On Thursday August 24, 2023 the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation was pleased to host our first ever Friendraiser event at the RCMP Heritage Centre. The event hosted over 70 charities and welcomed over 150 donors, guests, and friends to explore the many different charities in attendance. This Friendraiser event sought to bring together donors and charities, and aimed to bring awareness to the impact the donors have had on the community, to bring forth meaningful conversations about the charities that operate in South Saskatchewan, and to forge new relationships that will allow the impact to continue to grow for future generations. The afternoon featured many exciting activities and experiences including live orchestral music, a 360° camera, and an excellent variety of appetizers and beverages.
The first event was a huge success. Thanks to the hard work of our summer students Chloe, Emma and Karley for the attention to detail, professionalism, and warm atmosphere they were able to create for the event. Many accolades were received from attendees, including SSCF Vice Chair Bula Ghosh, “Thanks to the staff, students, and you for a wonderful event. It was very well organized and had a warm, friendly atmosphere. The charities were willing to talk endlessly about what they do – I wish I could have stopped at all the stations.”
Planning an event that was formulated around “Friendraising” was the focus for students Emma Sturm, Chloe Holmes-Binns and Karley Stangel. Karley Stangel stressed how incredible it was “to see the plans that had been on paper for 4 months finally come to fruition in one room.” Chloe Holmes-Binns expressed how amazing it was “to have 70+ charities in one room with 150+ guests who came out to learn about The Foundation and about charities in Saskatchewan.”
We would like to extend a warm thank you to our title sponsor Wealth (WPCD) Inc. for helping us to bring our vision to life. With your help, we were able to better focus on the more intricate and interactive elements of our memorable event. We would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Impact Printers for providing all of our printing needs, including the charity posters that were displayed at every charity table. You can view more information about both of our sponsors and the services they provide by viewing their websites at wcpd.com and impactprinting.com.
Aside from our sponsors, we would also like to thank everyone else that made it possible to have such an impactful event run smoothly. The cooperation from local suppliers who provided the appetizers, beverages, musical entertainment, decorations, and venue space was a huge hit.
Charities ranged from those that provide music, sports, health and education to the arts and environment. They were able to share their stories of impact with more than 150 attendees. They were also given an opportunity to network with new charities they might not have had the chance to do so outside the event. Emma Sturm, who mainly worked with coordinating charities for the event, thought “it was incredible to learn about the significant impact all the charities are making in the Saskatchewan community. They are truly making a positive difference in peoples lives.”
It was an interesting chance for charities to connect with people in person that they had worked with in the past as well, both charities and donors alike. Shannon Chernick from Nature Saskatchewan highlighted that “The Friendraiser was a great way to connect with funders and for them to see the work that we are doing in the community. It was also great to meet a member of the Forbes family who has been a long time contributor to Nature Saskatchewan. Without their ongoing financial support we would not be able to operate the only bird banding station in the province.”
The aimed to provide some stories back to guests on how charities can have an impact on our community in so many ways. With such a wide breadth of initiatives underway, many guests were pleased to hear about the different focus areas and emerging issues being addressed by specific organizations that might not have been previously known. It was a pleasant afternoon full of inspiring stories, community awareness, and impactful information sharing with friends – a true . One guest, Lyn Goldman, has given back to almost 60 charities through the Community Foundation over 20 years. She knows the incredible impact charities have on our community. She stated, “The community has been very good to me. I believe in giving back”.
Everyone here at the SSCF loves how the community came together for such a wonderful event, and executive director Donna Ziegler captured this sentiment perfectly, “As the leader of such an impactful organization, I feel a lot of gratitude for the relationships that we’ve established over the last 54 years and the trust we’ve seen from stakeholders to be that steady partner in building strong and resilient communities. The Friendraiser event focused on relationships and impact through stories. Thank you to everyone who joined us, to the staff who made it possible and to The RCMP Heritage Centre for allowing us to welcome folks in such a beautiful space.”