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From suits to socks, ties to trucks, Canadians anted-up to go Plaid for Dad

Canada covered coast-to-coast in a sea of plaid this June 

A standard pattern in Canadian apparel, plaid is now more than just an outfit choice: it’s become a symbol of hope and community for hundreds of thousands of people across Canada who are affected in some way by prostate cancer.


This year’s fundraising has already exceeded last year’s totals – and the donations are still rolling in. They’ll be directed to important research, support, education and advocacy efforts.

More than just a fundraiser, Plaid for Dad gets Canadians talking. In fact, the Father’s Day weekend tradition inspired thousands to take to social media, raising $50,000 thanks to EQ Bank. The movement caught the attention of media across the country, including big names such as CTV, Global News, CBC and CityNews.

Celebrity ambassadors also showed their support, with the likes of Don Cherry and Eric McCormack among big name supporters.


Canadian truckers haul awareness

Rosenau Transport’s plaid-ified truck
Rosenau Transport’s plaid-ified truck
It’s impossible to talk about the success and efforts of the thousands of workplaces across Canada who donned plaid without recognizing the Canadian trucking industry. As part of Trucks for Change, members rolled out in full force this year to protect dads from prostate cancer.

“The trucking industry traditionally has a lot of men within the ages that Prostate Cancer Canada tells us are affected. Unfortunately, just through the demographics of our truck drivers, mechanics, and people who work in the industry, I believe we have a proportionately high rate for this disease,” says Pete Dalmazzi, President, Trucks For Change. “It’s a natural fit for us to support as it affects so many people in our industry.”

Of course, a company that has stood out year after year is Arnold Bros. Transport Ltd., which was awarded with the coveted Plaid Vest this year as the National Workplace Champion. Raising nearly $20,000, the team ran BBQs, 50/50 draws, bake sales and even designed a plaid hat for their team to wear.

“The campaign started to just take on a life of its own as the events were happening,” says Carla Kaneski from Arnold Bros. Transport Ltd. “We wore plaid on Fridays and encouraged people to wear plaid ties, scarves or socks on Tuesdays. Fred Arnold, our President, also makes a donation for every mile we run on Father’s Day.”
Team members from Arnold Bros. Transport
Team members from Arnold Bros. Transport

A highlight for Carla was the 2019 Kenworth tractor that was specially wrapped in plaid. Last year, they wrapped a trailer. “Knowing the attention the tractor and trailer have received hauling down the highway is such a great feeling, as it is the awareness we want for this campaign. An awareness that will travel down the highway, spreading the word for next year,” she says.
Team members from Steed Standard Transport
Team members from Steed Standard Transport

Midland’s ‘Best Dressed’ team member from Dieppe, NB
Midland’s ‘Best Dressed’ team member
from Dieppe, NB
It wasn’t just Arnold Bros. Transport Ltd. that made a splash in Plaid this year: more trucking companies showed their support in 2018 than ever before.

Plaid for Dad is especially important to James Steed, President of Steed Standard Transport, who has worn Plaid for Dad since 2016, in honour of his dad who is a prostate cancer survivor. His team ran raffles, BBQs, matched employee donations and encouraged suppliers and friends to donate. James has also been known to wear plaid kilts to show his support.

“Our industry is traditionally male-dominated and we were really drawn to the campaign from the awareness aspect and the chance to highlight the importance of men’s health issues,” says Cheryl Levy Smith of Midland Transport. “Our employees are very giving and proud of their communities and charities that we support so everyone was excited to be involved. It was a great way to see the creativity of the plaid attire and teams dressing to compete for prizes for ‘Best Dressed.’”

Ken Rosenau, President of Rosenau Transport was quick to participate when he heard about Plaid for Dad at a conference. “I put my hand up right away as I have had family members near and dear to my heart who have prostate cancer,” he says. Rosenau’s fundraising BBQs include team members, vendors, customers and anyone else in the community who wants to have a burger and donate. 
Perhaps one of the most creative fundraising initiatives in the trucking industry was Tandet’s Beard Off. “We are an industry populated very highly by people with families. This is a man’s direct issue, but when the disease strikes, it affects more than just the man,” says Scott Tilley, Co-President of Tandet Group. “We want our people aware and to support a good cause for themselves, as well as their dad, friend, husband and partner.”
Tandet team member’s before and after shots from its ‘Beard Off’
Tandet team member’s before and after shots from its ‘Beard Off’

A suit worth its weight in awareness

Robin Speer on the set of CTV Regina
Robin Speer on the set of CTV Regina
Plaid for Dad spokesperson Robin Speer shows up with a smile – and a bright blue plaid suit. He’s been showing up this way since day one.

Robin does his part and then some to rally the local community in Saskatchewan around Plaid for Dad.
“I’ve been proudly wearing plaid since Prostate Cancer Canada started this exciting initiative in 2015,” says Robin. “It’s such an important movement to me because it’s a new and creative way to support the one in seven men who will be diagnosed.”

Channeling his inner Don Cherry and a t-shirt from Plaid for Dad national sponsor Hudson’s Bay, Robin hit the pavement, talking to anchors about the importance of raising funds.

“A common theme in conversations with Saskatchewan media this spring was how sobering that ‘one in seven figure’ is, which in turn shows how important the awareness and fundraising effort really is,” says Speer.  “The good news is diagnosis and treatment outcomes are improving, so Plaid for Dad is a fun and pretty easy way for everyone to take part—raising awareness and funds to help improve those outcomes even further, all while just wearing some plaid in the lead up to Father’s Day!”

*Plaid for Dad wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our national sponsors. Thank you to Hudson’s Bay, The HBC Foundation, EQ Bank, Hill Street Beverage Company, ClubLink and TorStar.
Posted: 2018-07-20 9:38:56 AM
Filed under: cherry, dad, don, eric, for, mccormack, plaid


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