Q+A: Wade Edwards, chair of Team Fox Young Professionals of Toronto
Team Fox Young Professionals of Toronto was founded in 2015 and are a group of proactive young professionals in the GTA area who have dedicated their time, interests, and talents towards helping to support the work of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. We caught up with Team Fox Chair Wade Edwards to talk about why he got involved and what Team Fox is all about.
-You are the Chair for Team Fox Young Professionals of Toronto? Why did you get involved?
I’ve always wanted to get involved and actively support Parkinson’s research, as it’s a cause very close to my heart. Following my post-graduate studies I found myself with a heap of time on my hands and thought why not? The timing just worked and I haven’t looked back.
-How do you explain what Team Fox is to people who don’t know about it?
Team Fox is a grassroots community fundraising program at the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Essentially, we are a group of fun individuals, focused on generating greater awareness in the community of the disease while hosting a variety of fundraising events. The Team Fox Young Professionals (YPs) are a proactive group of 20-and 30-somethings who dedicate their time toward supporting Team Fox. Toronto is the most recently formed YP group, and the only in Canada, joining 6 US cities – New York, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, Boston and LA. Fundamentally, the Team Fox YPs of Toronto are a group of like-minded professionals who work hard for a cause but have fun while doing so.
-Do you have a connection to Parkinson’s?
I do, yes. My grandfather suffered from Parkinson’s towards the later stages of his life. It had a profound effect on me, and my family, which is where my passion stems. It is in month’s like this (Parkinson’s Awareness month) that I am reminded of the reach of this disease and how many people it affects. Finding a cure couldn’t come quick enough.
-Do you need to have a connection to Parkinson’s to join Team Fox Young Professionals of Toronto?
No, not at all. I would encourage everyone, at some point in their life, to give back to a charity – whether connected or not, the satisfaction is genuinely rewarding. We are always looking for people to help out, in both formal and informal capacities – the only requirement we ask is for consistent, proactive and friendly participation. Should you wish to get involved I would love to connect with you via email at email@example.com
-What does a typical Team Fox Young Professionals of Toronto meet up night usually entail?
Given the voluntary nature of the group, and young-professional composition of the group, we try to keep these meetings as fun as possible – usually held monthly over a burger and pint, or salad and wine. In saying that, in the lead up to an event, it’s extremely common for weekly phone calls and a flurry of emails.
-You’ve been chair of the Team Fox Young Professionals of Toronto for over twelve months now. What’s been the highlight?
It’s been an exciting journey working with the Foundation to develop a formal YP presence here in Toronto and help shape the way we engage the community and generate much needed fundraising for Parkinson’s research. Seeing this come to fruition has been an extremely rewarding experience, but so too has the people I have met. It’s truly inspiring to see the amount of passion and level of commitment some volunteers have. Very refreshing.
-What can Torontonians expect from Team Fox Young Professionals of Toronto?
A fun and relaxed approach to educating and fundraising for Parkinson’s research. Through casual meetings, incorporating plenty of laughter, we aim to provide enjoyable interactions and networking opportunities while giving back to the community.