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Hearts & Hammers

Published March 20,2016 in the Calgary Sun

It wasn’t long ago Dave Bonk had just a hammer and a dream.

Now Bonk’s Calgary non-profit Hearts and Hammers, which retrofits homes for people with life altering illnesses or injuries, is keeping the hammers humming throughout the year, and is getting some attention from other local service providers.


Calgary Kinsmen step up to support local charity Hearts and Hammers

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Calgary Kinsmen step up to support local charity Hearts and Hammers
Published March 20,2016 in the Calgary Sun

It wasn’t long ago Dave Bonk had just a hammer and a dream.

Now Bonk’s Calgary non-profit Hearts and Hammers, which retrofits homes for people with life altering illnesses or injuries, is keeping the hammers humming throughout the year, and is getting some attention from other local service providers.



Posted by on 12:02 am in Projects, Slider | 1 comment



The relationship between Kinsmen and the Alberta Children’s Hospital dates back several decades when Kinsmen funded the hospital’s on site school for sick children.

Since 1993 the Kinsmen Club of the Stampede City has furthered that relationship through the Kinsmen Lotto for the Alberta Children’s Hospital.  The annual home lottery has generated over $26 million which has had a major and measurable impact on making the hospital a centre of excellence in child health, research and family centred care.

The funds raised in the lottery have been donated by Kinsmen to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation to fund important medical equipment such as a bipolar imaging machine and most recently, a state-of-the-art high resolution magenetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.  We were an important partner donating funds to the capital campaign necessary to build the new hospital which opened in its new location in 2006.  Kinsmen funded Canada’s first Chair in Pediatric Neurosciences, a move which ultimately drew several of the world’s other finest pediatric physicians to work at the hospital.

Regardless of the equipment or programs funded, parents throughout Calgary and Southern Alberta rest a bit easier knowing that the Alberta Children’s Hospital is one of the best children’s hospitals in the world and it’s right here in our backyard.  Kinsmen take pride in knowing that they’ve had a role in that.

Whether lottery supporters win a prize or not, they know that every ticket purchased is a guaranteed winner for the young patients at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. 

For more information about the Kinsmen Lotto for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, visit


Kinsmen Santa visits Rotary Flames House

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Taken from Sean’s Facebook post …

Edited at the request of Alberta Children’s Hospital to remove patient names.

Today was a very special but difficult day. Today, under the guise of a very jolly Santa Clause, I made a very special trip to the Alberta Children’s Hospital – the Rotary Flames House. It’s the hospice of the Hospital. Seems odd to think of a Children’s Hospital even needing a hospice.

There I met and spent time with some very young kids aged 6 months to 6 years. I will use their initials: E., S., B., L. and D.. Four of them are likely to see Christmas but one is not. And for the four who do, it’s hard to say whether they will see the following Christmas. That simply doesn’t seem fair. Such young beautiful kids.

Of course Santa remained jolly and we sang songs — E. clapped my hands for me. S. layed in his bed and smiled alongside his volunteer caregiver. D. swung in his swing – he’s only 6 months but he stared at the stuffed animal Santa gave him. B could hear everything — including the special music being played by two of the hospital’s chaplains — but he couldn’t speak. He seemed to like the Sully doll (Monsters Inc) as it was one of his favorite movies when he was well. His mother smiled as she sat with him knowing this is likely the last time her son would see St. Nick. L. arrived in the midst of everything. It was his first day there. 

Before leaving, Santa recorded a special video greeting for H. who was over at the main hospital all day getting tests. Santa gave him a stuffed Dalmatian puppy I named Spot – because he was covered with spots and if he was real he would leave spots on the carpet. Hard to say whether he will appreciate Santa’s warped humour.

And then it was into the car and once out of sight of the hospital it was time for Santa to pull over, remove his red cap and have a short cry. Parents shouldn’t be having to contemplate the death of their young child. 

I am so thankful to the staff and volunteers at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and the Rotary Flames House for all they do. They are the true Santas giving each and every day!

Kinsmen Care Foundation launches lotto for Calgary’s Alberta Children’s Hospital

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1297699266684_ORIGINALYou might not walk away from the Kinsmen Lotto for the Alberta Children’s Hospital with a prize, but there are no losers, Kinsmen Care Foundation chairman Sean Libin says.

Every ticket sold means kids in need win, he says — it puts the hospital one tiny step closer to a new neurocritical care program.

Libin told the Sun a story Monday about a two-year-old girl named Cherish who nearly drowned in a boating accident last summer when she went overboard and under water for half an hour.

She’s alive and her brain function is intact because of the hospital and the kind of work this new program would promote, he said.

“It’s about increasing the outcome for that child,” he said.

“It’s about making sure that child gets back to the best possible quality of life.”

Libin’s been with the Kinsmen for 25 years.

He’s been around for all 23 lotteries and he’s seen first-hand the impact he and his group have had.

