“We believe in the power of creating community, so that everyone truly feels they belong. Our hearts are drawn to causes that see the potential in every individual to become a contributing member of society.
It is life changing to recognize the value and appreciate the vision that charities demonstrate in making a vital impact on those who they so passionately serve. Giving is a gift that inspires the generations that follow in our footsteps.”
Gerry & Elaine Wood
Nominated by Mount Royal University
The dedication and vision of Gerry and Elaine Wood for sustaining the educational resources for diverse learners has significantly influenced the advancement of the MRU’s Transitional Vocational Program (TVP) and its role in Calgary as a leader in alternative and inclusive programming. The TVPO program provides a variety of post-secondary programs to adults with developmental disabilities. Both Elaine and Gerry have been involved on the TVP Advisory committee over the years, as well as providing significant financial support to ensure access for our students who are financially challenged. For example, when there was a need to cover costs for part-time students to complete the Learners License Test Preparation course, Elaine and Gerry stepped up to cover the full fees, enabling any student who applied with the opportunity to take the course free of charge. And later, when new Smartboards were required for the TVP classrooms, the Woods again provided the necessary funds required.
Within the Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Program at MRU, the Woods were instrumental in advocating for the program to be established at Mount Royal and in providing continuing financial support and leadership. This program provides support to students with varying abilities to enable them to find their identity, explore their potential and develop friendships.
In addition to their support of MRU, Gerry and Elaine Wood are also long-time supporters of The Salvation Army and have provided time, expertise and funds to Calgary and areas most vulnerable and less fortunate. They regularly support the Salvation Army’s Christmas fundraising campaign – Hope in the City/Christmas Kettle Launch. They continue to be the primary sponsors of this event
They have also provided support with funds, transportation vehicle(s), and the promotion to the annual Christmas Angel program which provides gifts for 5,500 children. They have recently donated one million dollars ($1,000,000) as the presenting sponsor for The Salvation Army’s proposed new Family Resource Centre to expand and enhance our services in the Forest Lawn area.
Gerry and Elaine’s one million dollar gift to the Salvation Army was promoted and used by Gerry and Elaine to solicit and encourage other philanthropists to support the needs of the community through the varied services of The Salvation Army. Gerry has continually made connections for The Salvation Army to connect and partner with other community groups to synergize resources toward greater community impact. Thanks to the Woods family and their tireless dedication, the Salvation Army has strategic partnerships with the Stampeders Annual Coat Drive as well as Samko & Miko Toy Warehouse.
Gerry and Elaine continue to be committed to organizations that empower children. For over 30 years Gerry and Elaine were the visionaries behind the Woodridge Charity Golf Tournament, an event that raised over $4 million dollars during its tenure. The Wood Group is a major sponsor of the Shaw Charity Classic Golf Tournament, supporting non-profit groups across Alberta. In early 2017, they created the Wood Automotive Group Kid Hero of the Month Award to support KidSport and the Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank to provide funds and sport equipment to help children to participate in sporting activities.