In 2008, two years after completing his management degree at the University of Lethbridge, Brock Melnyk (BMgt '06), financial advisor for ATB Securities Inc., attended a golf tournament put on by the U of L Alumni Association Calgary Chapter, where he was promptly recruited to be a member of the board of directors.
He served as both a director and vice-president before taking on the role of president (he will complete his term in spring 2013), after which he plans to stay involved with the board and sit as past-president. During his tenure, Melnyk has witnessed a great amount of hard work and dedication from his fellow board members and he is grateful for the gains that the chapter has made in the last five years particularly with the annual golf tournament, which, Melnyk admits, is his baby.
"For our Calgary chapter, the annual Calgary Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament is our single fundraiser for the year. When I first joined the association almost five years ago, we were earning enough money to give out one $500 bursary each year. Since then, we have seen a great increase in the success of the tournament in terms of numbers of people participating, increased donations and increased corporate sponsorship," says Melnyk. "This latest tournament was the most successful so far; we raised $8,000 and had approximately 80 people in attendance. We were able to offer four $1,000 bursaries to students and have ensured that this contribution to student success is sustainable in the future."
Money raised at the golf tournament comes from raffle revenues and corporate donations. This year, for example, Calgary-based West Jet agreed to donate a flight for two to anywhere West Jet flies as a raffle prize. Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames donated a Top Shelf Experience, which includes four premium tickets to a Flames game, signed jerseys, dinner and a chance to meet one of the players after the game.
"Jeff Wilson, our vice-president, has been instrumental in increasing our corporate sponsors. Thanks in large part to his hard work with the advancement committee, we have doubled our corporate network," says Melnyk. "Our legacy sponsors have written cheques to us every year since I started with the tournament in 2008. Their generosity, and that of our other sponsors, helps us continue our mission of enhancing the exposure and image of the University and alumni in Calgary, while providing networking opportunities for new graduates and students."
Although the Calgary chapter is heading in the right direction, Melnyk believes they still have a lot of work to do as they continue to generate ideas and events that will support all alumni.
"This year, we are introducing our first child-friendly event," says Melnyk. "On Dec. 28 we have rented a suite at the Saddledome for the Lethbridge Hurricanes-Calgary Hitmen hockey game. We are hoping alumni bring their families and enjoy the game in a relaxing, friendly atmosphere, and we would love to have to rent additional suites to accommodate everyone!"
Every year, the Calgary chapter holds a reception at the Big Rock Brewery. It is an evening for alumni to relax, catch up on what is happening at the U of L and in Calgary and to get to know each other. This year the board has decided to hold its AGM at the Big Rock evening in late spring.
"This is always a very successful event," says Melnyk of the Big Rock reception. "Other than the golf tournament, this has the largest turnout, and it's a different demographic in attendance. We would really like to take advantage of how supportive our alumni are by coming out to Big Rock, and similarly, how supportive Big Rock is to the University. The majority of our board members are from the Faculty of Management and we encourage alumni from all faculties to get involved so that we can meet the needs of all our current and future alumni."
Melnyk's motivation always comes back to his belief in giving back. It is a philosophy that he hopes all alumni will live by.
"My wife and I have just established scholarships at our high schools to help students pursue their dreams. Without that same kind of help, neither of us would be where we are today," explains Melnyk. "I encourage my fellow alumni to really think about what you have achieved and the help you have received along the way. Whether it is with your time or your chequebook, give back so that others can have those same opportunities."
GET THE FACTS
· Calgary Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament Legacy Sponsors include: LARC Resources, ATB Financial, BMO Nesbitt burns, CGA (Certified General Accountants), CMA (Certified Managerial Accountants) and Trafigura
· Tickets for the Hurricanes/Hitmen game are priced at $25 each, include a meal and can be purchased online by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling toll free 1-866-552-2582. You must RSVP by Dec. 20 and prepayment is required
· Melnyk also runs the annual ATB Brock Melnyk Invitational Golf Tournament, which is in its 10th year. It raised $10,000 for the Alberta Children's Hospital and the Edmonton Stollery Children's Hospital this past year
· Melnyk has been on the organizing committee for the United Way Day of Caring for the past 10 years, and this year he organized 120 bankers to paint 30 houses in one day for underprivileged seniors
This story first appeared in the December 2012 issue of the Legend. For a look at the entire issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.