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Insider Events – Ottawa Fire Truck Pull Event

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By: Jill Garner | Jun 11, 2019


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Article written by Dora Dalietos, Vis-à-Vis Events Inc.

Ottawa Fire Truck Pull Event
October 28, 2018
Lansdowne Park, East Court
Ottawa, Ontario

Organizing Team: Dora Dalietos of Vis-à-Vis Events Inc. and Nikki Porter of Epilepsy Ottawa

Number of Attendees: 200+

This was a fundraiser event open to the general public to raise awareness for Epilepsy Ottawa. On Sunday, October 28, 2018, teams of 10 descended on Lansdowne Park, East Court to demonstrate that they have the fortitude to pull an Ottawa Fire Services fire truck 100 feet. Teams competed to see who could pull the truck the fastest, raise the most money for a good cause, or demonstrate the most team spirit.

This was the first time this event was held in Ottawa, Ontario. The event had been held before in Kingston, Ontario for Epilepsy South Eastern Ontario. Thankfully the woman who had run the successful Kingston event wrote a booklet of how to organize the event. It was a huge help for me and Epilepsy Ottawa.

Biggest Obstacle

Epilepsy Ottawa is a non-profit organization and they did not have the staff available to work on the event. When I first met with Porter, Executive Director for Epilepsy Ottawa, I recommended that we hire student volunteers from the Event Management program at Algonquin College to work on organizing the event. They hired four students – two graduates and two who were currently in the program. The students worked on the event directly out of the Epilepsy Ottawa office. They participated in the meetings, brought forward their ideas and helped with soliciting in-kind sponsorship. Additionally they contributed by working with their contacts to help with event logistics.

Biggest Triumph

The inaugural event raised $23,202.00 for Epilepsy Ottawa and it was impressive to see how well the teams collaborated with each other to ensure this was a fun event for them and the spectators.

Inaugural Event

Since this was an inaugural event, a lot of the administrative work/planning had to be done from scratch. I wrote the critical path, researched all the media outlets with contacts, wrote volunteer job descriptions for the day of the event and for the student volunteers who worked in the office, researched award suppliers, coordinated volunteers and researched all event listings. The work was distributed to the volunteer students that assisted me with organizing the event and I coordinated the volunteer with Epilepsy Ottawa.

Fantastic Collaboration

The collaboration with Epilepsy Ottawa on this event was fantastic! Porter, the student volunteers and I met bi-weekly to organize who would take care of the specific event elements. The work was evenly distributed and no one felt overwhelmed with their tasks. The collaboration was exceptional, and I know that is why the event was as successful as it was!

Fire Truck Pull 2018 Ottawa

Jill Garner Article compiled by Jill Garner, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Article edited by Cynthia Beaudin, Canada Foundation for Innovation

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