Tundra Process Solutions Ltd.

Tundra Process Solutions Ltd.
Community-Minded Company

When you think of tundra, you typically think: “Vast rocky terrain in the frozen hinterlands—cold winds and permafrost.” But there’s another kind of Tundra in North America that’s a whole lot warmer, a lot more fun and definitely a lot more charitable.

Tundra Process Solutions Ltd. joined Kids Cancer Care in 2010 as a community fundraising partner and has given with gusto ever since. Specializing in industrial equipment solutions for companies across western Canada, Tundra manages to build fun and friendship into everything they do. Their work-hard, play-hard attitude has seen the company grow 50 per cent every year for the past decade. They are the seventh fastest growing company in Canada today.

Fortunately for Kids Cancer Care, successful fundraising seems to come as naturally to Tundra as hard work and serious play.

“We’ve always been a community-minded company,” says Iggy Domagalski, partner and chief operating officer at Tundra. “And a few years ago, we were looking for a charity to support. It had to be a local children’s charity that could really engage our staff and give them a chance to make a meaningful contribution. Kids Cancer Care was a perfect choice.”

Since then, Tundra has become a major fundraising force for children with cancer. They annually host ugly sweater days, curling bonspiels, indoor rock climbing events and Stampede ho-downs. With matching gifts from the company, Tundra’s 200-strong team has raised $100,000 for Kids Cancer Care.

Tundra has also donated significant amounts of time and equipment to a large heating project at Camp Kindle. Valued at $25,000, the new heating and ventilation systems will ensure our campers stay warm at night and provide a safe and warm indoor space where they can play all year long.

Their philanthropic spirit has not gone unnoticed. Giving at least one per cent of their profits to charity, Tundra is an official Imagine Caring Company.

“Tundra is an ideal community partner,” says Jill Miller, manager of community and signature fundraising events at Kids Cancer Care. “They have literally given across all areas of the foundation. And they’re amazing to work with.”

Tundra even manages to help Kids Cancer Care, while building up Tundra employees. They rented Camp Kindle for their 2015 staff teambuilding retreat, where any profit generated from the rental goes toward our cancer camp programs.

But that’s not all.

Iggy took part in the 2015 High Hopes Challenge, raising over $20,700 doubling his $10,000 fundraising goal, before he and the other challengers headed for Camp Kindle to master the challenge course with their kid coaches.

Iggy is also an active member of the Kids Cancer Care Board of Directors, where he is the volunteer chair of our fundraising committee. As a member of the board, Iggy and the other board members are responsible for the financial oversight and strategic direction of the foundation.

“When we came to Kids Cancer Care in 2010, we were looking for a partnership, something where we could be fully integrated with the charity’s mission,” says Iggy. “We originally chose Kids Cancer Care because they met certain criteria, but we stay because of who they are as an organization. We share the same culture of fun and our staff has really identified with their work and cause.”

Indeed, even children of Tundra staff are getting involved. In 2014, eight-year-old Kaydence asked her friends to donate money to Kids Cancer Care in lieu of birthday gifts. The daughter of Casi Simcoe, an accountant at Tundra, little Kaydence raised $110 to help kids with cancer.

And, of course, Tundra matched every dollar she raised.

This post also appears on our blog, with more photos.

Trico Homes

Trico Homes
Sponsor, Community Partner, Supporter

“I ask myself sometimes in difficult moments: ‘What would Edyn do? How would Edyn handle this?’ I believe this is what Edyn would do. She would reach out and help others. To remember Edyn is to keep her spirit alive and this head shave in her name for other kids with cancer is the perfect way to do it.”

Those were the words of thirteen-year-old Cole Pederson, before the kickoff event for the Bishop Pinkham Junior High Shave Your Lid for a Kid® event in memory of one of his best friends, Edyn. In the coming weeks, our staff would find themselves both blown away by the fundraising support for Kids Cancer Care and overwhelmed by the sheer number of students whose heads we had to shave. We were given a window of two hours to shave or cut the hair of 100 students, teachers and parents. And we had to keep a gymnasium full of junior high students engaged in the event. The largest school event previous to this had less than half the participants. How were we going to make this happen?

Shave Your Lid for a Kid® show children facing cancer that they are not alone, all while raising vital funds for initiatives like research to change the course of the disease. “Shavees” as we call them come together in a community of support.

