In early February, the temperature in the northeastern town of Dawson Creek, B.C., dipped below -30 C.
It stayed dangerously cold for several days – too cold for the Dawson Creek Girl Guides to be out knocking on doors, trying to sell cookies.
The troop was raising money to send several of its members to the Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous (SOAR) summer camp in Smithers, B.C., a week-long outdoor camp for Girl Guides.
An unexpected donation in the midst of the deep freeze helped the girls get reach their goal.
Michael Yennouzis, the safety lead for OJ Pipelines and prime contractor for TransCanada’s Bear Canyon project saw the display the girl guides had set up at Dawson Creek’s No Frills store and while talking to the manager of the store, he discovered that the troop was having trouble meeting its fundraising target. He decided to buy several boxes of the Girl Guide cookies on display.
At this time, the Bear Canyon project team was gathering funds for a local charitable cause but hadn’t decided on which one to support. Yennouzis saw the opportunity to support the local chapter of the Girl Guides and the team decided to donate a total of $3,000 – including donations from TransCanada and OJ Pipelines – to help send several of the girls to summer camp.
“We were totally thrilled when this [donation] fell in our laps,” said Fran McDiarmid, a Girl Guides troop leader and parent. “The donation will have a lasting impact on my daughter and other young women in Dawson Creek. It is giving them the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and change their futures by going to this camp.”
The camp event connects Girl Guides and Girl Scouts members from across the world in a one-of-a-kind wilderness retreat. Offering outdoor adventures and the opportunity to build lifelong friendships, the camp represents an investment in the futures of the young women.
“We really appreciate the support from OJ and TransCanada,” McDiarmid added. “I see them investing in the community and wanting to give back.”
Bear Canyon keeps giving
Some of the cookies were distributed to the crews and the rest were donated to the food bank, which was where the Bear Canyon project team soon set their sights. The team also raised a total of $22,833 for the food bank, including matching donations from TransCanada and OJ Pipelines. After hearing about the Bear Canyon project team’s fundraising efforts, other contractors and companies working in the Dawson Creek area have also bought cases of cookies in support of the local Girl Guides unit.
“The folks working with us on this project have gone above and beyond to support local causes because they care,” said Bear Canyon project manager Sarah MacKenzie. “I’m really proud of our crews, including all of the contractors, inspectors and TransCanada staff working on the Bear Canyon site. They do an awesome job, and they bring the spirit of community with them to the work site every day.”