(News Release) VICTORIA — Each year, National Philanthropy Day recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations in our community that are making a difference in the lives of others. By ‘changing the world with a giving heart’, these local philanthropists have been named as the top three finalist in six award categories for this year’s National Philanthropy Day awards:
Generosity of Spirit Award, presented by the United Way of Greater Victoria
Andrew D. Beckerman
Since moving to Victoria in 2005, Andrew has pursued a volunteer career that has allowed him to engage with issues that define the struggles too many Victorians still face on a daily basis: poverty; discrimination; hunger; illness; lack of housing; and opportunity to live as they might wish. Andrew has been a community leader all his adult life, lending his time, energy, board expertise, and significant financial support to numerous organizations. Although ‘retired,’ Andrew volunteers extensively where he engages in local social justice issues.
The Chwyl Family
Upon his retirement in 2001, Ed and Mary Chwyl and their three children moved from Calgary to Victoria. The family’s quiet philanthropy has transformed many lives and a multitude of organizations and has inspired many others to do the same. In addition, the Chwyl family has devoted thousands of hours of personal time and expertise to support the many causes that are close to their hearts. Now that Ed and Marys’ children are all attending university, the empty nesters plan to travel extensively.
Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award, presented by the Coast Capital Savings
Mailman Family/Seymour Pacific Developments
Imbedded in the Mailman Family’s vision for their company is the family’s commitment to volunteerism and a strong desire to build community through social innovation and philanthropy. The Mailman’s takes great pride in giving back to the Campbell River community by contributing time, funds, education and materials to many local organizations. The family puts their values, work ethics and hearts on their sleeves to improve not just their local community but also all the communities that their staff and clients live in. They would like to thank-you for this nomination; “it has been so special to be recognized for doing what we love”.
Doug and Debra Vincent
For over 30 years the Vincent Family has understood the importance of philanthropy and giving back to causes that affect the health and emotional wellbeing of British Columbians. Through their family owned business Bridge Systems, the Vincent’s have initiated several employee based fundraising activities. In every philanthropic effort the Vincent’s become involved with, they demonstrate true philanthropic behavior, always offering to make a financial contribution while also giving of their time.
An experienced entrepreneur, Steve Clark has become a valuable fundraising resource for several organizations in Victoria. Not only volunteering of his time, Steve encourages others to follow in his philanthropic footprints. Steve has served as a director on numerous boards and committees and continues to act in a fundraising advisory role for several organizations.
Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club Award, presented by AFP Vancouver Island
Rotary Club of Sidney by the Sea
“Service above self” is motto of Rotary International. The 52 members of the Rotary Club of Sidney by the Sea have busy work lives; however, their local fund-raising activities funds have supported causes that have the power to change lives.
Recent projects include the North Saanich Free Ride Bicycle Park, the new water spray park in Iroquois Park, and the purchase of a trailer to support Panorama Recreation Centre’s Play in the Park Program.
Internationally, they make ongoing contributions to Rotary’s Polio Eradication Effort, Shelterbox, and Project Unity. Larger projects include improvements to the Malawi Girls School, a Therapeutic pool in Brazil, the Tanzania Malaria Project, and Mercy Ships.
The Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live - Vancouver Island
The Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live is a fundraiser to support prostate cancer research and education on Vancouver Island. A core group of fourteen volunteer’s plans, organizes and stages the ride, which has attracted from 300-700 riders. The pledge, “What’s raised on the Island, stays on the Island” has helped The Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live event build awareness and establish hope and pride for men, their families and friends impacted by prostate cancer.
Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary
The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary is an incredible force of philanthropy. Managed by a small group of Executive Members, the CHCA has approximately 170 active volunteer members that organize and run many services within the Chamainus Health Care Centre. The significant money the group raises supports a wide range of charities on Vancouver Island. While all of this makes the Auxiliary incredibly impressive, what really stands out is the way that they do their charitable work with an energy and enthusiasm that inspires and celebrates philanthropy.
