Our Community: Fundraiser has a can-do attitude

A creative fundraiser that has teams creating structures out of cans of food, has resulted in a donation of more than $86,000 to the Mustard Seed.

Canstruction, brainchild of Christopher Mavrikos, founder of The Dahlia Society, sees teams from local businesses build structures entirely out of cans of food in the Mayfair Shopping Centre. The public can view and cast votes for their favourites, raising money in the process.

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At the end of the event, the structures are dismantled and donated to a local food bank.

This year, more than 30,000 cans were collected as well as almost $4,000 in donations. The total value of the donations adds up to more than $86,000, which will help the Mustard Seed through the spring and summer, when food needs are high and donations are generally low.

“We’re over the moon over the results,” said Mavrikos, a prolific fundraiser. “The teams really came up with creative structures that were well received by the public.”

This year’s theme was Movie Magic, so structures created by the seven teams ranged from R2D2 from Star Wars to a Disney castle.

Teams represented Sysco, Country Grocer, Seafirst Insurance with Finlayson Bonet Architecture, Lintott Architecture, St. Michaels University School with Vic Davies Architecture, Megson Fitzpatrick Insurance with Core Drafting Services and MacDonald Realty with Low Hammond Rowe Architects.

The colossal structures were on display in early May at in the Mayfair Shopping Centre.

Canstruction will return next year, promises Mavrikos. The event is the signature fundraiser of the Dahlia Society, which has raised more than $160,000 for the Mustard Seed since its launch last year. For more information, go to thedahliasociety.com or mustardseed.ca.


Officers hit the road for Special Olympics

Law-enforcement officers from area police departments will lace up their running shoes on Jun. 13 to join Special Olympics B.C. athletes to take part in the 2015 B.C. Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a global movement that raises vital funds and awareness for Special Olympics. Since 1990, members of police forces around the province have raised more than $3 million through a variety of fundraising events.

In Greater Victoria, members from the Saanich, Central Saanich, Victoria, Oak Bay and Military Police departments will hit the trail with a message of respect and inclusion.

June is Torch Run Month in B.C., with runs taking place all over the province. Registration is also open to the public.

Saturday’s five-kilometre event starts at 9 a.m. from the Saanich Police Department, 760 Vernon Ave., Participants will walk/run along the Galloping Goose Trail, followed by a pancake breakfast at 10 a.m. For more information, go to specialolympics.bc.ca/letr.


Tasty fundraiser samples Rock the Shores menu

The École Sir James Douglas School gets an A+ for creativity with their Eat Street fundraiser.

The school’s parent advisory council has teamed up with the Rock the Shores music festival to bring five food trucks — Taco Justice, Pizzeria Prima Strada, Melt Truck, L’Authentique Poutine & Burger and Coast Lunchbox — to set up shop at the school on Thursday.

Along with being a fundraiser for the school, the event is a small sampling of the more than 22 food and beverage vendors that will be on site for the music festival this year.

Each Eat Street food order comes with a chance to win one of four weekend passes to the festival. A radio station will be on hand to play music and announce ticket winners.

The event runs 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the school, located at the corner of Moss Street and Thurlow Road. École Sir James Douglas School is a Kindergarten to Grade 5 elementary school offering instruction to approximately 500 students in English and early French immersion programs. For more information, go to sjd.sd61.bc.ca.


PGA golfers take time to visit hospitalized kids

Top golfers in town playing in the Bayview Place Island Savings Open took time to visit patients of the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health last week.

Benjamin Silverman and Cody Martin toured the centre’s orthotics and prosthetics facility.

The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, which funds programs at the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health, is the charity partner for the Bayview Place Island Savings Open, a partnership that started last year. In 2014, the tournament raised $17,500 for programs for children on Vancouver Island. For more information, go to childrenshealthvi.org.


Coast Capital’s $113,000 aids youth mental health

Coast Capital Savings has donated almost $113,000 to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation to help youth dealing with mental-health challenges.

The funds will go towards the continued maintenance and improvement of BoosterBuddy, Canada’s first gamified mobile app that helps youth to self-manage their mental health by completing daily tasks that promote positive behaviour.

“One in five young people experience mental-health challenges, but youth can be difficult to reach through conventional services,” said Lauren Fox, Island Health clinical lead for BoosterBuddy. “With Coast Capital’s support, we can continue working with our fantastic youth design team to make improvements that will help this app reach and engage with even more young people.”

Designed by Island Health clinicians, app company Robots & Pencils and a team of youth with mental health experience, BoosterBuddy has been downloaded more than 5,400 times since its September launch.

The application is available for free through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The project was originally funded by Coast Capital Savings through a $150,000 donation to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s Building Care Together campaign.

The latest donation will enable evaluation and maintenance for the app, and enhancement through add-ons and new features.

For more information, or to download the app, visit viha.ca/boosterbuddy.


Belmost student wins $70,000 TD scholarship

A student at Belmont Secondary School has won a TD Scholarship for Community Leadership valued at up to $70,000.

Despite being born with a neuromuscular disorder that has restricted him to a wheelchair, Jaxson Creasey founded the Give It Back campaign to show his appreciation of organizations that supported him and his family. The campaign, now in its sixth year, raises funds for health-related charities.

He is also involved in community and school athletics as a coach and manager for volleyball, basketball and youth soccer camps.

The scholarship will pay for tuition at an accredited university or college in Canada, $7,500 a year in living expenses and summer employment within TD Bank Group for up to four years, as well as mentorship and networking opportunities.

He was one of 20 students across Canada who were presented with scholarships worth more than $1 million at a ceremony in Toronto on May 29. For more information, go to td.com/scholarship.


Poker-run car rally raises $6,000 for Alzheimer’s

Rally 4 Memories, the drive for dementia, a poker run car rally from Victoria to Campbell River that took place in May, raised $6,000 in support of the We Rage We Weep Alzheimer Foundation.

Proceeds from the event help support caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. For more information, go to werageweweep.com.


Two locals among winners of composer competition

A 15-year-old Victoria girl and a graduate of the music program at the University of Victoria were two of four winners of the Turning Point Ensemble’s “What’s the Score” composer competition.

Carmyn Slater, a Grade 10 student from Sooke, and David Foley, who received an award for his academic achievements while at UVic, both won in their age categories in the competition, which judged their submitted music scores.

Foley received an award of $1,500 and the opportunity to compose a new work, the development nurtured by Owen Underhill, Turning Point Ensemble’s instrumentalist and artistic director.

Slater receives an award of $500 and the opportunity to create a new work for the ensemble. She also benefits from the group cohort of the slightly older winning composers.

For more information, go to turningpointensemble.ca.

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