals of Team for Hope.