Corporate Citizenship Award, presented by the University of Victoria
Tru Value Foods
Tru Value Foods is a community-based chain of full-service grocery stores located on and around Vancouver Island, BC. Each of the Tru Value Foods stores contributes to its home community through the Spirit Board, a program which works with more than 50 local charities. The program directs 1% of sales to each customer’s charitable organization of choice. Tru Value Foods staff continually lead by example, whether it be volunteering their time at fundraising events or encouraging their suppliers, community members and local businesses to give back and participate.
Caring, community support and involvement are basic values to Country Grocer and essential to community growth. Bbelieving it is important to give back, this Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island family-owned and operated grocery chain has made a significant contribution through its support and sponsorship of a wide variety of events and organizations on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island.
Hillside Centre has been a proven supporter of several community organizations through a variety of fundraising events and awareness campaigns. Hillside will host the 13th Annual Night of Lights (aka The Night before Late Night Shopping), a special evening including shopping, entertainment and amazing door prizes, in the centre. Over 50 local non-profit organizations each year rely on the Night of Lights event to generate much needed revenue for their special projects. Hillside is committed to being a great corporate partner and will continue to promote philanthropy throughout the Greater Victoria area.
Youth in Philanthropy Award (Ages 5 – 10), presented by The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island
Owen is your typical 6-year-old boy who has always had an incredibly giving heart. When his poppa was diagnosed with cancer, instead of asking for birthday presents or Christmas presents Owen began a fundraising campaign to raise money to help the doctors cure Poppa’s cancer. This amazing little boy serves as an example that you are never too small to make a big difference. His dedication and selflessness, even at such a young age, has become an inspiration for many.
SMUS Junior School
At the SMUS Junior School there is an underlying philosophy that every child will be involved in all aspects of leadership and service. With this in mind all 180 students are expected to participate in all service related school wide events with the belief that all students can be leaders. Students at the school volunteer and raise money for a wide variety of projects both locally and internationally. By giving the students the opportunity to propose student-led initiatives, the school has demonstrated to the children that their ideas are valued and that through their own leadership they can make a difference.
Alyssia Macdonald is a 10 year old girl who, at her young age, truly understands and embodies a philanthropic spirit. Alyssia has made an impact on her community and in the lives of her friends. Alyssia has raised a significant amount of money and awareness about childhood cancer. Despite her shy demeanour, Alyssia is always quick to volunteer and look out for those in her community that need support and protection
Youth in Philanthropy Award (Ages 11 – 18), presented by TELUS
SMUS Break the Cycle of Poverty Group
SMUS Break the Cycle of Poverty Group is a group of 30+ students who have been working on ways of addressing local poverty issues in Victoria. From organizing a two day conference to educate students from our local area to raising several thousand dollars to support various projects, this group of students plans, runs and organizes events to raise both funds and awareness for local and international projects.
At thirteen years old, Jarod is already a committed and inspiring philanthropist. His passion for helping others was ignited at the age of eight when he noticed his grandmother writing a cheque in memory of her friend. This prompted him to set a goal to raise $100 to help and he hired himself out to do chores, collecting cans and bottles to turn in for refunds. He more than met his goal and continues fundraising in this way. Jarod has provided a wonderful example that many small, committed efforts contribute in a very big way!
Edward Milne Community School's Leadership class
The Leadership class from Edward Milne Community School contributes significantly to local and global initiatives. Their annual Cops For Cancer fundraising campaign raised over $7500 in one week and they inaugurated a one-day Spin-A-Thon, which raised $5000.
They set up a challenge for the Christmas Food Drive which brought in the most collected in history. The group then participated in organizing and delivering hundreds of the food hampers around the community.
Upon learning about a staff member adopting two brothers from Lesotho, Africa, the group developed Project: Lesotho, the goal of which is to provide support to schools in the small country.
The group organized a 30 hour famine and a “Fun Day” to raise money for school supplies.
The National Philanthropy Day celebration will be held on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, in the presence of the Lieutenant Governor of BC, Her Honour Judith Guichon. The Victoria event is presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Vancouver Island. For event information contact Monica Powell at (250) 217-0772 or
; and visit our website at www.npdvictoria.com.