This year, in the spirit of giving, Alexander Holburn rolled out our “12 Months of Giving” campaign as part of our broader “AHBL Cares” initiative. Our goal was to show our support to the community throughout the year by fundraising and volunteering our time, and by choosing to redirect funds normally spent on holiday gifts to charitable causes throughout the city.
The 12 Months of Giving came about as a result of a persistent feeling that we could, as a firm, do more for those in our community who really need it the most. Aside from the waste created by the typical Christmas boxes and baskets, we felt that the resources put into these gifts could be redirected to various initiatives within the community where we could really make an impact and help those most vulnerable suffering from abuse, food and shelter insecurity.
Like all new projects, it is our hope that this small change in our thinking and behavior will spur a larger change in others. We are very proud of all the hard work our firm has put in this year to giving back. We do this because we care; we do this because we live here.
OUR CHARITABLE INITIATIVES THIS YEAR
On September 6, 2019, Justin Abrioux, Scott Allen and Derek Frenette participated in the 12th Annual Pro Bono Going Public event — a free outdoor legal advice-a-thon. The event raises awareness and much-needed funds for the provision of pro bono legal services in British Columbia. Our three lawyers worked one-hour shifts to advise individual clients in an open-air setting.
In light of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019, we partnered with Atira Women’s Resource Society to collect much-needed items for women and children supported by their organization. We were delighted to have them join us at our champagne celebration event hosted by our AHBL Women’s Forum, to toast the accomplishments of the women at our firm and to join us in our pledge to foster a gender-balanced world.
We also celebrated members of our firm who help create a #BalanceforBetter. This year’s Difference Makers were Mary Hamilton, QC, Jane Davis and Penny Valliere, who continuously donate their spare time to making a positive and impactful difference in our community.
On August 12, 2019, our team of cyclists participated and sponsored the Glotman-Simpson Cypress Challenge in support of pancreatic cancer research at BC Cancer. In total, over 700 cyclists rode up Cypress Mountain and raised over a record-breaking $566,000 to help change the outcome for British Columbians facing pancreatic cancer.
On May 2, 2019, we celebrated Jeans Day by purchasing buttons and pins and hosted an office bake sale in support of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Combined, the funds raised over $1,200 to help create new possibilities for kids and families across the province.
As part of our holiday Spirit of Giving campaign, our firm donated over $3,000 to help support children, adolescents, and adults across British Columbia to ensure everyone has access to the specialized mental health services they need.
On February 25, 2019, under the leadership of our wonderful staff members Jane Davis and Penny Valliere, we were able to raise almost $1,000 for National Cupcake Day in support of the BCSPCA. Proceeds from their delicious, homemade cupcakes helped raised funds to support the lives of abused, abandoned and neglected animals in our communities. Thanks to their help, we were able to make this year’s fundraiser the best one yet. Without these two, life wouldn’t be nearly as sweet!
On February 27, 2019, our firm was a sea of pink in support of Pink Shirt Day. The day began with a healthy breakfast and ended with candy-gram deliveries and other fundraising activities for our lawyers and staff. Through our initiatives, we were able to raise over $1,200 in support of anti-bullying prevention programs in Canada. Today, and every day, we will continue to be kind to one another and stand up against bullying.
On April 4, 2019, Ryan Howe, Partner and leader of the firm’s Philanthropic Initiatives Committee, participated in Covenant House Vancouver’s Sleep Out: Entrepreneurs Edition. The evening brought together 29 leading entrepreneurs and influential business owners to sleep outside to raise funds for Covenant House Vancouver’s Outreach Program. The group is proud to have raised $222,970.81.
On November 21, 2019, Janine Kroser, our Chief Operating Officer, also participated in Covenant House Vancouver’s Sleep Out: Executive Edition. 55 of the city’s top executives slept outside and were able to collectively raise over $1.1 million.
