Giving Back – Breakfast with the Belugas

Every two years the Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF) holds a Breakfast with the Belugas event. The Answer Company is a longtime partner of the DSRF and this year we were the name sponsor at the event.

A key part of The Answer Company’s culture is our social responsibility program, ‘Answering the Call’, and DSRF is one of the non-profit organizations that we contribute to every year. The Answer Company prioritizes giving back to the community by donating services and software to non-profit organizations, individual volunteer days, as well as quarterly company-wide volunteer days. Many staff also have regular volunteer projects that they contribute to outside of the company.

This year was the 4th edition of the Breakfast with the Belugas event, which hosted 49 attendees. The event raised approximately $10,000 but Glen Hoos, Director of Marketing & Development at DSRF explains that ‘between new monthly givers and new relationships that were formed through the event, we believe it will generate significantly more over time’.

Inspiring Key Speakers

The two key speakers at the event, Susan Fawcett and Andrew Gordon, both shared their experiences with DSRF. Susan began her work with DSRF in 2003. With a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and experience working with people with developmental disabilities, Susan brings unique expertise to the organization. She provides individual assessment and therapy sessions, consultative services, and facilitates conversation and social skills in small group programs. Along with colleagues from UBC, Susan has also conducted a pilot research program on the use of ultrasound to help improve speech in young adults with Down Syndrome. She offered gainful insight into the importance of DSRF, what they do and how much she enjoys being a part of the organization.

DSRF student Andrew spoke about the skills he has learned in the program and the independence it has given him. Earlier this year he and his family decided it was time for him to enter the workforce so he participated in the DSRF’s Reading & Communication Plus, Money Math & Budgeting and Social Communication & Navigation courses. These courses gave him the skills he needed to give a good impression, gain a job and behave professionally in the workplace. With the guidance and support of his teachers at DSRF he was able to impress in interviews and gain employment at a casino. Andrew spoke proudly of his accomplishments and his goals for the future.

Both The Answer Company and the Down Syndrome Research Foundation are thrilled with the success of the event. The Answer Company is looking forward to attending DSRF’s next Up the Down Market event in Vancouver this September. Glen Hoos adds, “Thank you to the Answer Company for making this great event possible”.