Lend your voice to the call to help build a new home for the Stollery, for kids tomorrow and today.

National Partner Launch Speaker Listing

Guest of Honour

2024 Champion Rylie and family

Meet our 2024 Champion, Rylie! Just home from Children’s Hospital Week in Orlando, Rylie and her dad Richard will share their Stollery story. Though Rylie’s medical journey is not over, this kind-hearted, energetic and hilarious girl will most certainly put a smile on your face!

Morning keynotes

Virtual health

Virtual health care combines the use of technology and the expertise of health practitioners to connect patients and families. By reducing the barrier of distance, Stollery patients can still receive world-class care from the experts they know and trust without having to travel several hours, incur additional expenses or take time away from work or family. In addition to the obvious benefits of this kind of care, we will hear from the team about new innovations and the health and economic benefits of virtual health care.

Mental health

Mental disorders impact 1.2 million Canadian children, and more than 75% of mental disorders have their onset in childhood or adolescence. Each year, donor dollars supporting the mental health at the Stollery ensure children and youth get the treatment they need, when they need it. Hear firsthand about the mental health challenges our youth are facing and how the Stollery has enhanced mental health care to facilitate positive, long-term outcomes for children and families.

Awasisak Indigenous Health Program

The Awasisak Indigenous Health Program is the first pediatric health program of its kind in Canada. This Foundation-funded program provides targeted support to Indigenous children and their families, especially those living in rural and remote communities. The goal of this program is to build bridges for Indigenous people by honouring their cultural traditions and helping families navigate the Hospital and the complex health system. This team will talk about the communities they serve, the impact they have made and the critical link that this program has provided for our Indigenous patients.

Child Life program

A medical appointment, procedure or hospital stay can be a stressful event for people of all ages. Luckily for Stollery kids and their families, the Foundation-funded Child Life department at the Stollery helps kids adjust to and understand hospitalization, treatment and illness — all while making sure kids still get to be kids. Through a developmentally and psychologically appropriate, evidence-based approach, Child Life specialists use therapeutic play and education to reduce fear, anxiety and pain.

Lunch & learn

Research helps kids manage pain

A trip to the hospital can be stressful and painful for anyone, but especially for a child who may not be able to fully understand what is going on. Stop by and meet the Pediatric Emergency: Advancing Knowledge (PEAK) Research Team and the Stollery Children’s Hospital ChildKind International team to see what they are doing to better care for children who are in pain and distress in the Hospital. Learn how how MEDi the robot and other distraction techniques are used by the Stollery team!

How health-care providers practice their skills

The Stollery Simulation program launched in 2021 as a place where health care providers can practice their skills in a safe environment. With the support of critical funding, this team is equipped with life-like mannequins of various sizes – mannequins that  talk, cry, breathe and provide life-like responses to medical procedures. In addition to staff, the simulation team also supports families and caregivers who may need to perform medical functions on a child once they return home. This team is excited to show you how these donor-funded mannequins are used to support Stollery kids.

A new children’s hospital for Stollery kids

For the last few years the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation has been advocating for a new hospital. Though we are the most specialized children’s hospital in western Canada we are the only one that does not have a stand-alone facility. Our current space does not match our talent: there is no room to grow, our clinical spaces are too small and patient rooms are often shared. None of this is optimal and our kids deserve better. Our advocacy team at the hospital is here to talk about the need and answer questions you might have about our Tomorrow and Today campaign.

Making a hospital stay more comfortable

Child Life is one of the cornerstone Stollery programs that is primarily funded through donor dollars. This team of specialists works closely with patients and their families every day to provide psychosocial support. This includes, but is not limited to, pet therapy, music therapy and art therapy. This team of experts also helps prepare for procedures and supports families as they navigate their child’s medical journey. Stop by and see what kind of fun activity this team has planned for you!

Partner panel

John Dempster

Integrating personal passion and business best practices

John Dempster is a RE/MAX agent who has been serving the community of Drayton Valley for nearly 20 years! He and his wife Rachelle purchased Vision Realty in 2022 and have been actively building their business. John serves on many volunteer boards and committees and is a proud Stollery grandpa! As one of our top RE/MAX agents, John does a wonderful job of sharing his passion for the Stollery and how being a Miracle Home Agent and also supports the cause. He will share some tips and tricks about how he modestly incorporates his philanthropic efforts into his business every single day.

Renée Hopfner

How corporate marketing strategies can elevate a fundraising campaign

Renée Hopfner has been with Empire Company Limited, parent company of Sobeys Inc., for close to 11 years and has been developing strategies in corporate citizenship since 2005. As the Head of Corporate Citizenship, Renée will share how the team behind retail banners such as Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo and IGA deliver shared value when it comes to building meaningful partnerships between their organization and children’s hospital foundations across Canada. In just four short years in their partnership, Empire is leading the way in creating innovative marketing campaigns across the Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations network. Renée will highlight the importance of sharing social impact and share the creative ways Empire has inspired their customers and teammates to build a circle of support for early interventions of child and youth mental health.

Jen Sutter

Employee giving guru

Jen Sutter is the manager of health and wellbeing at SMS Equipment. As a mother and grandmother, she understands the importance of children’s health. Jen is well-respected in her industry and has been a guest speaker at several conferences. We are delighted to have her at our event to talk about employee engagement. Jen will share how she and her team masterfully engage hundreds of shift-work employees who work at multiple locations across the province to support kids.

Kerry Wade

Creating cohesion amongst franchises

Kerry Wade has been part of the Dairy Queen family since 1980. In addition to being the owner operator of the Spruce Grove and Pilot Sound DQ locations, her passion for philanthropy has been recognized, and as such she is also the Children’s Miracle Network ambassador for Alberta. Kerry will share how she has inspired fellow franchisees so that all 85 DQ locations in northern Alberta are working together for a great cause!

Barnie Yerxa

Keeping it simple and duplicatable

Barnie Yerxa manages both the Delta Edmonton South Conference Centre and the Edmonton Centre Suite Hotel Downtown. He also sits on the Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels board and is the Canadian CMN ambassador for Marriott hotels. With a multitude of brands and an assortment of corporate-owned vs franchised properties, finding simple turnkey fundraising solutions is critical. Barnie will talk about some of the fundraising campaigns he runs with great success across all properties.

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