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Commending our Colleagues for their Caring Spirit

In February, Tina Chow, one of our financial advisors in Calgary chaired the A Touch of Gold event which raises money and awareness for childhood cancer.

Katie, Little Golden Stars participant (left) and Tina Chow, Financial Advisor, Calgary (right).

As a sponsor of the initiative, Raymond James contributed $2,500 to the cause, which was matched by the Raymond James Canada Foundation, doubling the donation. Nearly $75,000.00 was raised to help make a difference in the lives of those affected by childhood cancer. All money raised was donated to the Alberta Children's Hospital to fund ground breaking research and help families with children affected by cancer.

Young cancer survivors were invited to a VIP reception and were treated to makeovers, photoshoots and treats before the gala. It was through the event that Tina met a remarkable young teen, Katie, who was one of the brave young participants of Little Golden Stars and attended the gala with her family.

Katie has experienced more than her fair share of heartbreak in her young life, but Tina said that when she met her she was struck by her strength and courage.

"Always be positive," Katie said when asked for advice for other young cancer patients. "I've had many bad things happen in my life but I try to always keep a smile on my face."

Tina recently met up with Katie, now 17, at a Kids Cancer Foundation event and she is doing remarkably well. She is back at school, feels great and lists her role in Little Golden Stars as one of her happiest moments since her diagnosis. Her message to other children battling cancer? "Always look up, not down. You will beat this."

Recently, members of the Calgary Raymond James office got together for afternoon crafts, games and treats in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Raymond James Canada Foundation was a proud Sponsor of Hope for this year's Wonderland of Wishes, which brings together wish families, sponsors, volunteers and the community to celebrate the holiday season.

Tina Chow, Jodi Coenjarts and Doug Pinder attended the afternoon on behalf of Raymond James, and were proud to be part of an engaging event that made children and their families smile. "Everyone has heard of Make-A-Wish, but until you meet a child first-hand you have no idea how powerful it can be for both their spirit," said Branch Manager Doug Pinder, "It fills my heart with gratitude to be able to make a child's wish come true."

Attendees of the holiday themed day slurped snow cones while they did crafts, decorated cookies, made ornaments, and played games. There was a photo booth and the chance to rock out with Wii Guitar Hero. Frosty the snowman, Elsa and Darth Vader with his Storm Troopers made appearances while kids shopped from the Make-A-Wish store helping to raise money.

"It was heartwarming to see so many children who have had a wish come true", said Tina Chow. "I know my children truly learned a valuable lesson from this experience they will remember forever."

Wonderland of Wishes 2016 was a tremendous success. It was an afternoon to celebrate, reflect and create magical memories made possible by Make-A-Wish and the community. 2016 will be a record year for the Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta, as 50 children's wishes have been granted through the program and the support of partners like Raymond James. "My girls were filled with love and appreciation by attending this event," said Jody Coejarts. "It makes you grateful for what you have and the ability to help grant a wish."