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Residents to vote for recipient of $10,000 Syncrude donation at 2019 Spring Trade Show & Market

Apr 24, 2019

Syncrude will give away $10,000 to a worthy non-profit group but are asking people who attend this weekend’s Spring Show & Market at MacDonald Island Park to make that decision.

People can cast a ballot Syncrude’s booth to vote for the Pastew Place, the Wood Buffalo Youth Science Fair Foundation or The Hub Family Resource Centre.

The three groups were chosen from a long list of organizations supported by Syncrude through its Good Neigbhours program. The program supports employees and retirees who invest their time and talents to non-profit groups within our region by providing a donation directly to them. Syncrude distributed $404,000 to 93 non-profit groups after 258 employees and retirees volunteered more than 13,000 hours in 2018.

“We are pleased to support these groups who have a big impact on our community through our Good Neighbours program,” says Kara Flynn, Syncrude’s Vice President, Government and Public Affairs. “Syncrude is proud to support the communities where our employees work and live. Our employees and leaders help build better communities in this region by volunteering countless hours as coaches, mentors or board members.”

The other two finalists will also receive donations. Syncrude distributes more than $6 million annually from its Community Investment Program to local organizations and initiatives.

Here’s a little more on each organization:

Wood Buffalo Youth Science Fair Foundation

The foundation hosts an annual science fair every year for students from Grade 4 through Grade 12.

“About 200 students enter projects every year at the fair. Every school in the region is represented at the regional science fair, which is held at Shell Place,” says Vicki Dawe, the foundation’s board chair. “We are trying to increase exposure to science and encourage scientific inquiry among students in the region.”

The foundation would use the money to help pay for the costs of hosting the regional fair at Shell Place as well as prizes.

“We award $14,000 in prizes every year and pay $6,000 to send four students to the national fair,” says Vicki, who teaches at Westwood High School. “We want prepare children for the more complex jobs in the future and the challenges they will face.”

Volunteers play a key role in hosting the fair. “We have a volunteer board with each member playing a key role in organizing the fair,” Vicki says. “We also rely on volunteers as judges. Syncrude has been supporting us for as long as I can remember, both as a sponsor and providing a lot of judges. It’s a great opportunity for students to speak with people in scientific-based fields so kids can see future careers. They can learn and they can be inspired.”

For information on the foundation, visit their website at www.wbrsf.ca

The Hub Family Resource Centre

The Hub Family Resource Centre offers programs for parents and caregivers of newborns, toddlers and children up to six years-old at locations in downtown Fort McMurray, Timberlea and rural communities throughout the RMWB.

“We served more than 6,000 clients in the past year,” says executive director Samantha Simpson. “Our programming includes early childhood education, family support, parent education as well as pre-natal and post-natal support. We also offer safe visitation and exchange for families who have experienced domestic violence or custody or access issues.”

The Hub would use the money to help support its programming for families throughout the region.

“All of our programming and services are free. We know raising a family is one of the hardest jobs so having the proper resources and supports is very important,” Samantha says. “We do have a lot of volunteers and rely on them for the June Bug Family Festival, which is our biggest fundraiser of the year.

“Syncrude has always been a great community partner and supporter for the Hub. And we really appreciate this opportunity to participate in this vote. Whether we win or not, it’s a great opportunity to meet people at the Spring Trade Show & Market and let them know what we do.”

For more information on The Hub, visit their website at www.thehubfrc.ca or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thehubfrc/

Pastew Place

Pastew Place is a detoxification centre and offers several programs related to addictions and substance abuse.

“Our primary function is to serve as a detox centre, where clients can stay up to five to seven days depending on how they’re detoxing,” says assistant director Janet Greening. “Our hope is the client has a pivotal moment during their stay with us and requests information regarding treatment in order to seek further help with their addiction.”

In addition to operating 16 beds, the centre offers a day program focused on education about addictions and substance abuse.  This program is also offered to the general public who are not staying in the detox centre.  

“We also have a client coordinator who helps our clients find a treatment centre that is best suited to their needs,” says Janet. “We have pre-treatment beds set aside to help people prior to entering a treatment centre.  They are able to stay here for a longer period of time prior to entering a treatment facility.  We have found the longer we can protect their sobriety, the greater their chance is of entering and completing a treatment program.”

Pastew Place would use the money to help with the personal needs of their clients, such as buying toiletries, bed clothes and to increase community awareness of their services. They currently use a paper-based filing system that they hope to upgrade if they can secure adequate funds.

“The money is not flowing as freely as it did five or six years ago so it is really great for Syncrude to do this. Even oil sand companies are feeling the current economic situation,” she says. “To put on an event like this speaks volumes as to Syncrude’s commitment to our community.”

For more information on Pastew Place, visit their website at or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Pastew-Place-Detox-Centre-203063903139187/.