Charity hosting Apprentice contest

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Joyce Wang

YOU’RE HIRED. London’s Big Sisters chapter is hosting a contest modeled after “the Donald’s” Apprentice. Would that make this woman “the Donna”? Our apologies for the crappy joke.

Think you have what it takes to be the next Apprentice?

Big Sisters of London has announced a new fundraising initiative called The Big Apprenticeship, a contest modeled after Donald Trump’s popular television show The Apprentice.

Big Sisters is looking for five five-person teams to plan fundraisers and compete to win a 10-week internship.

Each team will have eight weeks to plan a creative fundraiser and will be paired with a coach, graphic designer and printer to help with planning and problem-solving.

Five prominent London business people will judge each event, announcing the winner at the end of April. The winning team’s members receive paid internships to one of five London businesses.

The event was created last year by Big Brothers and Sisters of Ottawa. Big Sisters of London was excited to get the rights to run this year’s contest.

Each team must submit a resumé providing background information on each of its members, along with a one-page plan of its fundraising idea, by Friday, Feb. 16.

“We’re looking for anyone over 18, and you don’t need to have any connection or previous involvement with Big Sisters,” said Deanna Bond, resource manager for Big Sisters of London.

“We’re really excited about the contest because it works really well with our mentoring mandate,” she added. “We’re hoping to see creative and innovative ideas, not just the usual golf tournaments or galas that we already run.”

Mary Lou Greenwood, one of the judges and director of consumer major accounts for Rogers Cable, said she will judge teams on how much effort, thought and heart they put into creating a unique and successful event.

The other judges include Paul Cocker, chairman and CEO of McKay-Cocker Construction Limited; Helen Connell, executive director of the United Way of London/Middlesex; Greg Dinsdale, senior vice-president of LBMX Inc., a software and services company; and Joe White, senior club manager of The Athletic Club on Wonderland Road.

“Our intern will get a snapshot look at the health and fitness industry,” White said. “Our goal is to expose the person to absolutely everything we have to offer.”

Dinsdale said an intern at LBMX will receive broad exposure to all areas of a small software company. He’s looking for a team player with a positive attitude.

Bond said all of the money raised from the fundraisers will support Big Sisters’ programming, including its mentorship program.

“Last year’s winners in Ottawa raised almost $5,000 through an event they called a ‘cotillion garden party,’” she said.

Interested people can apply at

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