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Companies are asked for financial support all the time. Many of those companies are very generous in their support, and others are not so supportive. I thought it would be worth giving a perspective on why my company supports our community, using an upcoming event as one example.
The Fight to End Cancer is a gala event staged each year in Toronto and the proceeds from this event go to the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, which is one of the leading institutions researching cures for cancer. This is a black tie event which involves a number of white collar, and amateur boxing match-ups.
There are three main reasons that my company supports this event:
1. It is a very worthwhile cause affecting everybody, and cancer researchers believe that we can find a cure for cancer in our lifetime! Every day, in Canada alone, more than 500 people will be told that they have cancer. Just to get that message is an awful thing as they ponder their fate and what they will be facing in the coming months and possibly years. Every day, in Canada alone, more than 200 people die from this terrible disease. Two out of every five Canadians will get some form of cancer during their lifetime. Those are terrible statistics for just one disease, even though it comes in many forms. With that many people affected it is a certainty that everyone will be touched by this disease at some point in their lives.
2. My second reason is related to, but much more personal than mere statistics. Everyone gets affected by this disease! I have lost friends and relatives to this horrible disease. I have seen its affects on even the survivors and their families as they battle through the treatments. This is personal!
3. The third reason that we support this particular cause is the commitment and drive demonstrated by the organisers and participants. I have some understanding of what it takes to put this event together and it involves hundreds of hours of organization from a young local entrepreneur and her team of volunteers. In addition the boxers are executives who volunteer to learn the skill, get into shape and eventually climb into a ring in front of an audience that includes their friends family, employees and peers. I know what that feels like because I did it myself in 2011 at a similar event in Ottawa. For me it was five months of training, learning a new skill, pushing my (old) body a lot more than it had been pushed probably ever, indulging in ever more spirited sparring bouts as the event approached, bloody noses, black eyes and eventually the big event. There is an old boxing saying that suggests, "Blood is just red sweat!" That is an indicator of the commitment from these executives!
My company has always been a big supporter of the communities in which we operate. We believe that we benefit from those communities and it is our duty to give back. We can't support every "ask" but this particular event is for a hugely important cause, it affects us all personally and the people involved show an incredible level of commitment.
Hence we agree to be a sponsor for this event, which will be held at the Old Mill in Toronto on June 1st. (There are a few tickets left so go out and enjoy a great evening, support a great cause and have some fun). For more details on the event and to buy tickets you could visit the Fight to End Cancer website.
Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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