Our presenting sponsor of Shave Your Lid for a Kid®, Trico Homes, is very familiar with building communities. Founder Wayne Chiu has always known that his company is more than building the physical structure of a house.

Trico believes in building community. “When you build with us you quickly become part of the Trico family. We keep in touch with our homeowners and try to provide great incentives and opportunities for them to move up within Trico – from condos to semi-estate homes.” says Wanda Palmer, Vice President of Marketing for Trico Homes. “We also want to create housing options to meet the needs of all Calgarians. Trico recently broke ground on a new project that will provide new affordable and accessible living options in an inner city community. Social entrepreneurship is one of Wayne’s passions and this thinking has contributed to shaping the culture of Trico Homes.”

It was this passion that brought Wayne into his first meeting with Kids Cancer Care founder and CEO Christine McIver in 1999. After finding out that the children of two of his business contacts had been diagnosed with cancer, he knew he had to do something.

“Wayne wanted no fanfare. He just wanted to help,” says Christine. “One of his employees suggested doing a motorcycle ride to raise money. In the inaugural year of Ride for a Lifetime, Wayne sponsored every rider for $1000.” A Kids Cancer Care signature event for 10 years and now a third party fundraising initiative, the Ride for a Lifetime has since raised over $2.6 million for pediatric cancer research programs.

For almost two decades, Trico has been heavily involved behind the scenes in Kids Cancer Care’s growth. Trico Homes has been the presenting sponsor of the Shave Your Lid for a Kid® since its inception in 1999. After sponsoring Ride for a Lifetime for a number of years, when Kids Cancer Care began supporting childhood cancer research, Wayne committed to giving $100,000 a year to research. Trico then became the presenting sponsor of the Don, Joanne and the Coach Golf a Kid to Camp tournament. When Kids Cancer Care began exploring the possibility of running Camp Kindle as a social enterprise, the Trico Foundation gave Camp Kindle its first grant.

Christine says, “They gave us the courage to add the pillar of research to our organization, they gave us the courage to embark on a new signature event, Ride for a Lifetime, and the courage to start a social enterprise with Camp Kindle rentals. The impact of Trico Homes on Kids Cancer Care far surpasses their financial commitments. You don’t get a community without family and Trico is definitely a part of our family.”

You can always count on family to be there for you at every major milestone and event. 

“Our staff really appreciate going out to volunteer at head shaves and the golf tournament,” says Wanda Palmer. “I send an email and almost immediately, the volunteer spots are filled.”

Wanda herself is one of these volunteers. Wanda volunteered to represent Trico Homes at a High Hopes Challenge, raising over $10,500 for Kids Cancer Care, and being paired with a bereaved sibling to experience a week of camp in one day.

Everyone at Trico Homes is given the chance to volunteer and participate. They mandate sending different staff, from all departments and seniority levels, to the Don, Joanne and the Coach Golf a Kid to Camp tournament each year. Everyone is given the chance to experience the Kids Cancer Care community.

So in April 2015, in the Bishop Pinkham gymnasium, when faced with the largest event in the 17-years of Shave Your Lid for a Kid®, there were some familiar faces in the crowd. As they always were, no matter the size of the event, Trico employees were there to help. We put them to work handing out goodies to all the shavees and we even encouraged them to partake in the flash mob!

Trico Homes knows how important volunteering and seeing the return on their social investment has on their employees. Kids Cancer Care is so grateful to Wayne, Wanda and the entire team at Trico Homes for their continued dedication to families affected by childhood cancer!

This post also appears on our blog, with more photos.

Tony Dilwari

Tony Dilwari
Sponsor, Fundraiser, Champion

When Tony Dilawri was invited to be one of 12 corporate challengers in Kids Cancer Care’s High Hopes Challenge, his first question was, “What’s the most you’ve ever raised?” Then he promised to double it.

You could say Tony Dilawri has a knack for doubling, redoubling and generally increasing results. When Dilawri Group of Companies first signed on as the presenting sponsor of the Dad and Daughter Gala in 2011, the event was raising $114,000. Five years later, the gala is now raising $450,000.

But the Dad and Daughter Gala isn’t only a financial success. It’s one of Calgary’s hottest events, selling out in less than a minute every year.

“The growth of the Dad and Daughter Gala has everything to do with Tony,” says Christine McIver, founder and chief executive officer of Kids Cancer Care. “Tony has incredible focus and drive and when he commits to something, he commits completely—heart and soul.”

