Mary-Jo Dionne Productions Fund

The Mary-Jo Dionne Productions Fund was created to support local children living in poverty or fighting critical illness.

In 2018, we specifically supported five important initiatives. And Mary-Jo did not do it alone -- not by a long shot. On August 28th, through September 1st, 2018, her husband, a plant-based ultra-endurance athlete Chad Bentley, was one of approximately 10 athletes from around the world invited to compete in EPIC5 -- a challenge that saw him complete 5 Ironman events in 5 days on 5 Hawaiian islands. In an effort to make this special journey bigger than himself, he allocated 5 important causes to race for -- raising funds and awareness on each day. Every dollar donated via this page link, was split between those 5 endeavours. 

Recipients included:

  • Island #1: Canuck Place Children's Hospice
  • Island #2: The Millipede Project kids' shoes program
  • Island #3: CNIB Child and Youth Services
  • Island #4: Minerva BC: Indigenous Roots Girls’ Outdoor Leadership training for aboriginal girls
  • Island #5: Terry Fox PROFYLE which aims to positively impact health outcome for kids

In 2019 and beyond, we will raise funds specifically to put shoes on the feet of this city's most in-need children via The Millipede Project (learn more below). In 2018 alone, 600 children received footwear on account of your generosity. Many thanks!

A bit about The Millipede Project:

The Millipede Project is committed to getting Vancouver-area children-in-need into a new pair of shoes.

A bit about the history of the MJDP Fund:

A long-time animal activist, Mary-Jo Dionne didn't see a shift coming in her philanthropic focus. However, with the birth of her first human child, something happened. Suddenly, where she once saw the innocence of little four-legged beings, she also saw the innocence of little two-legged beings as well.

In 2013, she was blessed to earn a spot running the London Marathon, and in that capacity, she was tasked with fundraising for a UK-based organization called Children with Cancer. The experience left her a changed person; to be faced with the images and needs of kids who are suffering, and whose families depend entirely on the kindness of others.

The result was a desire to do more -- way more -- for local children living in poverty or local children living with critical illness. Never what one would have called a "baby person", this self-described late-bloomer and possessor of a once-defunct biological clock, found herself as both a first-time and second-time mom in her forties, and is more committed than ever to do what she can for Vancouver-area children as described above.

The Mary-Jo Dionne Productions Fund, which sees a percentage of her earnings as principal of Mary-Jo Dionne Productions (MJDP) amassed, is her way to do just that. (Yes, she still loves animals, and always will. To that end, she also reminds people: "Adopt. Don't shop.")

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