Sunshine Foundation

Inaugural Sunshine Float for Dreams Grand Fun and Raises $83,136

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Brantford, ON – The inaugural Sunshine Float for Dreams fundraiser held June 26, as a lazy river float down the Grand River with a team challenge twist, was a resounding success with participants having grand fun and raising $83,136 to support Sunshine Dream Programs for kids. The first of its kind fundraising event rallied hundreds of spirited individuals in teams to float 5.5 KM down the Grand River from Paris to Brantford, taking part in team challenges, soaking up the beautiful sunny day, and celebrating making dreams come true for children.

Video: The Inaugural Sunshine Float for Dreams – June 26, 2016

In true community spirit, volunteers came out from across the region to support the day, including vital safety and security roles by numerous County of Brant Fire Fighters, OPP Auxiliary and EMS Officers. Team Challenge presenting sponsor BDO Canada provided over 50 enthusiastic volunteers to help execute the event, as well as some outstanding team fundraising initiatives and team floats on the river.

“BDO Canada is thrilled at the results achieved at Sunshine Float for Dreams,” says John Prueter, Managing Partner at BDO Canada’s London, ON office. “BDO teams from 6 offices along highways 401/402/403 raised over $25,000 for the event. Our offices from Sarnia, Strathroy, London, Kitchener/Waterloo, Brantford and Cambridge had over 90 individuals involved, either as participants on floats or as volunteers. This was a hugely fulfilling community event for all involved, participants, volunteers, and sponsors, because we are helping to make dreams come true. We are proud of the team support from BDO.”

Following the “epic” float down the river from Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre and ending at Brant Park, participants attended a celebration with BBQ, games, and music provided by local music acts Kenny Munshaw, Blackwater Trio, and Blackwater Draw. Also appearing on stage was Sunshine’s CEO Nancy Sutherland, joined by honorary ambassadors from across the region who came to show their support. On hand to speak and give thanks: MP for Kitchener-Conestoga, Mr. Harold Albrecht, MPP for Cambridge Ms. Kathryn McGarry, His Worship Mayor of Brantford Chris Friel, London Police Chief Mr. John Pare, Brant County Fire Chief Mr. Paul Boissonneault, Brantford Fire Chief Mr. Jeff McCormick, and Brantford Police Staff Sergeant Mr. Keith Tollar.

“Since 1987, Sunshine has had a special relationship with police, fire departments and EMS across Canada, and Sunshine Float for Dreams was no exception,” says Sutherland. “Volunteer police, fire and EMS filled vital roles today but our gratitude extends much further to both past and future support to our Sunshine DreamLift program. To be joined by such a distinguished group of honorary ambassadors was truly special.”

Another champion for Sunshine joined the stage during the celebration – Sunshine Dream recipient and Brantford local Nathan Manners and his Mom Lynn Manners-Parslow who presented Sunshine with a cheque for $1,700 from Nathan’s 2nd annual Nathan’s Garage Sale, a pay-it-forward campaign started by Nathan and launched nationwide by Sunshine. For his role as lead ambassador for the new community-based initiative, Nathan was presented an honorary Sunshine employee name tag which he delightedly accepted and wore for the rest of the day.

The event concluded with an awards presentation announcing the following winners:

  • Top Individual Fundraiser – David Taylor
  • Top Fundraising Team – BDO Canada, Kitchener-Waterloo
  • Second Highest Fundraising Team – BDO Canada, Cambridge-Brantford
  • Third Highest Fundraising Team – VersaBank
  • Team Challenge Award – BDO London
  • Team Spirit Award – VersaBank

“Sunshine would like to extend an enormous thank you to all of the caring sponsors, donors, participants and volunteers who came together to make this event come to life in this our first year,” says Sutherland. “Our goal was to create a unique and playful community-based fundraiser that everyone can take part in including our Sunshine kids and their families, and an event that would ignite the power of pledge-based fundraising.  Businesses, families and friends from London to Toronto participated with grand spirit to make year one such a great success.  We look forward to many years of Sunshine Float for Dreams on the Grand River, and in time in other communities across the country.”

Sunshine Float for Dreams was made possible with the support of all of our volunteers and generous sponsors BDO Canada LLP, GoodLife Fitness, S.G. Cunningham Limited, VersaBank, Waterloo Innovation Network, RBC Wealth Management, M&T Printing Group, Bell City Brewing Co., Datto Canada Enterprises Inc., Presidium Equipment, and our media supporters The Expositor, AM 570 News, 96.7 CHYM, 106.7 Country, BX93, News Talk 1290 CJBK, and 106.9 the X. A special thank you also goes out to Fanshawe College’s Television Broadcasting program for providing a crew to document the day: