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Wednesday, 13 April 2016 14:52

United Way receives ongoing support from JayDee AgTech for Foundation of Hope gala

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Darrin Didychuk, the group president for JayDee AgTech and Maple Farm Equipment, presents a cheque of $15,000 to Swift Current United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz on April 8 in support of the 2nd annual Foundation of Hope gala. Darrin Didychuk, the group president for JayDee AgTech and Maple Farm Equipment, presents a cheque of $15,000 to Swift Current United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz on April 8 in support of the 2nd annual Foundation of Hope gala. Matthew Liebenberg

The Swift Current United Way and JayDee AgTech will continue their partnership for the second annual Foundation of Hope gala on Nov. 5.


The company will again be the presenting sponsor for the event. Darrin Didychuk, the group president for JayDee AgTech and Maple Farm Equipment, presented a cheque of $15,000 to Swift Current United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz on April 8.
Schwartz noted the event will not be possible without the support of major sponsors such as JayDee AgTech.
“The $15,000 that they give us, it helps cover the majority of our costs to put on an event like this so that we can raise money for local programs,” she said. “It’s the backbone for us to be able to do this and an honour and privilege to be able to work with them.”
Last year’s inaugural gala was successful and raised close to $75,000 to support the work of local non-profit organizations.
“The gala itself was a way for us to not only raise a huge amount of funds for multiple organizations in one event, but also to increase awareness for these organizations to recognize the work that they do,” she said. “We want to provide a way for businesses like JayDee and other major players to be able to be a part of something. ... That’s what the gala does. It’s raising money not just for one program — last year we had 12 different non-profits that we were giving to and covered a vast sector of vulnerable groups in our community.”
According to Didychuk, it is important for the company to be involved with the communities where the company is located.
“We live and work in 17 communities in Saskatchewan, some of them quite small, some of them a lot larger like Swift Current and it’s important that we support our staff in those communities and the communities that we live and work in,” he said. “We believe it is critical, absolutely.”
He added the company’s intention is to show support for the community beyond the agricultural industry.
“We do a lot of community work that supports our industry, but it’s very critical for us to support the communities from a pure charitable perspective that really has nothing to do from a business perspective,” he said. “For me it’s something that we should be doing as good corporate citizens and that’s what it means for us.”
It was therefore an easy decision for JayDee AgTech to commit again as a key sponsor for the second annual Foundation of Hope gala.
“We were actually asking if we could be involved, because we believe it is a great community support,” he said. “It supports a number of good causes in the community, and it was very well run from our perspective and we really, really enjoyed being involved with it and our staff as well. We wanted to continue, for sure.”
The more challenging economic conditions did not have an impact on the company’s budget to support the charitable sector.
“We budget every year for different things and we have not changed what we consider pure charitable donations for our communities, because it is so critical to the communities that we live and work in,” he said. “So that has not changed at all. If anything we’ve increased it, because it is that important to our staff, our managers and our owners.”
The Swift Current United Way’s aim is to achieve a fundraising goal of $100,000 with this year’s gala.
“Last year we had 12 different organizations apply with us for funding for various programs,” Schwartz said. “This year, I’m assuming we might see some duplication from last year, but there are some new ones that I know are applying this year as well for funding. It honestly all depends on how much they’re requesting. I would like to aim for $100,000 this year, because I have a feeling that our grant requests are going to exceed $75,000 for sure.”
The gala’s format will be similar to last year’s inaugural event. The goal is to present an elegant and glamorous evening for participants.
“It’s a black-tie event, more formal and we still want to keep the class of the event,” she said. “Our theme this year is a masquerade, but still black tie. We are changing how we are doing tickets where we don’t want it to be so exclusive this year. We want to be able to allow other people in our community that want to be a part to have that opportunity.”
Tickets will go on sale Sept. 1. There are still sponsorship opportunities available for companies that want to be part of the event.
“To date, we have about $37,000 in sponsorship,” she said. “So we have a lot of our major sponsors of last year, JayDee being one of them, coming on again as our presenting sponsors. … This year we’ll have to work a lot harder with our economy and things like that, but in saying that there are other sectors out there that are booming that aren’t taking as big of a toll. So we just have to be a bit more creative this year and reach out to some businesses that we haven’t reached out to this past year also to see if they want to come on. We won’t turn away anybody who wants to come and be a part of this.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer