After holding 11 different charitable events around the city, first-year Algonquin public relations students raised $22,000 for their AnyBuddy Can Campaign.
Events ranged from: a pub night, to a trivia night, to a 90’s-themed dance party, and a night at Xtreme Trampoline. AnyBuddy Can was aimed at creating awareness for those living with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) and raise money for Best Buddies Canada.
The AnyBuddy Can campaign definitely drew the attention of Public Relations student Dane Brumm, after he noticed a gap in support for those who live with IDDs. Brumm’s own uncle, Peter, has lived with Cerebral Palsy since a young age and, Brumm, has been aware of the need for some years.
“It has always been really disappointing about the lack of attention towards the IDD community so when the opportunity came up for us as a class to focus our attention strictly on people living with IDDs, programs like Best Buddies have something for everyone, and gives everyone a way to help out the way they want.
“It’s amazing. I hoped we would be able to make a difference in someone’s life,” said Brumm in an interview following the charity event he helped organize called Bouncing Buds, held at Xtreme Trampoline in Kanata on April 3.
“We did the sports theme because it’s an activity that a lot of real life ‘best buddies’ can do together, and we specifically chose a trampoline park because it’s similar to the values that Best Buddies promotes,” he said.
“A lot of sports are competitive but we wanted to remove that aspect and allow everyone to participate freely. It’s very important to be empathetic, everyone has their own things going on and it’s crucial to be aware and cognizant of others’ situations,” said Brumm.
While the campaign didn’t hit its objective of raising $30,000, Brumm felt that the $22,000 they did raise was still a great accomplishment.
“Although we wanted to raise as much money as possible, seeing the efforts put forth by each group and the members involved made this campaign a success. I truly believe that we raised enough money to substantially impact the community. Every dollar we raised was an extra dollar that wasn’t available to Best Buddies beforehand, and looking forward, it will impact and enrich the lives of the IDD community.”
Brumm also went on to say that his event’s success was partially due to the passion everyone in the group expressed for the project.
“We as a group, achieved what we set out to do because our group specifically was able to reach the target audience, which added to the success of the event. We were all also very passionate about the cause which was constantly the motivation throughout the campaign.”
While the group’s lack of experience in planning events set up challenges right off the bat, they had to learn very quickly.
Of every dollar donated to Best Buddies, 84 per cent will go directly to the cause, according to the Best Buddies website.
“The importance of giving back to the community and the importance of friendships is what makes this so special. The IDD community is often left more isolated and we are very fortunate to not live with those circumstances so it’s important to help out when possible,” said Brumm.