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Home Donors Gifts At Work Raising success for SAIT's concrete toboggan

Raising success for SAIT's concrete toboggan

SAIT's 2017 Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race team celebrates their new title as King of the Hill in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Sending a concrete toboggan down a wintery hill in February might look easy, but SAIT's 2017 Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR)  team knows better - it takes a whole lot of community spirit to cross the finish line. 

"Seeing it all come together is my favourite part," said Parker Gavey, a third year Construction Project Management student and co-president of this year's team. 

"For the majority of the year, you're sitting in front of the computer staring at the screen. But a few weeks before the race, you actually see it come together and see how it performs." 

Raise it Red

The GNCTR 2017 team consisted of  24 members from six SAIT programs. To cover the costs of designing the toboggan and to send them all to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the race, they needed to raise a minimum of $10,000. 

They used SAIT's crowdfunding program, Raise It Red, and rallied the support of  family, friends, alumni and corporate donors. They surpassed their goal, raising a total of$12,205.

Standen's, a Canadian steel manufacturing company, pledged to donate $2,000 if the team could raise the same amount on their own. With that criteria met, it was Standen's contribution that toppled the target.

"Crowdfunding gives our donors the opportunity to invest in a project they are passionate about, and that has an immediate impact on our students," said Melissa Woodworth, Channel Specialist for SAIT Alumni and Development who worked with the team on this project.

To apply for crowdfunding, the team presented a three-minute video pitch to a committee explaining how they would use the funds to achieve their goals.  

"Our goal was to have money left over for next year, and we achieved that," said Brett Wallace, a second year Mechanical Engineering Technology student and co-president of the GNCTR 2017 team. 

King of the hill

The team's theory was brought into practice at the national concrete toboggan race in Winnipeg, Manitoba from Feb. 8 to 12, 2017. Revamped with an all-new braking system, SAIT's concrete toboggan (named, Super Smash Boggin) faced 20 other schools in the competition. 

For the first time in recent memory, SAIT won King of the Hill, a title reserved for the tournament champion with the overall fastest speed. Last year, they claimed second place by a fraction of a second. 

They also took home Best Steering Performance for the third year in a row, where toboggans must steer between gates downhill without swerving off-track. 

In future years, co-presidents Gavey and Wallace hope to see the 44-year legacy of SAIT toboggans become a point of campus pride. 

"We always do our best to make a good name for ourselves while we're there, both in our work and in how we act," said Wallace.  

"I just want to see the legacy continue."   

Written by Jolisa Tweedie (JA '17)