Tony is the same in business.

Following in the footsteps of his father, who owned a small GM dealership in Ottawa, Tony and his brothers Ajay and Kap opened their first dealership in 1985. Since that time, Dilawri Group of Companies has grown into Canada's largest automotive group with 58 franchised dealerships, representing 31 automotive brands, throughout central and western Canada.

“We learned from our father,” says Tony. “He was a mechanic from India who came to Canada in the ‘60s. He was the entrepreneur; my brothers and I put in the technology, the systems and processes to build a national company.”

Watching their father, the Dilawri brothers learned, first and foremost, that business comes down to people. Do right by your customers and employees and your business will naturally flourish.

The Dilawri brothers bring a similar attitude to their philanthropic endeavours. Established in 2002, The Dilawri Foundation has given tens of millions of dollars to charitable causes across Canada.

Kids Cancer Care is one of many charities they support. In addition to the Dad and Daughter Gala, Dilawri Group of Companies is a long-time sponsor of the Don, Joanne and the Coach Golf a Kid to Camp tournament. And this year, Tony raised funds as a challenger in the 2016 High Hopes Challenge.

Tony’s commitment to Kids Cancer Care comes down to the kids.

“There was a young girl from Kelowna named Danielle who spoke at that first gala and she stole my heart like no one has ever done before,” recalls Tony. “The pain she felt as a child, when all she wanted was to be a normal kid. She didn’t hold a grudge; she just kept getting back up every time it knocked her down. She blew me away.”

Danielle Rettie shared her cancer journey with guests at the inaugural Dad and Daughter Gala in 2009 and inspired Tony Dilwari to become more involved with Kids Cancer Care.

Afterwards, Tony approached Danielle and said, “I want to make your life easier. What can I do to help?” Danielle turned down support for herself but asked Tony to invest in other children affected by cancer. Tony has been investing in Kids Cancer Care ever since.

At 26, Danielle Rettie still battles the same disability she talked about in her speech at the gala. Diagnosed with cancer in her spine as an infant, Danielle underwent two spinal surgeries, leaving her left leg much weaker and smaller than her right. As a result, she has an uneven gait, which causes her to fall a lot.

Danielle endured countless surgeries, painful medical procedures and years of physiotherapy. She began each school year in either a cast or a brace. Even today, Danielle suffers from excruciating back pain if she doesn’t keep up with her physio-exercises. But, as Tony noted, Danielle does not feel sorry for herself.

Danielle credits her strength and attitude to cancer camp. Her camp experiences helped her to build her confidence and foster an emotional tenacity that sustains her to this day.

“I’ll always be the girl who had cancer, but at camp, I learned we’re all the same,” says Danielle. “I was six when I first discovered Kids Cancer Care and I was falling all over the place because of the brace on my foot, but really I was falling in love—with camp! Camp made me a normal kid. I didn’t just feel like a normal kid. I was a normal kid. I rock climbed, hiked, camped. I did, and still do, anything my little heart desires.”

Helping young people like Danielle, Dilawri Group of Companies does much more than help the children directly affected by cancer. By building kids up, they set kids up to pay it forward, creating a ripple effect well into the future.

An avid snowboarder now living in Nelson, BC, Danielle cycles everywhere and even cycled in Tour for Kids Alberta, a three-day cycling event that raises money for Kids Cancer Care. Working toward a career in occupational therapy, Danielle looks forward to bringing her can-do attitude to patients with disabilities, so they can also live rich, full lives. 

“My greatest strength is working with people and bringing out the best in them,” says Danielle. “My personal experience with astrocytoma, the endless surgeries, physio and long-term effects has lasted much longer than the cancer itself, but these experiences have made me stronger and more compassionate toward others.”

Thank you Tony and Dilawri Group of Companies for investing in kids like Danielle. By investing in kids today, you’re investing in a better world for tomorrow.

Enerflex

Enerflex
Community Fundraising Partner

“We’re committed to making a meaningful contribution over a long time not just a splash in the pan,”—Brad Beebe, Canadian President, Enerflex

If you work in the oil and gas industry, chances are you’ve crossed paths with the dynamic, customer-focused team at Enerflex Ltd.

What was once a small Calgary shop with a handful of employees 35 years ago is now an international oil and gas service company operating in 17 countries worldwide with 3,200 employees.