On September 12, 2019, Scott Allen and Tania Moolla rappelled down the Guinness Tower in the heart of downtown Vancouver to help raise funds and support Canadian families and individuals living with disabilities.
Founded in 1928, FSGV has been spearheading initiatives to support youth living with homelessness, helping vulnerable families, and ending domestic violence. Alexander Holburn is proud to continually be a part of the cause and support those in need in our communities.
On October 24, 2019, Alexander Holburn sponsored and attended the Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV) Speakeasy Soirée. We participated as a Hope Sponsor and donated $5,000 towards benefiting the lives of individuals, families, children, and seniors across the Lower Mainland.
Stewart Muglich, Associate Counsel and leader of the Corporate Finance + Securities, Mergers + Acquisitions and Cannabis Practice Groups, is currently a Board Member at FSGV.
In addition, as part of our holiday Spirit of Giving campaign, our firm donated over $1,700 to help initiatives that support youth living with homelessness, helping vulnerable families, and ending domestic violence.
As part of our holiday Spirit of Giving campaign, our firm donated over $1,500 to help support the rehabilitation of adults and adolescents with disabilities.
On September 7, 2019, our lawyers and staff participated in the annual charity basketball tournament to help raise funds for The Children’s Hearing and Speech Centre of BC, Night Hoops and the Aboriginal Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters. This year, the event raised over $50,000 towards bettering the lives of children throughout the Lower Mainland.
On December 4, 2019, 26 of our lawyers and staff gathered together to wrap gifts, purchase stocking and fill them with the various presents as part of the “Not-So-Secret Santa” initiative. Together, we were able to make the holiday season a little more festive for 52 vulnerable children across the Lower Mainland.
On December 9, 2019, we also participated in a “Wrapping Party”, where we were able to help package gifts to be distributed to the vulnerable children over the holiday season.
At Alexander Holburn, we see the value of creating a lasting and positive impact on the community. That is why we are proud to have been a presenting sponsor at the fourth annual Gala of Grace in support of the North Shore Crisis Services Society (NSCSS). The NSCSS provides women and children with safe shelter, support, referrals, and information so they can make informed choices. A number of our lawyers and staff both attended and volunteered their time at the event.
As October came to an end, our lawyers and staff dressed up in purple in support of domestic violence awareness month. 2019 marked our second year supporting Purple Light Nights, a campaign that invites people to display a string of purple lights throughout the month of October, to symbolize that domestic violence has no place in our community. Although we were unable to shine purple lights for people to see, we supported the cause by wearing purple in support and solidarity of the victims of domestic violence.
Shoreline Cleanup in collaboration with Dale Matheson Carr-Hilton Labonte LLP
On August 20, 2019, for the second year, Alexander Holburn joined Dale Matheson Carr-Hilton Labonte LLP in a shoreline cleanup. Together, we collected shoreline litter around Vancouver in an effort to protect our planet.
On February 13, 2019 and again on June 7, 2019, Alexander Holburn and friends volunteered with the Vancouver chapter of Soup Sisters. Together, we prepared and packaged over 409 liters of soup for the women and children of Maggie’s Place and Serena’s Place, who are fleeing domestic abuse and family violence. The first event was such a success that our lawyers and staff were excited to participate in the initiative again.
2019 marked our 27th year partnering with United Way. Each year, our firm hosts a number of fundraising initiatives around the office to raise funds for the charity. This year, we held an office bake sale and silent auction. Collectively, we raised nearly $10,000 for the cause.
As part of our holiday Spirit of Giving campaign, our firm donated funds to the WEST alternative schooling program run by Franco Iuele. The funds provided Franco and his students with the opportunity to purchase film equipment, laptops, and related accessories to allow the students to explore their directing and creative writing skills with some emergency funds allocated for Christmas gifts and food costs of the program.
We also donated funds to Xpey Elementary School for their Enhanced Services: Food Security and for their 3 Day Camp Program with Takaya Tours to allow the students to complete (and complement) their indigenous program curriculum.