A Giving Back Christmas

The Landscape Design and Construction branch has always been passionate about promoting corporate culture within their team and extending this culture into the community. So when it came time to plan the annual Christmas party, Project Management Officer Danae Kortmann-Watts, wanted to do something special. With the help of United Cycle and The Boys & Girls Club of Edmonton, she and a group of her staff decided to take the funds that would have gone towards door prizes and other gifts and reallocate them towards purchasing three disassembled bikes for underprivileged children.

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“So often these events are about giving to each other,” Kortmann- Watts said. “We really wanted this event to be about giving back to the community because so many people could use a little extra support this time of year.”

The staff worked in teams to assemble the bikes knowing that they would later be delivered to the Boys and Girls Club. What they didn’t know was that they would have the opportunity to actually hand over the bikes to three children anxiously waiting in another room. When it finally came to reveal the surprise, Kortmann-Watts described the big moment as everything she had hoped it would be for her staff and the children.    

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“Everyone was so happy and proud to be a part of such an amazing experience. To see the joy those kids experienced while unwrapping the bikes is worth so much more than a simple door prize that could have been won at a normal Christmas event.”

In addition to donating the bikes, the branch also held a 50/50 which raised $425 for Adopt a Teen Edmonton and the Edmonton Christmas Bureau. When asked about how she would top this event next year, Kortmann-Watts was quick to admit she was skeptical if it could be done.     

“This was definitely a Christmas function to remember- it will be hard to beat,” she said laughing. “We better get planning!”


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