BUSINESS BEAT: Gathering up all those back-to-school staples

Office supply retailer Staples giving back to community through annual fundraiser

Trevor Tuckwell

Wandering slowly down an aisle in the Staples store in Saanich, Taryn Tuckwell’s eyes light up as he spies the range of new pens and pencils he might use for school this fall.

The 10-year-old is typical of the many young students whose families will get help with back-to-school expenses this fall through the seventh annual Staples School Supply Drive.

He slips a shiny, chrome pen set off its hook. “How about this one, dad?” Taryn asks Trevor Tuckwell, a former client of the 1-Up Single Parent Resource Centre and now administrative co-ordinator for the Greater Victoria service provider.

For the first time, the three area Staples stores have partnered with 1-Up in the School Supply Drive. The stores are directing a portion of the funds raised to the local organization, which annually collects supplies for client families in need.

“We always look at building relationships in our communities,” says Staples’ Fort Street store general manager Ryan Webber. “We’re trying to make it as seamless as possible and want to hit the kids in need.”

Nationally, Staples raised more than $1 million last year with its School Supply Drive. Locally, the three Greater Victoria stores – downtown, Tolmie Avenue and in Langford – are out to collect $26,000 in supplies and cash donations between now and the end of August. The donations will be passed along to various organizations working with families in need, including 1-Up.

This year the resource centre hopes to fill 200 backpacks – valued at between $70 and $100 each, depending on the age and grade of the child.

Kari Frazer, 1-Up’s executive in charge of special projects, says the efforts of Staples’ staff in accepting donations and packaging up supplies, is invaluable, given the large amount of time 1-Up staff spend on the project annually.

“I’m not sure we could continue without partnerships like this,” she says. “It’s so vital for parents to get the school supplies and take the stress off.”

Customers can make donations various ways in-store. For people wishing to donate to 1-Up at Staples or directly, tax receipts are available for donations of $20 or greater.

On Saturday, Aug. 18, Staples at 780 Tolmie Ave., north of the Mayfair Centre, will host a major fundraiser for School Supply Drive, with activities, food sales and raffles raising money for the cause. Other Staples stores are at 100-747 Fort St. downtown and 789 McCallum Rd. in Langford.

CARE award finalists announced for 2012

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of Vancouver Island has announced its list of finalists for the 2012 Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence (CARE) awards.

Finalists in seven categories are selected using criteria such as architectural design, quality workmanship, creative use of space and energy efficiency.

Online public voting, available starting Aug. 6 at www.careawards.com, will determine winner of the People’s Choice Award. The CARE winners will be announced at a gala Sept. 14 at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

Craigdarroch Castle introduces new website

The Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society has added some new features to its website, including a video page, photo gallery and an online membership sign-up form, as well as a rebuilt event calendar. The society aims to decrease its reliance on paper and put more money toward programs at the historic tourist attraction.

Names in the news around the region

Camosun College student Noele Barry is the recipient of a $2,500 scholarship from the Certified Management Accountant Society of B.C. … Mike Seymour of MSR Solutions Inc., Jason Dales, water maintenance operator with the Capital Regional District, and Colwyn Sutherland, asset and demand management specialist with Kerr Wood Leidal Associates, have been elected to the board of the B.C. Water & Waste Association, a not-for-profit association of 4,400 water and wastewater industry professionals … Dallas Gislason has joined the Greater Victoria Development Agency as economic development officer.

Send your business stories to editor@vicnews.com.