The business of caring together

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More than 550 corporate and local business partners support Mackenzie Health Foundation’s fundraising and ‘friendraising’ efforts, contributing more than $2.7 million in donations last year. “The impact of corporate partnerships is invaluable,” Mackenzie Health Foundation President and CEO Ingrid Perry says. “Businesses have influence in the community. They are recognizable and their message is powerful and inspiring.”

Businesses, large and small, are finding new and unique ways to enhance their corporate social responsibility program. They are giving back and giving more – beyond the donation, gift-in-kind or sponsorship.

Corporations are engaging their employees deeply in their philanthropic efforts by volunteering on boards and committees and participating in special events, such as the annual Richview Manor’s Strides for Stroke 5K run/walk for Mackenzie Health. Corporate teams create fundraising goals, and sometimes, engage in a little friendly competition, all to achieve a common goal of enhancing health care in our community.

Through corporate gift matching programs, businesses give their employees a vehicle to give back to something that is close to their hearts through their pay. Their company, in turn, matches the employees contribution, essentially doubling (and sometimes tripling) their contribution.

Investing in community-focused initiatives on behalf of their customers is another practice. 407 ETR generously gives a portion of its revenue to Mackenzie Health, chosen by its customers. Shoppers Drug Mart’s annual fall initiative, Grow Women’s Health (formerly Tree of Life), invites customers to give $1 in support of Mackenzie Health.

Many businesses sponsor the Foundation’s signature events. “Without this support, the Foundation simply could not execute these important events that generate millions for investments in our hospital,” Ingrid says.

For a number of businesses, their generosity and commitment spans over a number of years. Rogers has been the proud presenting sponsor of Mackenzie Health Foundation’s annual gala for five years.

There are always new and exciting opportunities to expand existing partnerships, such as with CIBC, title sponsor for the Foundation’s 2nd annual Ride for Health. “CIBC is committed to raising funds to help ensure a new hospital is built in our hometown of Vaughan, one of the fastest growing communities in the region,” says Mark Roccatani, Chair, Ride for Health and CIBC Executive Director and Regional Head, GTA and Southern Ontario. “Ride for Health is a unique opportunity to combine a healthy and fun activity with a great community cause, and CIBC is proud to be a part of it.”

Richview Manor has been the Strides for Stroke presenting sponsor for the last seven years. Its signature team, Movers and Shakers, comprised of residents, staff and families of both, was awarded top fundraising team for the second year.

Joseph Gulizia, President and CEO of UniversalCare Canada Inc. and Foundation board director, says sponsoring Strides for Stroke and Mackenzie Health is a natural fit for Richview Manor, a retirement and assisted living facility in Vaughan. Not only does the event promote wellness among all ages, many Richview Manor residents have and will rely on Mackenzie Health, including its renowned regional stroke centre, for care.

“We have a social and community responsibility to give back,” Joseph says. “By supporting our hospital, we can help make sure, God forbid, that if it’s needed, exceptional care will be provided in our community.” Loyal supporters and friends at RBC Royal Bank Vaughan and King Township invite the community to participate in its annual RBC Family Skate in support of Mackenzie Health, with 2016 raising more than $39,000 from employees and the community.

“I am proud to witness the remarkable teamwork and enthusiasm of the employees at RBC, who are truly committed to helping to bring exceptional care close to home,” RBC Regional Vice-President for Vaughan and King Township Rina Pillitteri says. “We are thrilled to have the support of the community and are already looking forward to next year’s RBC Family Skate.”

Other community corporate supporters are stepping up to the plate by helping the Foundation deliver vital messages. Hillcrest Mall proudly displays its partnership with Mackenzie Health with a dedicated area for Foundation posters.

“Oxford Properties Hillcrest is proud to partner with Mackenzie Health Foundation and build awareness for the outstanding work they are doing. Health care is important to all members of our community and we take great pride, on behalf of the entire community, in contributing to the Mackenzie Health Foundation,” Lisa Resnic, Marketing Director, Oxford Properties Group, says. As the awards sponsor for this year’s Strides for Stroke, Hillcrest Mall helped to promote the event and encourage participation by hosting the kickoff.

As well, local media partners, including York Region Media Group, snapd Richmond Hill, snapd Vaughan, 105.9 the Region, and tln, provide support through gift-in-kind advertising and editorial promotion and coverage.

Photo:
Members of the Richview Manor’s Movers and Shakers team show their support for Strides for Stroke team