How a little idea turned into a big fundraiser

Brendan and Dereck Heppner sporting the MB Proud hats that helped them raise $4,000 for the Movement Centre of Manitoba. The brothers are now selling MB Proud hoodies, to support a friend who was paralyzed last summer.

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Earlier this year, Brendan Heppner and his brother Dereck decided to design a MB Proud patch, and create hats for themselves sporting their new patch. What came of this little MB patch idea is spectacular.
The brothers decided that if they were going to make hats for themselves, they may as well make more hats for other people to purchase and to put the proceeds towards a good cause.
The Movement Centre of Manitoba was the first organization that came to mind as this is an organization that is close to Brendan’s heart.
Brendan’s mother-in-law Sharon (who lives with MS) attends the centre once a week to help with her mobility and speech. Because of Sharon’s hard work at the Movement Centre, she is able to stand on her own two feet for a period of over five minutes for the first time in over six years.
“The work that they do at the Movement Centre is truly unbelievable and the impact they have on their clients’ lives is so inspiring, that we decided that this would be a great way to show our appreciation for what they are doing for people like my mother in-law,” Brendan said.
The Heppner brothers reached out to Olivia Doerksen (Brendan’s sister-in-law), the Executive Director of the Movement Centre of Manitoba, and presented their idea.
Olivia instantly agreed and said she wanted to be a part of this great initiative.
With the details in place, the brothers needed to solidify where they would buy the hats from in order to ensure the largest donation possible.
Brendan was able to get in touch with Pukka Inc., one of the largest custom hat companies in the USA. Brendan provided the details on the project and how the proceeds would benefit such a great organization.
Without hesitation Pukka agreed to be involved and approved the brothers for the transaction.
They instantly started sending out social media blasts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram letting everyone know the details about the hats and that all the proceeds would be going to the Movement Centre of Manitoba.
The initial goal was 50 hats. Shockingly, within a couple hours that was accomplished. The second goal of 100 hats was sold within a day.
The support and interest in the hats caught fire. Within a couple of days there were orders for 200 hats.
In the end, the brothers were able to sell enough hats to make a donation of $4,000 to the Movement Centre of Manitoba.
“The support from within the surrounding communities has been nothing short of unbelievable,” Brendan said.
“People we had never met before were thanking us for starting this project and for the great work we had done.”
Some of the people who made the purchases have children, family or friends going to the Movement Centre and they were very excited to be able to donate and have something to represent their support.
Due to such a high demand for these hats, the Movement Centre placed an order for another 60 hats to sell.
The Movement Centre has also made mention that they will continue to order hats and keep them on hand at their location for pick up as long as there is a demand for them.
“Everyone wants to help support this great cause and it was awesome to see,” Brendan said.
“This project became much more than I ever would have imagined and it’s because of the great communities we have in our area.”
Brendan and Dereck are now on to a new project which will be launching sometime in November.
They will be raising funds for Corey Mazinke, a close friend of Brendan’s. Due to an unfortunate diving accident last summer at Buffalo Point, Corey, 24, was paralyzed.
He injured his C5 vertebrae in his neck and was brought by air to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg in July 2019.
He has since started recovering and has a new way of life. To show their support for Corey, the brothers are trying to raise as much as possible by selling MB Proud hoodies.
They are hoping to sell 300 hoodies to raise $6,000.
“We’re hoping that there is a larger interest with a hoodie compared to a hat, as it reaches a much broader group of people.”
There will also be a fundraiser for Corey’s Re’Cooper’Ation on Nov. 23 at the Morris Multiplex. The hoodies will be up for sale at this event as well.
To purchase a hoodie, go to http://manitobahoodies.ca/
For further details on the amazing work done at the Movement Centre of Manitoba, please visit their website – https://movementcentre.ca/

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