There’s no doubt. Enerflex is in for the long haul.

“Our people are our success,” says Canadian president Brad Beebe. “It’s their expertise and commitment that gives us our strong technical reputation and our name for being a strong customer-focused company.”

As Kids Cancer Care’s longest standing community fundraising partner, Enerflex has also demonstrated remarkable staying power for children with cancer.

Carefully selecting a charity partner and staying with that charity is part of the culture of giving at Enerflex. “We tend to focus on a few charity partners, like Kids Cancer Care, and stick with them for the long haul,” says Brad. “We’re committed to making a meaningful contribution over a long time not just a splash in the pan. We’re here to build a legacy of giving.”

And build a legacy they have.

In 1997, when the two organizations first met, Kids Cancer Care was just developing its first SunRise camp program for children ages three to six. The Enerflex donation that year made SunRise possible.

“Enerflex helped us grow,” says Christine McIver, founder and chief executive officer of Kids Cancer Care. “Knowing we could count on their support each year gave us the courage to add new programs and expand.”

Since then, the annual Enerflex Charity Golf Tournament has raised over $1.2 million for Kids Cancer Care’s camp programs and made summer camp possible for thousands of kids.

Once again, Brad credits the success to Enerflex employees: “We never have a shortage of employees and volunteers when it comes to Kids Cancer Care,” he says.

The Enerflex commitment to Kids Cancer Care goes beyond the annual charity golf tournament. Enerflex employees regularly scoop ice cream for kids at Camp Kindle and, last June, 50 employees participated in a Kindle Care Day at camp—lugging boulders, hauling dirt and gravel, painting and landscaping.

As with all things Enerflex, their commitment to Kids Cancer Care comes down to people. “Our motivation is the kids, through good times and bad times,” says Brad. “Kids don’t get to take a year off from cancer when the economy slows down, so we’re staying the course, especially now. We’re committed to seeing Kids Cancer Care succeed and we succeed one kid at a time.”

Bishop Pinkham Junior High School

Bishop Pinkham Junior High School
Shave Your Lid for a Kid® Host

“This has been such an amazing experience for us. That Edyn would be the ‘guest of honour’ for an event of this magnitude has moved us and encouraged us and helped us to keep going. My rose today is all of you; my thorn, as always, is that Edyn isn’t here to participate; and my bud is that your actions today will continue to inspire others as you have inspired us.”

The powerful words from a grieving mom echoed through the school gym. On a normal school day, this gym would be full of the sounds of junior high students; chatting, yelling, with the sound of a basketball bouncing, maybe sneakers pounding on the wood floor. This was no normal school day. This was Edyn's day. Despite being full of kids, the gym was calm, even peaceful, as Kristyn Drever spoke.

On Friday, April 17, 2015 Bishop Pinkham Junior High School students and teachers came together in an act of courage and generosity, when 117 of them participated in a shave fundraising event to honour Edyn Drever, a 12-year-old student who passed away from brain cancer in September 2014. Far surpassing their $20,000 fundraising goal, the students and teachers of Bishop Pinkham have raised more than $90,000, placing them among the top three Shave Your Lid for a Kid® events. 

“This is the largest shave event ever for Kids Cancer Care,” said Megan Gough, who oversaw the Shave Your Lid for a Kid® campaign. “We’ve never had this many individuals participate in one shave event in the entire 17-year-history of the program. It’s a real testament to Edyn and the impression she made on others, and it speaks volumes about the school spirit at Bishop Pinkham.”

After weeks of sudden and unexplained headaches and nausea, Edyn was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive brain cancer that is rarely found in children. Although she endured a nine-hour brain surgery, followed by months of radiation and chemotherapy, the cancer persisted and Edyn passed away at the age of 12.

Inspired by the kind, fun-loving girl, who was wise beyond her years, the students in Edyn’s homeroom class decided to do something meaningful in her name—help children with cancer by shaving their heads and raising funds and awareness for Kids Cancer Care.

Cole Pedersen, one of Edyn’s closest friends, was one of the many students shaving in Edyn’s name. “I ask myself sometimes in difficult moments: ‘What would Edyn do? How would Edyn handle this?’ I believe this is what Edyn would do. She would reach out and help others. To remember Edyn is to keep her spirit alive and this initiative in her name for other kids with cancer is the perfect way to do it.”