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Corporate Crusaders

Imagine you are purchasing a new bike at Bow Cycle in Calgary, Alberta and the clerk asks you “would you like to donate a dollar to the Huntington Society of Canada?”

Imagine you hear an ad on the radio for a big run happening in Toronto this December that says it is organized by the Running Room in support of the Huntington Society of Canada.

How would you feel?

Well, there is no need to imagine these scenarios, because they are very real.

HSC is lucky to have many generous, kind corporate partners, including Bow Cycle and the Running Room!

John Franzky, the Co-Owner of Bow Cycle in Calgary, got his store involved in fundraising for HSC through their 60th Anniversary campaign in 2017.

“Our 50th celebration was a big party. We had planned to do the same for our 60th, but once the group talked more about it we thought why not fundraise instead?” says John

The staff then picked three charities they would like the fundraising to benefit. The first one they picked was HSC because HD being in John’s business partner’s family. They then included two other local charities, Wellspring Calgary (a Cancer Outreach Centre) and Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families Adaptive Bike Program.

The bike shop then began a year-long campaign full of counter donation requests, 50/50 ticket selling at bike races, a silent auction at their customer appreciation event and a final big poker night. Through the year campaign, John and his team raised almost $24,000 for HSC!

Ed Mark, Toronto Area Running Room Event Manager

Back in Ontario, Ed Mark is the Toronto Area Event Manager at the Running Room and has been supporting HSC for nine years. Ed has been involved ever since Tim, from the Toronto Chapter, approached him to put on a run/walk fundraiser in June. Ed enjoyed working with Tim and the HD community so much, he continued the partnership by donating the proceeds of the Running Room’s December Resolution Run to HSC as well.

“In working with Tim, I found the people, families and supporters of the Huntington Society to be great people and a joy to work with,” says Ed. “I did not know anything about HD when I first started. The HSC has been great to work with and have given our Resolution Run support that we couldn’t do without. It has been a great relationship that I am happy to continue.”

For anyone interested in approaching businesses for a corporate sponsorship, John insists it is all about the connections. “If you have that direct relationship with a cause and a business, it makes it easier to establish the connection. It also makes it more meaningful for the business when they know of that relationship.”

But he warns that planning corporate partnerships takes time. “Start sooner rather than later! It’s better for the business and the charity to be able to breathe a sigh of relief a few weeks before the event than to be rushing the days before.”

Ed agrees and says the key is to begin small, “Start simple. Learn from your efforts and grow from there. HSC will be there to back you.”

National Volunteer Week is April 15-21. We are taking the time to celebrate and thank all of our dedicated volunteers in the HD community! We appreciate the contributions of time and effort from all of our incredible volunteers.

Click here to read more volunteer profiles.

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