NDWCC 2018 kickoff

Base Chief CPO1 Kent Gregory, left, and Base Commander Capt(N) David Mazur gave axe throwing a try during the 2018 NDWCC kickoff.

MARLANT kicks off 2018 NDWCC with food trucks, axe throwing

By Ryan Melanson,
Trident Staff

Like most Canadians, Cdr Michelle Tessier has dealt with serious illness touching her family. Her father received a life-saving kidney transplant 15 years ago, and thanks to his team of doctors and the support received from other organizations, he’s still alive today.

“The Kidney Foundation was there for our family with lots of support, and we’re very grateful for the fact that my dad has 15 years of ‘living on borrowed time,’ as he calls it,” said Cdr Tessier, who will be the first CO of the future ship HMCS Margaret Brooke.

Because of this, Cdr Tessier feels strongly about supporting the many non-profit groups who help members of our community through sickness or other difficult situations, and said she’s thrilled to be serving as the fleet representative for this year’s National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign (NDWCC). She’s responsible for drumming up enthusiasm among the units and ships of the Atlantic Fleet, as well as FDU(A), Sea Training Atlantic, and others.
“I’ll be helping all those units kick off their campaigns and make this year’s NDWCC as successful as we possibly can,” she said.

She was just one of the people who shared stories at the MARLANT and CFB Halifax NDWCC kickoff event, which took place October 1 at Stadplex and on Porteous Field. Along with speeches from NDCC leaders and representatives, and the many booths featuring information about local charities, the day also saw a number of food trucks set up inside the base gates, with portions of their proceeds for the day going to charity, and local business Timber Lounge had their wooden targets set up on Porteous field for some charity axe throwing.

While donations made to any registered Canadian charity can be counted toward NDWCC totals, the campaign has a special connection to the United Way and HealthPartners organizations, and representatives from both were at Stadplex for the kickoff.

HealthPartners’ Jennifer Richards described her organization as representing the top 16 health charities in Canada, and said 87% of Canadians are likely to be impacted by one or more of the diseases covered under those charities. The list includes groups like ALS Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, and many more. Money donated to HealthPartners gets passed to those organizations for things like support and financial aid to patients and their families, access to expensive medical equipment, and life-changing research.

“I know there a number of people in this room who could tell me a story that would break my heart, of somebody who had cancer, or who suffered a heart attack, or who direly needed a transplant; the list goes on. The reality is these are the types of things people deal with every day, and they need our help,” she said.

In the case of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Richards added that funding for new research has recently led to the development of drugs that are greatly increasing life expectancy for some patients.

“That shows us that when you give to HealthPartners, one of the things you’re doing is giving people a chance to have longer lives and to spend more quality time with their families.”

MARLANT hasn’t set a financial fundraising goal for this year’s NDWCC, but is rather shooting for 100 percent participation among formation members, which can come in the form of attending NDWCC events, planning or volunteering toward fundraising initiatives, or making personal financial contributions.

Katie Powe, Relationship and Development Officer with the United Way Halifax, said NDWCC typically provides a significant boost to their fall fundraising, and that the 2018 campaign is already off to a strong start.

“Every bit of support for this campaign, even just talking to other people about it, is making a difference and saving and changing lives.”