Dan Blocka’s commitment to ErinoakKids
Dan Blocka vividly recalls the surprise of being stopped on the street by a woman and her son.
More than 18 years earlier, Blocka had fitted the boy, then a two-year-old ErinoakKids client, with orthotics to support his walking. Both mother and son were delighted to once again see the man who had made such an impact on them.
Recalling that chance encounter brings tears to Blocka’s eyes and underscores his commitment to the work of ErinoakKids.
Blocka’s clinical work in prosthetics and orthotics brought him into contact with ErinoakKids in the 1980s as he was building his business, now called Boundless Biomechanical Bracing. He worked closely with therapists to fit children with orthotics and keep those orthotics properly fitted as the child grew. Blocka’s connection quickly became personal due to his empathy for the children and families and his belief in the ErinoakKids mission.
“I think for someone who comes in as an outside partner, it’s very important to support an organization like this,” Blocka says. “Healthcare dollars tend to contract as time goes on, while the needs continue to go up.”
Blocka’s professional expertise enabled him to recognize the growing need at ErinoakKids from the very beginning.
“As you build a relationship with the organization and the team here, it’s a natural outcome that you see the needs of the organization,” Blocka says. “You’re working with the families and the staff, and you see the needs. You build personal relationships with all these people.”
Through the ’90s, in addition to the clinical services he and his company provided to ErinoakKids, Blocka supported fundraising events and his company often helped purchase equipment. In the early 2000s his varied activities took him out of Canada. On his return, he was struck by how the organization’s needs had grown, and again stepped up to the plate. “As a company we made a strong commitment to make a donation every year,” he says.
That was the time ErinoakKids was beginning to advocate for new facilities. When the Ontario government finally approved the redevelopment project to build three new state-of-the-art facilities in Brampton, Mississauga and Halton, Blocka’s excitement kicked into high gear.
He’s excited because he feels so much a part of the organization. Indeed, it’s hard to miss the fact that he uses the term ‘we’ when he refers to ErinoakKids. “We’ve never had a place that really shows what we’re all about here. Now, to realize there will be these new sites with a high profile and visibility – that’s exciting.”
Boundless Biomechanical Bracing plans a bigger donation than ever, he adds. After all, the goals of the In My Dreams capital campaign — to raise money to fully equip the new buildings — are part of his dreams too.
“I see my company’s commitment growing as we ramp up toward that point,” he says. “ErinoakKids makes me feel privileged to be part of the organization, and to be part of what it does.”
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