Why I climb: Dan Evangelista
As part of the Suncor team, Dan Evangelista has taken on the Tower five years in a row now. This year, the Suncor team has already raised $70,000 for United Way Toronto—and they’re just getting started
Dan Evangelista knows he doesn’t have to take on the 1,776 steps to the top of the CN Tower alone—he has the Suncor climbing team behind him every step of the way. More Suncor employees are tackling the Enbridge CN Tower Climb this year than ever before. As of this story being posted, Suncor’s team of over 250 climbers has raised $70,000 for United Way Toronto in support of our city.
Dan first learned about the event through Suncor’s employee pledge drive to support United Way’s work in the city—that was five climbs ago. This year, he’ll be making his way to the top of the CN Tower again and is excited to do his part contributing to our efforts to strengthen our city and creating opportunities for a better life for everyone.
“In the spirit of competition, we create one team for each business unit at our Ontario offices. Each team is given a target for climbers and dollars raised, which drives them to find innovative ideas in reaching their goal,” says Dan.
Dan’s role in fundraising is the overall coordination and management of Suncor’s participation in the corporate climb. “We collectively raised $93,000 a few years ago and exceeded our targets by raising close to $190,000 in 2010,” he explains. It’s a role he enjoys. “I have become a Leader of the Way through our workplace campaign and fully support our office events,” he adds.
It’s climbing with his team—and with everyone who comes together at the Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way—that Dan enjoys. “I love to see the crowd of people lining up for a common goal. It creates a sense of teamwork and collective success when we’re done,” he says. Climbing together is important to Dan, as is fundraising together. He suggests asking everyone in your network to pledge you when fundraising.
“Ask friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else you have contact with. Don’t be afraid to call people and meet with them face to face. Let them know what drives and motivates you to give of yourself,” he says, adding an important note: “Be authentic!”
Along with making safety and training a priority—plus having fun—when taking part in the Enbridge CN Tower for United Way, Dan notes that it’s more than just about the accomplishment you feel when you get to the top of the CN Tower. “It could quickly become ‘what I did,’ but we need to think about ‘who we did this for.’ This will drive the true sense of success, because we sacrificed time and energy so that our city could benefit.”
The funds Dan and his Suncor team have raised will go directly to United Way Toronto, so that we can continue to support our over 200 member agencies working to create change in our communities.
“United Way is an agency that lines up very well with my personal values,” explains Dan. “I believe that proximity implies accountability. When we see those who hunger, we should give them something to eat. To those who thirst, we give something to drink. To the new arrivals, we invite them in. To those who need clothes, we provide. And to the sick, we care for them.”
“United Way is a key enabler to accomplishing these goals,” he adds.
Thanks to the funds raised by Dan’s climbing team, United Way Toronto is investing many areas that are essential for our community to thrive, such as strengthening communities and helping people live healthier lives by building Community Hubs; giving kids and youth every opportunity to reach their full potential by funding homework clubs and mentoring programs; and supporting people as they transition from a life of poverty into one full of potential by funding agencies providing programs like job training and financial literacy support.