On a Saturday in early June, team members from various departments within Emmerson Packaging joined forces with a common goal: to slay our competition in the annual Greater Moncton Dragon Boat Festival in Moncton, New Brunswick! We entered the race as a team building exercise in the Customer Service department. We decided to include more members throughout our organization who were eager to join us on this exciting endeavor; after all, we care about our clients, each other, and our communities.
Even before the race began we had to move fast- there was a minimum donation requirement of $1,800 determined by the event that we had to meet within a month and a half! The focus charity, from the organizers of the event was the Lions Sick Kids foundation to which 60% of funds would be allocated, leaving the remaining 40% of the funds for each team to donate to a charity of their choice.
Our team met to nominate a charity and, although many fantastic causes were suggested, we quickly agreed that we’d be racing on behalf of The Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter– an independent no-kill shelter here in Amherst, Nova Scotia which cares for and re-homes stray or neglected animals in Cumberland County. The shelter is run mainly by volunteers and most of their money is raised through fundraising efforts.
This great cause only magnified our enthusiasm- we couldn’t wait to get our feet wet! During the same meeting we agreed on a team name. We would be the “Thoisty Oars” and we’d have a pirate theme for our boat. Now we just had to raise a whole bunch of money and we’d be off to the races!
Fundraising efforts began to take shape right away. We held a raffle draw which was very successful. Through raffles, coupled with weekly bake sales, a bingo game and donations from friends, family, and co-workers, we not only hit the $1,800 finish line but cruised right past it! In the end we raised a total of $3,083 for charity which meant we had raised $1,233 for the animal shelter!
This was a first experience for almost all members on our team and while we placed third in all our heats, it was by a fraction of a second that we lost the battle. We went in with tremendous spirit, heart and energy all of which has continued to ripple out beyond the event itself. Overall, it was a memorable experience, a very well organized event a great way to spend a day representing our charities.
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie