Members of Top Guns Charity

UVic business grads turn Top Guns into charity, tour the country

In 2007, Kenneth Heinbecker founded Top Guns at the University of Calgary with the sale of aviator sunglasses to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society.

Blend four business degrees, the desire to boost cancer prevention, a pink 2001 Dodge Caravan and the nostalgia of a classic 1980s film.

The result: Top Guns Charity, created by four recent University of Victoria business school grads, its aim is to help university students across the country fundraise to suit local breast cancer prevention and treatment priorities. And one more thing, the mix also includes pink flight uniforms and aviator sunglasses.

In 2007, Kenneth Heinbecker founded Top Guns at the University of Calgary with the sale of aviator sunglasses to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society. Top Guns branch groups were then formed at the University of British Columbia and UVic in 2010, when the Victoria group raised $3,500 for the society in its first year. This summer, Bear Johal, Cam MacQueen, Taylor Love and Drew Zimmerman put their degrees to work and registered the charity with the hopes of setting up more groups across the country.

“It’s really evolved and this is the next step,” Johal said.

“We all just graduated – that’s a high in itself,” addedTaylor Love. “To be able to use our talents, our skills in the real world is extremely exciting, then we can do that and give back to society – I don’t think there’s a better win-win than that.”

The guys are now preparing to take off on an 80-day Think Pink tour across every major Canadian university campus from Victoria to St. John’s, with the hope of expanding Top Guns in at least four more cities. The sale of sunglasses cover operational costs of the trip, allowing them to follow through with their business model of applying 100 per cent of all donations raised at campus events to local breast cancer treatment and prevention.

They hope to raise $135,000 for Top Guns Victoria for the purchase of a Film Digitizer and a Tissue Processor for the Royal Jubilee and Victoria General Hospitals. After their goals have been reached, they’ll hand the reigns of the group over to new student leaders and focus solely on administrating the national body – one that’s seeped in good times.

“We are a fun, university-run charity and that’s who we’re attracting,” Love said. “That’s why we appeal so much to the target market.”

“That’s how the Top Guns events were born,” Johal said. “Why not organize an event, have all of your friends together and do it for charity as well?”

Top Guns are seeking help on every level, from student volunteers to corporate sponsorship. To keep up with their progress, including blog updates and webisodes, go to topgunscharity.ca.

“We’re not just saving breasts, we’re saving lives,” Johal added from behind a pair of aviator sunglasses.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

Top Guns Think Pink tour kick off fundraiser

When: 8 p.m., Sept. 6

Where: Felicitas, Student Union Building, University of Victoria

With: DJ OMRI and DJ Gypsy Portal

 

 

Just Posted

Canada Women’s Rugby 7s Team land at home after series triumph

Next stop at Langford offers Olympic qualification

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Two-sailing waits continue Victoria to Tsawwassen

Backlog continues despite extra sailings over Easter

Saanich soccer player survives bout with flesh eating disease

Harinder Sandhu picked up the disease after soccer game

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 straws each year

Most Read