Syncrude team makes a difference for kids

The Boys and Girls Club of Fort McMurray has a much safer and child-friendly playground after a Day of Caring® by a team from Syncrude with help from Burnco Rock Products and The Cat Rental Store.

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Bright and early on the Saturday of August long weekend, volunteers from Syncrude had their tools in hand ready to transform the backyard space at the facility located on Reidel Street. The Day of Caring® spirit started immediately as the group gathered to go over the projects and divided up into teams.

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As always with these kinds of projects, there are materials and tools needed that come up at the last minute. Without hesitation, team members offered their own personal equipment and tools. By 10 am, we had a skid steer and lawn mower on site to add to the many personal tools kits and construction materials provided by these dedicated Syncrude volunteers.

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Ten long, hot and wet hours later, the Day of Caring® had achieved what it set out to do and more. The small but mighty team of 12 worked tirelessly throughout the day to build and install a geodome, a 12-foot by 12-foot sandbox and move a large cement block and incorporate it into a slide. In an effort to improve the space’s overall safety, the team built a deck with a gate and a large wooden box around the electrical box located in the middle of the playing space. Once the day was through, the club’s backyard was hardly recognizable.

The Boys and Girls Club of Fort McMurray has been in the community since 1981. Each year, their dedicated staff work with as many as 500 children and youth between the ages of 0 to 18. They offer a range of programs including a before and after school care program for kids ages 4.5 to 12, a drop-in program for kids ages 8 to18, summer camp programs and a licensed day care for newborn to 6 years. The club believes that every kid has potential and they strive to help them be all that they can be by offering an environment where they can learn, grow, mature and be appreciated.

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The success of this Day of Caring® was made possible thanks to the generosity of The Cat Rental Store who provided an auger and packer, and Burnco Rock Products who donated sand and gravel. The United Way is grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Syncrude on this series of improvements that will benefit the Fort McMurray Boys and Girls Club for years to come.


Author: Michelle Davies

Michelle Davies is a Bachelor of Events and Tourism Management Student at Thompson Rivers University. She recently joined the United Way of Fort McMurray team as the Community Impact Events Coordinator. Although Michelle is new to Fort McMurray, she isn’t new to United Way previously serving as the Community Impact Associate of United Way TNC in Kamloops, British Columbia. During her four month term, Michelle will be focusing on events, increasing the capacity of Day of Caring projects and assisting our Community Impact team. She is looking forward to furthering her experience in the social profit world and giving back to the community of Fort McMurray. When Michelle isn’t studying or working, she is probably on her way up the nearest mountain hiking, biking, rock climbing or snowboarding. She thrives on interactions, experiences and adventures whether it be exploring in her own backyard or half way across the world.