The Sunshine Foundation of Canada is honoured to announce that David Batten is the sixth recipient of the Wayne C. Dunn Spirit of Service Award.
Over 20 years ago, David Batten witnessed the power of having a dream fulfilled, when he and his wife Patricia saw a child with a physical disability waiting in line for a ride at Disney. The excitement on that child’s face inspired Batten to co-found Mio Manz Charities, with former NHL goalie Eddie Mio, and begin helping deserving kids in their community.
Since 1992, Mio Manz Charities’ Annual Celebrity Golf Benefit has supported The Sunshine Foundation of Canada. Batten, the president of Manz Contracting Services Inc., dedicates his personal time to organizing this premier golf event which raises funds for Individual Dreams and Sunshine DreamLifts. In 2000, Batten and Mio made the promise of raising $1 million in 10 years. On August 24, 2010, they presented Sunshine with that milestone cheque and have continued to raise funds for Sunshine Children.
As a life-long resident of Windsor, Ontario, Batten has changed the lives of countless children in his hometown and the surrounding area. Through his involvement with Sunshine, he personally witnessed the impact of having a dream fulfilled when he served as a volunteer on the 1993 Windsor DreamLift. Mio Manz Charities has sponsored three DreamLifts, including the upcoming DreamLift on October 22, 2013. Hundreds of children with severe physical disabilities and life-threatening illnesses have experienced a day of joy and independence at Walt Disney World because of Batten’s tireless perseverance and commitment.
“David Batten transformed a moment in his life into an organization that has inspired and impacted the lives of children and families for over 20 years,” says Pat DeMeester, President of The Sunshine Foundation’s National Board of Directors. “His ability to engage and attract volunteers, supporters and celebrities, has resulted in the empowerment of children in his community and beyond. Dave has always been personally involved – making phone calls, organizing events and serving an important role in the creation of the Windsor Sunshine Chapter. A strong organization needs dedicated people behind it, and he has proved himself one of our most valuable supporters and partners.”