Stantec and Camp Smitty — Changing kids' lives
It’s impossible to put a dollar value on a child’s smile when they discover the exciting world outside of their city – but $140,000 seems like a good start.
For c lose to a decade, Stantec has been working with Camp Smitty to give kids and teens a chance to swim, canoe, and discover nature. Earlier this year, Stantec made their biggest single contribution to the camp yet, handing over $25,000 from the annual Hockey Tournament to bring Stantec’s total donations to $140,000.
The adult hockey tournament began in 1999 as a networking event and is now one of the biggest of its kind in the Ottawa construction industry, bringing together 32 teams over a two-day tournament at the Bell Sensplex. The tournament is a partnership with the Ottawa Senators Alumni and has become Stantec Ottawa’s marquee community event, raising well over $600,000 to rejuvenate and fully subsidize Camp Smitty’s registration costs.
On the banks of Mink Lake, about an hour and a half drive from our Ottawa Office, Camp Smitty is run by the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa and promotes community leadership, healthy activities, and an outdoor experience for kids who might otherwise not get the opportunity.
“Camp Smitty positively changes kids’ lives through great role models in a healthy environment,” says Jerret DeFazio, director of programs for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. “The wonderful support from Stantec directly helps us provide an exceptional experience for those who would not otherwise have access.”
Our experts have given their free time to perform building condition assessments that led to a prioritized recapitalization plan that saved the camp a significant amount of money, provided minor design work for shower and ablution station upgrades, and worked with regulators in providing technical support for their potable well-water system. All in all, the Stantec Ottawa team has donated more than $50,000 in professional services.
Over the last three years, Stantec staff has volunteered a full day of work towards cleaning and fixing up the camp in preparing it for the following summer. The 60 staff that came out to dirty their bright white Stantec T-shirts on Community Day in 2013 was more than double the number that volunteered in 2012, and a fourth visit is planned for September this year.
“Although it feels great to know that we are providing a unique camp experience to under-privileged kids through our fund-raising efforts, it’s the physical work we do at the camp and hearing our staff say things like ‘We made a difference today’ that really makes me proud of our community work” says Francois Lauzon, who has organized the hockey tournament for the last eight years.