COVID-19 Doesn’t Stop the Positive Impact of HyLife’s Fun Days

We are excited to continue to support the community through our annual HyLife Fun Days charity event. This year’s event didn’t occur because of the onset of COVID-19. However, that hasn’t changed our intended impact by announcing a $200,500 donation that will be divided amongst the five selected charities.

“It was unfortunate that we had to cancel the event back in March,” said Grant Lazaruk, HyLife’s President and CEO, about having to make the tough decision to cancel the 11th annual event. “We felt it was important that we hold to the commitments we made to our selected charities. Our Fun Days committee talked with our sponsors, suppliers, and vendors and we all agreed that we would continue as usual despite not being able to host the community at the HyLife Centre.”

HyLife Fun Days is a vendor and employee-sponsored two-day charity fundraising event. The objective is to bring HyLife staff, vendors and suppliers, along with members of the community, together to generate donations. Net proceeds are presented to chosen charities. 2020 was shaping up to be a record-breaking year which allowed us to add a fifth charity just prior to the event.

To date, HyLife Fun Days has raised over 1.2 million dollars for local charities.

This year’s charities:

Beautiful Plains Community Medical Clinic: A medical clinic that operates in Neepawa and surrounding district. The community clinic is a project of the non-profit organization, Neepawa Area Development Corporation. Since the purchase of the clinic they have expanded twice to accommodate 8-10 medical doctors and their support staff. They also provide space for medical students from the University of Manitoba and various specialists. The project is meeting the needs of the rapidly growing community and an expanding service area.

El’ Dad: Operating in the southeastern region of Manitoba, mostly in and around the areas surrounding Steinbach, El’dad’s Day Program focuses on vocational skill development in conjunction with their Social Enterprise, which provides products and services to the community.

“This money is going to be used for our social enterprise which helps raise money to give our participants a training allowance and also give back to the community,” says Kevin Drain, Director at El’ Dad Ranch. “It’s really amazing how HyLife was still able to come through with this donation.”

El’dad’s support of individuals consists of 24/7 Residential Homes, Supported Independent Living, or Home Share arrangements depending on the needs of participants. They also run an Alternative Justice Program for men with intellectual disabilities who are in conflict with the law. 

“Our participants were looking forward to the actual event and donating some of their time and being involved. The cancellation was disappointing,” adds Drain. “But it really is amazing that HyLife and the sponsors were still able to give this money to us.”

Killarney Flying Club: The Killarney Flying Club is a nonprofit organization that operates the Killarney Municipal Airport. Back in the 1960s, a forward-thinking group of community members formed the club and purchased a quarter section of land to build the foundation of the airport. Today, dedicated volunteers strive to continue their vision and are proud to have a runway capable of handling Lifeflight in a medical emergency. With the consolidation of medical services, this type of infrastructure is becoming more important and critical for the rural areas of the province.  Most recently, by way of local donations, the club has added a STARS Fueling Station. The Flying Club is currently raising funds to construct a STARS Helipad which will provide a proper area for landing and facilitate the transfer of patients from the ambulance to the STARS helicopter or Lifeflight.

Movement Centre of Manitoba: The Movement Centre of Manitoba, a privately funded charitable organization that offers conductive education (CE) to assist children and adults living with neurological motor disabilities in Manitoba. Addressing disabilities such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, acquired brain injury, developmental delays, spina bifida and Parkinson’s disease, CE operates on the premise that no matter how severe the disability, people can learn and improve when they are motivated.

“All of our third-party fundraising events got cancelled this year due to COVID-19 and our clients need our support now more than ever,” says Olivia Doerksen, Executive Director at the Movement Centre of Manitoba. “We have to fundraise $700,000 every year to break even. This donation makes a huge difference.”

CE helps individuals learn their way to functional independence, gain or re-gain mobility and increased confidence.

Red Rock Bible Camp: Red Rock Bible Camp is a Christian camp and year-round retreat facility founded in 1947, located in Whiteshell Provincial Park. Red Rock normally provides eight exciting weeks of summer camp for youth grades three to twelve.

“This year couldn’t have been better timing,” says Brent Giesbrecht, Board Chair at Red Rock Bible Camp. “Due to COVID-19 our revenue streams from spring and fall are nonexistent. So, this will allow us to keep the camp open. We are very thankful for this donation.”

The camp also provides outdoor education to schools and provides a beautiful setting for weekend retreats. Red Rock Bible Camp is a not-for-profit organization, a member of Christian Camping International and an accredited member of the Manitoba Camping Association.

Thank you to all that were still able to make this happen despite the unfortunate impact of COVID-19!