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Making wishes come true in North Bay

One group’s special effort for an annual company day of community service

By Rachel Cranford (North Bay, ON)

A hundred feet of tunnel painted with a personal, community-inspired mural… that’s what our North Bay team accomplished for our annual Stantec in the Community Day event last year, a day when thousands of fellow Stantec employees around the globe give back to their communities. So how could we possibly bring our team back together and feel that same enthusiasm and pride as last year’s event? How could we once again find that connection to our community and see the creativity unfold? That is where our brainstorming began!

First, we had a few personal mandates: we had to have fun, it had to be unique, and it had to continue to make a difference to our community for days to come. We also wanted a project our staff could relate to, much like the pedestrian tunnel we painted the year before. So the ideas ran wild… and the suggestion of a wishing well came up.

What could be more unique than a wishing well? But we were still left with the question, how could a wishing well help the community? After thinking about it and coming up with various ideas we knew it would be perfect if we were able to donate the wishing well to an organization that would benefit from such a gift. We also wanted our project to be well used, and let’s face it, if there is a wishing well around, kids will be there. From there it just made sense that the wishing well go to the YMCA Strong Kids campaign.

YMCA Strong Kids tailors its programs to the communities it serves and helps provide day and night camps, leadership development for teens, and family activities to numerous people throughout North Bay. These programs help impact kids’ lives and give them the opportunity to be active members of the community.

So not only did the wishing well project fit perfectly with YMCA Strong Kids, it also fit perfectly with our skill sets: design, drawings, procurement, and client interaction – there was a task for everyone. Sure, the design was wood, not large pieces of equipment or steel, and the clients are families and young children, but this project was still very relatable to us all. In short, this was the perfect project for our team!

With over 25 volunteers, a week of prep work, numerous late hours, and laughs (and maybe a bit of frustration trying to determine the friction coefficient of coins to painted wood!), we definitely built this as a team.

Our hope is that the wishing well will continue to provide fundraising for the Strong Kids program for years to come, and that when the YMCA holds fundraisings events, the wishing well will provide engagement for the attendees and provide a sense of community as it did for us. The wishing well will act as a game for children and adults alike to “coin race” through the “plinko” style coin drop, with all proceeds going to the YMCA Strong Kids, making wishes come true!

Rachel Cranford is a mechanical designer in our North Bay, Ontario, office.

Our hope is that the wishing well will continue to provide fundraising for the Strong Kids program for years to come.

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