As dedicated parents to four of their own children, Paul Klassen, GM of Pinnacle Group Renovations, and his wife Elaine believed in the mission and vision of this incredible non-profit organization committed to assisting Calgary’s vulnerable and at risk children and youth. Driving Pinnacle Group Renovations business philosophy is Paul’s belief in creating homes for life – making the home a family’s favourite place to be. However, for many children, home is far from a haven – a warm and wonderful sanctuary filled with love. It is for these children that Safe Haven Foundation is dedicated to helping stay off the streets and in school, giving them their future back. The Safe Haven Foundation was established in 1996, providing an innovative approach to early intervention and prevention of child abuse and youth homelessness. With the goal to reduce the number of girls living on the street by changing one life at a time, the Live Long Homes Program (now known as Haven’s Way), was opened in 2000 and is operated by the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary .
Paul & Elaine have always held family values close to their heart, but an experience in their own lives provided them with further inspiration to support the valuable efforts of the Safe Haven Foundation. In 1998, Paul & Elaine found themselves in a position to help a family they had known from out of province locate their daughter who was living in a vulnerable situation, at times faced with fending for herself in very difficult circumstances in the inner-city of Calgary. Through a series of conversations, compassion and reassurance, they convinced this young teen to leave this behind and seek safety and refuge in their family home. Fast forward 15 years, and this once at risk teen is a vibrant, grateful and healthy contributing member of our society, running her own successful business enterprise. The Klassen’s consider her part of the family and feel fortunate to have had their lives and the lives of their children enriched by this experience. It solidified for them the idea that we truly are capable of positively impacting the lives of others, one individual at a time.
The Klassen’s have instilled their passion for helping Calgary’s youth into the corporate culture at Pinnacle Group where staff and trades have opportunities to contribute to this worthwhile foundation by providing volunteer labour and supplies to refurbish some of Haven’s Way safe homes used to house former street youth. As well, for the last several years at the Safe Haven Foundation’s annual gala, Paul & Elaine sponsor a table where they bring 6 guests to enjoy the evening’s events; a class act fundraising evening, bringing out Calgary’s caring business community as well as some of Calgary’s fantastic celebrity personalities. Paul is currently putting together a silent auction package from Pinnacle Group Renovations for this year’s upcoming Safe Haven Foundation Gala on October 23rd, 2010, which promises to be another premiere event featuring an exciting night of entertainment followed by both a silent and live auction fundraiser.
Last year at the gala, Paul decided to place a bid on one of the fun auction items – a luxurious Bentley for a weekend and two night’s accommodations at the Banff Springs Hotel. To Paul’s surprise he won the bid and recently enjoyed what he deems as the best ride of his life!! As Paul puts it, “I had boyish laugher coming out of my belly that I didn’t know existed!” He thoroughly put to the test this lavish Continental GT Convertible’s 550 horsepower engine, taking in the beauty of the scenery and wildlife surrounding him through Kananaskis Country, Golden, Jasper and Longview – a ride he and his wife Elaine won’t soon forget!
For more information on how you can make a difference in the life of an at risk youth or for details on attending one of Calgary’s premiere philanthropic events, visit www.safehavenfoundation.ca .