Giving Back: Up Close and Personal

“It’s hard to talk about Sam without getting emotional.  Nothing gets him down, he is always happy, he always tries, he’s enthusiastic, authentic, he loves unconditionally. He inspires me.” Shawn Ostheimer, President of The Answer Company, on his son Sam.  

Sam was born with a major heart defect and Down Syndrome. At age four, he was diagnosed with Autism.

“Nothing comes easy for Sam, whether it’s talking, dressing, simple life activities; with Sam these are not skills that just come naturally.  He didn’t start chewing until he was 9 years old.”

One in 68 children have Autism, which is a 78% increase since 2007. The prevalence of this condition has grown to such scope that organizations are now adopting HR hiring strategies to include adults within the Autism spectrum, a practice The Answer Company has been doing for years.  With the diagnosis being 5 times more likely to affect boys than girls, it can show up in a wide range of characteristics from social and behavioural to digestive and nutritional challenges. Challenges aside, people with this condition also display genius-like qualities including incredible ability to focus and see patterns most people don’t pick up on, qualities that work really well in a technology firm like The Answer Company.

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Jon Montgomery, host of Amazing Race Canada, shakes hands with Sam Ostheimer, son of Shawn Ostheimer (President of The Answer Company), at the Canucks Autism Network REVEAL Gala.  

The Canucks Autism Network, is a Canadian nonprofit raising awareness and funds for the 10,000+ children and youth living with autism within the province of British Columbia.  On September 24th 2015, The Answer Company was honored to be the live auction sponsor of the Canucks Autism Network’s annual #REVEALGala. More than just sponsorship, Sam had the opportunity to be on stage playing a very important role in opening hearts and wallets.  Joined by MC’s Jon Montgomery, host of The Amazing Race Canada, and CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos, Sam was in charge of seeking out and rallying bidders.

Stroumboulopoulos would ask “Sam, should we take this bid?”

“No! More money!” shouted Sam.

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Sam Ostheimer, son of Shawn Ostheimer (President of The Answer Company) and CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos survey the crowd for the next big live auction bidder at the Canucks Autism Network REVEAL Gala.

That evening, the Reveal Gala raised over $785,000 for youth with Autism in BC.

The Answer Company is a software and technology firm that has always had a commitment of giving back to its local community. In this case, this cause is truly close to their hearts.

Ostheimer shares his gratitude, “It really takes a village. We’ve been lucky to have a whole community to support raising our son. But not everyone has access to these resources. This is our opportunity to give back, simply because we can.”

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2015 REVEAL GALA Canucks Autism Network_The Answer Co Sponsors Reveal Gala fundraiser

To learn more or how to support, visit www.canucksautism.ca

More Photos here