Travel Brands Has A Special Tie With SickKids

with Martha Chapman

When it comes to choosing a charity to support, some companies need committees to come up with a game plan and selection process. But for TravelBrands (including and, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children was a slam dunk.

The company has a special association with the institution known to many as SickKids. TravelBrands was founded by three brothers, Enzo, Joe and Frank DeMarinis.  As a child, Joe was diagnosed with a severe pulmonary valve stenosis and was operated on successfully at the hospital. That’s why funds raised by TravelBrands go specifically to the Labatt Family Heart Centre at the hospital.

As a way of saying thank you, TravelBrands started hosting a golf tournament four years ago.  To date the event attended by some 150 industry types each September, has raised over $700,000 for SickKids. “And we are hoping to hit a cumulative total of over a million dollars next year,” says Sam Youssef, Director of Integrated Marketing for TravelBrands. 

The company also supports the hospital by participating in the annual Mississauga Dragon Boat Festival and hosting an employee 5 km walk circling its large office building located in Mississauga, just west of Toronto. This past year, TravelBrands also had SickKids Day, donating 1 per cent of sales made that day. Additionally, a small committee visits the hospital a few times a year to provide toys and gifts.

When not raising funds for the institution, TravelBrands staffers have supported the Mississauga Food Bank, participating in a “Canstruction” competition, stacking cans of food to build a statue.  Not only did TravelBrands win the contest, they contributed the 500 cans to the foodbank.

The company will handle charitable requests for other causes on a case by case basis.  As Youssef puts it, “Whether we provide travel gift cards, partner products such as Raptors or Leaf tickets or monetary donations, our goal is to give back to the community where and how we can.”

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