The season of giving lasts all year at CRCS DKI
At CRCS DKI, we’ve learned that giving back the community around is best when it’s an ongoing effort. As the holidays near, we look ahead to our plans for 2019, and consider how we’ve spent our time outside of our jobs to help improve life around us.
Family ties have led to close involvement with Epilepsy Durham. CRCS DKI founder Cris Douglas serves on the board as Chair for Epilepsy Durham, and after years of volunteering, fundraising and moving forward, the organization hit a major landmark.
In November 2018, Epilepsy Durham proudly announced that the level of care for those with epilepsy had taken a big step forward. Since November 15, Dr. Gharghi, an epileptologist has been working at the Oshawa Health Clinic to serve people living with epilepsy.
The disease, which impacts neurological function can be fatal. Even mild cases require ongoing medication and care. Through the opening of the clinic, patients are able to stay closer to home rather than commuting into Toronto to see a specialist.
Epilepsy Durham supports those in the region through education events, and recently held its first annual masquerade ball fundraising event. 2018 also marked the fourth annual Epic Golf Challenge, raising $100,250, nearly double the $54,000 goal. Funding went not only to opening the clinic, but also to aiding with high costs of prescription drugs and providing comfort hospital stay packages.
“My mom and dad were like this,” said Cris. “You just don’t recognize it at the time but then when you get involved, you realize you were cut from the same cloth.”
Cris has passed on the same charitable drive to his own sons.
Ryan, the eldest of three brothers works to help organize Steps 4 Life, a charitable event that raises money and awareness for Threads of Life. Funds are used to support families who have lost someone to workplace tragedy. To date, they’ve raised over $130,000 in the span of seven years.
Ryan originally got involved after running the restoration of a school gymnasium following a fire. The CRCS DKI team was operating at a health and safety standard above that of industry and Ryan was asked to present to the school board, leading to a role with Steps 4 Life.
“’Steps’ has phenomenal people who really work hard to make this event a success,” said Ryan. “I’ve helped to bring in sponsors, and each year, we’ve been able to make the event better.”
Ryan’s made use of his extensive connections in Durham Region to pull more support in for the event. Building community connections is just part of life for CRCS DKI and the Douglas family.
Matt Douglas has helped spearhead the LaunchPad program to help support the Lakeridge Health Foundation. Made up of young professionals, LaunchPad is an invigorating environment that motivates each member to work closely with the group to great effect. 2018 marked the second year of the Night Shift fundraising event that enables participants to see what life is like for medical workers when most people are safely home in bed.
Participants experience a medical simulation challenge while raising funds. The 2018 edition raised nearly $28,000 towards Lakeridge Health Oshawa.
Youngest son Kyle, suffered from a speech impediment and was unable to speak until he was four years old. His progress would not have been possible without the great support offered by Grandview Kids, a centre dedicated to helping special needs children reach their full potential.
“For me, I saw the importance of community support and know the direct result. It wasn’t a tragic event. It was just part of my life,” said Kyle. “I’ve been taught to believe that that makes a difference. I think if you have a bit of a better situation in your life, it’s your responsibility to make someone else’s life a little bit better.”