Franchise partners band together at national conference to help support to Special Olympics Canada
In early 2016, Pita Pit, the fresh thinking, healthy eating brand founded in Ontario, announced a unique partnership with motionball, the not-for-profit organization that builds awareness and raises funds for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation. The benefits of the new relationship were twofold: In addition to raising awareness to motionball’s mission, Pita Pit would also serve as the official lunch partner of motionball, providing fresh, healthy meals to athletes and support staff at Marathon of Sport events nationwide. Most recently, to enhance this burgeoning partnership even further, franchisees banded together at Pita Pit Canada’s national conference, held in Whistler, BC, to raise more than $65,300 in donations for motionball.
“We are proud to help write the latest chapter in the long, rich history of motionball and to support the incredible work they do that’s helping to change lives across the country,” said Chris Fountain, CEO of Pita Pit Canada. “This partnership was a natural fit for us because Pita Pit owners across Canada are already involved with motionball events at the local level. Watching our franchisees come together at our annual conference to donate their own money to this worthwhile cause is a great start to this new relationship.”
The $65,300 raised at this year’s conference wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Marcia Lunn, a Pita Pit franchisee in New Brunswick, Canada. During an auction event, Lunn placed an $8,000 bid to have Ethan Mustard, a Special Olympics athlete and Pita Pit employee, fly out to her store to be a brand ambassador for the day. After that amount was matched by Pita Pit, other franchisees contributed their own funds, resulting in a total of $23,000 raised on one single item.
“It’s all too easy to go about our life day to day and complain about the simple things—things that we often take for granted,” Lunn said. “When I heard Ethan’s story, I realized how much we have to be thankful for. As Ethan grew older, he started to separate from the other kids his age and no longer fit in on the sports teams he had always been a part of. It’s so easy to overlook the troubles of others, so I wanted to do my part to do something truly impactful. I wanted to show Ethan how much we all care. To then have so many Pita Pit franchisees chip in as well to make this happen proved to me what I already knew: that we really are one big family. We’re all here to support each other. I hope this donation to motionball helps to touch the lives of many others like Ethan.”
Mustard’s trip to New Brunswick will coincide with a local Community Day event. By harnessing the support of local residents and Pita Pit employees, the day is designed to raise additional funds for motionball. Pita Pit founder Nelson Lang will also be on site for the event.
“We are continuously looking for new ways to transform the lives of Special Olympics athletes, and we’re so grateful Pita Pit has pledged to join us in this effort,” said Marsha Doucette, manager of national events and operations at motionball. “We never could have dreamed motionball would truly change the lives of this many people. Our organization has grown far faster than we could have ever hoped, and we couldn’t have done that without the support of generous partners like Pita Pit.”
Today, 70 per cent of the proceeds motionball raises go to support the Special Olympics Canada Foundation, with 30 per cent of the net funds going directly to provincial chapters. Proceeds help provide funding for athlete training, volunteer recruitment and other expenses incurred by athletes, including uniforms and transportation.
“It is truly an honor for Pita Pit to have the opportunity to work closely with an organization like motionball,” said Kevin Pressburger, President of Pita Pit Canada. “Partnering in this mission means more to us than just showing up at the events with pitas. motionball positively influences the lives of nearly one million Canadians living with intellectual disabilities. Pita Pit franchise owners and our corporate team are ready to hit the ground running to help support this amazing organization. Our recent donation to their cause is just the beginning of a great partnership.”
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