Fundraising Events

Two-year-old Maya loves to sing Disney songs on her karaoke machine. The Lion King is her favourite.

She’s also going through leukaemia treatments. Her parents, Sarah and Vince Chernichan, say singing takes’s Maya’s mind off the difficult and sometimes painful hospital visits.

Next summer, the Chernichans are going to Disney World thanks to fundraising by Winnipeg charity The Dream Factory, which grants wishes to kids who have life-threatening illness.

They did it with a deadlifting competition.

“We blew the fundraising out of the water,” said Candace Daher, a lifter who raised over $2,600. “We had a little rivalry going that we’d get to $1,000 only.”

Midtown Barbell hosted the event on March 30. It raised over $23,000.

The Dream Factory says granting a wish costs about $10,000.
Ben Lowe plays at Rock Against Childhood Cancer on March 30.
That night, Allie Gruhn helped host Rock Against Childhood Cancer at the Park Theatre. The concert raised money in memory of her nephew Brody. He died from cancer at age two.

“We just kind of were thinking how can we, like, help kids and families,” Gruhn said.

Team Brody Foundation gives money to help families make ends meet while their kids are in treatment.

Ghrun said getting people in the door proved challenging.

“I’m constantly on my social media… being like ‘okay tonight,’ ‘okay tomorrow’,” she said. “I’m always promoting it the best that I can.”

Successful fundraising is about building relationships and telling an important story according to Variety CEO Jeff Liba.

Liba said Variety, which helps children with special needs, relies on social media to tell the stories of the families they help.

“We’re living in a time where no one just supports the good work of Variety, or any other cause,” Liba said. “Charities have to build relationships with people.”

He added that fundraising will only get harder if organizations don’t find ways to clearly communicate why what they do matters.


Deadlifts for Dreams
Strongmen and women raised over $23,000 so a little girl with cancer could go to Disney World.
Fundraising Challenges
Organizations can plan a cool event, but what brings people in the door?