March of Dimes Canada - page 9

business elite canada
or a tragedy. We raise very little through
the web and social media,” Spindel said.
“While puppies and babies seem to attract
the most attention and funding, we should
also have universal appeal as everyone
knows or has a family member with a dis-
But they have gained traction, particularly
through Twitter, by affiliating with celebri-
ties. Canadian wrestler Bret “Hitman” Hart
suffered a stroke in 2002; since recovered,
he has served as the spokesperson for the
March of Dimes Stroke Recovery Canada
program. The annual Toronto OpportuniTea
High Tea at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel
lets fans of The Young and the Restless
meet Kate Linder and other actors from
the popular soap opera. Many famous Ca-
nadians, from actors William Shatner and
Leslie Nielsen to former Maple Leaf Darryl
Sittler have lent their support to the March
of Dimes. In most cases, celebrities are
just pleased to be asked to participate,
Spindel said.
The future of charitable organizations like
March of Dimes Canada is looking beyond
traditional routes. Spindel has her eye on
business development — expanding three
separate lines of business — to help the
charity carry on the important work that
it does for people with disabilities across
Canada.That may mean providing business
services to other charities, developing and
delivering training programs, or working
in partnership with Toronto-based Quad-
rangle Architects to help businesses com-
ply with accessibility standards. March of
Dimes has also becoming increasingly in-
volved in efforts for people with disabilities
at the international level.
“We’re also very entrepreneurial, which I
think is a good thing for charities,” Spindel
said. “Entrepreneurial in a sense that we
test and try new programs and services.
We’re not averse to a certain level of risk
to see if what we’re trying to offer is worth-
while to people and helps them meet a
goal in terms of living independently in the
Andria Spindel, President and CEO
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