The last five months have been hectic to say the least, but we did it. We successfully pulled off perhaps one of the most educational and eye-opening events to date. And just to be clear, when we say “we”, we mean a small army of dedicated individuals that can all be traced back to Sanctum Care Group Inc.
This event was first presented to the Lux team back in February. The main focus was to raise funds and awareness for Sanctum Care Group, Saskatchewan’s first HIV Transitional Care Home and Hospice, and Sanctum 1.5, an HIV pre-natal care home that will support high-risk, HIV positive, pregnant women. As this event was a first for both Lux Events and Sanctum, we knew we wanted to go big.
And so, Sanctum Survivor was put in motion.
Our goal was to demonstrate the intense hardships encountered by those who experience poverty, homelessness, and chronic illness. As such, the aforementioned army worked together to create the 36-Hour Challenge.
Of course, a challenge needs participants. A total of ten local celebrities were sought after and secured – these individuals became our Survivors. They raised funds, helped promote the event, and – perhaps most courageously – participated in the 36-Hour Challenge. Although their participation was a mere snapshot of what individuals face on the streets of Saskatoon each and every day, it was not to be discounted.
Over the course of 36 hours, our Survivors were given specific tasks to complete in the form of scenarios. Each scenario attempted to demonstrate just one of the many aspects of poverty, homelessness, and chronic illness. For example, some Survivors were instructed to locate the Needle Exchange Van at its stop on Avenue F and 20th and get a quote. Another scenario had Survivors attempt to do their own laundry, which consisted of only the clothes on their backs.
These challenges were not meant to measure each Survivor’s ability to live on the streets, but rather work towards a greater understanding of why organizations like Sanctum Care Group exist.
And so, they understood. And we understood. Throughout all of our planning, preparing, fundraising, and more planning, we were consistently humbled by the courageous efforts of our communities, and the support systems that are in place here in Saskatoon. We saw how organizations like Sanctum Care Group were long overdue, and how there is still so much room for each and every one of us to step in and help out.
Sanctum Survivor came to a close at our formal reception, which took place in a dramatic airport hangar, complete with large sliding doors and high vaulted ceilings. We were able to transform Hangar 6 into a space worthy of such a meaningful celebration.
We drew inspiration from the well-known television series, Survivor. Simple details like tiki-torches and wild, green garlands were subtle representations, whereas our Survivor grand entrance through the Living Sky Taiko drummers stood out as one of our more daring arrangements. Dinner was catered by Ayden Kitchen and Bar, and our entertainment included of videography by Jenkins Media. There may or may not have been several tears shed.
We are so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful movement. As former police officer, author and public speaker, Ernie Louttit, says, “you can’t unhear something once you’ve heard it.” It is our greatest hope that this reigns true for each and every individual this event reaches.