Libin’s also seen what the Alberta Children’s Hospital has become.

“It’s become known throughout Canada and even other parts of the world … We’re blessed to have that hospital right here in our own backyard,” he said.

“We can buy the most state-of-the-art equipment.

“What we didn’t anticipate is what happens when doctors from around the world and researchers from around the world — suddenly we’re on their radar.

“That is part of the reason the hospital is what it is … and is setting the bar like it is.”

This year’s lottery will see $3 million in prizes — $2 million for the grand prize dream home and another $1 million for the other prizes, which includes a variety of vehicles and vacations.

Kinsmen Care Foundation Funds Decals for City of Calgary Vehicles to Honour First Responders and Military Members

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Kinsmen Care Foundation Funds Decals for City of Calgary Vehicles to Honour First Responders and Military Members

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Media Release_

Local Kinsmen group marks milestone with $1.3M donation

Posted by on 6:41 pm in Club News | 0 comments

With service clubs across North America reporting dwindling membership, one Calgary group is bucking the trend as it celebrates 50 years this weekend.

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Kinsmen celebrate 50 years, $50M … and gift $1.3M more, just because

Posted by on 6:33 pm in Club News | 0 comments

Half a century of generosity and service was marked Friday in typical Kinsmen Club of Stampede City fashion.

They cut a cheque — this one for $1.31 million that’ll benefit 11 Calgary charities.

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R.I.P. Mickey Boyle (April 3, 1937 – March 29, 2014)

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It is with profound sadness that our Club announces the passing of our friend and Kin Canada Life Member Mickey Boyle.

Mickey passed away peacefully surrounded by family at 2:35 Saturday March 29, 2014 in Calgary following what doctors described as ‘a catastrophic brain bleed’ less than 36 hours earlier.

Mickey, who would have celebrated his 77th birthday next week, woke up Thursday and started out on what was a fairly typical day, he kissed his loving wife Rita of 55 years and his daughter Lee goodbye and headed out the door to his job at Stride Management where he’s worked tirelessly since 2007 when he realized that there was no way he could retire from his government job and be happy. If you know Mickey you know he could not sit still idle for very long. His wife calls him “her Energizer bunny”.

Then in the evening, Mickey went to his “other job” – the job he loved the best: Kinsmen. He attended the meeting of the Calgary Kinsmen as he always did. Yes, he is a member of Stampede City Kinsmen but he was such a regular at the Calgary Club as well that he actually chaired committees in both Clubs. While there he started to feel a severe headache and suddenly wasn’t feeling well. Paramedics were called and by the time they got there he was suffering the full effects of what was later discovered as an artery bleeding into his brain. He became unconscious and he never regained consciousness.

Over the next day, he was surrounded by his wife and daughter and a few Kinsmen including myself and I can assure you that he was comfortable and did not suffer whatsoever. He faded peacefully from this world in the wee hours this morning but not before he was joined by his other daughter Suzanne who had arrived from Grande Prairie. His son Robert was able to say his goodbyes from Saskatoon unable to arrive here in time.

Mickey has had an amazing impact on Kin Canada being a member over 50 years. He has become a national presence in our Association and has created friendships from coast to coast to coast because of it.

He carried our Club’s history in his head but not before he shared hundreds of his physical memories that the amassed over the years. These precious artifacts have, and will continue to decorate our Kinsmen clubhouse.

It’s fitting that Mickey’s last conscious memory will be that of being at a Kinsmen meeting and being surrounded by friends.

It’s fitting that Mickey didn’t suffer and that he wasn’t forced to live a life that was less than 100% go go go.

It’s fitting that Mickey will always be remembered as one of the kindest, most dedicated and hardest working Kinsmen that our Association has ever had the privilege of knowing.

He will be missed beyond what any words can describe but equally he will be celebrated and remembered by so many that he touched and for so many different reasons.

Speaking personally, I have known Mickey for over half my life. We met through Kin, we became coworkers together for many years and we became dear friends. As I kissed his forehead yesterday to say goodbye I vowed to him to try to follow his example; to live every day to its maximum, to give that extra little bit of effort each day, to be a bit kinder and to continue to give back to our great Association for as long as I can. I hope you will take from Mickey these lessons also.

God bless you Mickey … meeting adjourned.

George Boyce – 1st Honourary Kin Kid

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1486855_461075910679547_1746278716_nGeorge Boyce has been donating his birthday toys to the Alberta Children’s Hospital for the past 2 years.  President Sean presented George with a Certificate of Outstanding Community Service, a KCSC nametag recognizing George as an Honourary Kin Kid and a KCSC 50th Anniversary coin.

The club also donated $1,000 to George to purchase toys to be donated to the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

George’s mother Gillian said

“I first want to thank you and the rest of the Kinsmen for your generosity of course but also your welcoming spirit you gave us on Tuesday evening!  Our family is overwhelmed by your kindness and George is looking forward to the big shopping spree for the kids at the hospital!” 

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