One local company has found a way to turn $35,000 into $100,000.
On Wednesday at their store in Langford, Slegg Building Materials presented the Canadian Cancer Society with its largest-ever single donation from an independent fund-raising event on Vancouver Island. After taking one per cent of gross sales with cash or debit over a five-month period, they almost tripled it to commit the six-figure gift.
“I lost my grandfather, my grandmother, my father and my father-in-law (to cancer), and my wife is a cancer survivor,” said Slegg owner Doug Skrepnek.
“So seeing my wife survive the disease gives us some hope that many others will, but it has got to start with money, so we have got to donate.”
From August through December of 2015, the Slegg Building Materials’ inaugural Give Back campaign took place at its 13 locations on the Island.
Skrepnek said company staff were integral to the cause, donating their time and energy at various functions including picnics, luncheons and pancake breakfasts to continue the fundraising.
Canadian Cancer Society spokesperson Tracie Clayton said donations of this size are few and far between, with the next closest she’s seen being approximately $70,000.
“I am touched by this, (it’s) a pretty grand gesture really … Collectively last year on Vancouver Island, we raised somewhere just shy of $200,000 from independent fundraising events,” she said. “So now we’re talking about $100,000 from one group – that is half, that is 50 per cent. The impact in this market across Vancouver Island is mind-blowing.”
Clayton said the donation will help fund numerous Society initiatives including the Relay for Life and Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, and would have far-reaching impacts on various facets of the Canadian Cancer Society’s mandates.
For his part, Skrepnek said it is all about moving forward one day and one dollar at a time.
“I hope that other companies, not only on the Island but across the country, will take reflection on how this disease affects them and join the cause,” he said.
“My wife is a survivor, and so will be many other people that wouldn’t have been otherwise. (Lets) support the cause, kill the disease, get rid of it from the planet.”