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July 22, 2021

Elks partner with Winnifred Stewart to get more people with disabilities employed

The Edmonton Elks and Winnifred Stewart are joining forces to help create more inclusive workplaces and get more people with disabilities employed.

With the creation of the Joey Moss Memorial Fund (JMMF), after Joey Moss’ passing in October 2020, Winnifred Stewart has a renewed focus to help more people with disabilities in Alberta achieve their dream of finding employment in inclusive, supportive workplaces.

Through the JMMF, Winnifred Stewart will launch an inclusive employment awareness campaign this fall, sharing stories of businesses throughout Alberta who have made diversity and inclusiveness a priority in their workplaces through hiring people with disabilities.

Having employed Joey Moss from 1986-2020, the Edmonton Elks know the value that hiring people with disabilities brings to their business. As they prepare for their August 7th season start, the Edmonton Elks have ensured that they continue to provide an inclusive workplace, hiring two new employees with developmental disabilities earlier this month.

“A strong team comes from a strong community – how do the Elks show strength off the field? They live inclusion by hiring Edmontonians with developmental disabilities and showcasing the diversity of strength available to all organizations in Edmonton” says Winnifred Stewart CEO, Sue Gilchrist.

Craig and Carmela (pictured here), both supported by Winnifred Stewart, have joined the Marketing and Ticketing Teams with the Edmonton Elks. Craig and Carmela bring valuable experience and capabilities that will positively impact the Edmonton Elks business and its overall organizational culture.

“Everyone knows how highly we thought of Joey Moss.  We made a public commitment to continue his legacy, and we are very proud to now have an Edmonton Elks Football Club employment program that Winnifred Stewart has developed in association with our team.”

“There is no question we would not have had this program without a strong relationship with the Winnifred Stewart Association and especially Joey. We welcome Craig and Carmella to our Elks team.”  says Elks President, Chris Presson.

As a major contributor to the fund with the first of its annual online 50/50 events taking place last fall, the Elks have shown their commitment to ensuring people with disabilities are respected in our community and are given the opportunity to show how they can be valuable, contributing members of any business.

The 50/50 event held this past November raised over $350,000 towards the Memorial Fund. The Elks plan to help Winnifred Stewart promote the upcoming awareness campaign and encourage other businesses to create more inclusive workplaces of their own.

“We’re so honoured to be working with and to have such tremendous support from the Edmonton Elks,” says Candace Smallwood, Director of Development & Communications for Winnifred Stewart “their dedication to supporting people with disabilities and the community as a whole is really inspiring.”

Winnifred Stewart launched a new 10-week job-readiness program this past May. Through the combination of job-hunting preparation and work experience, participants will be ready to begin their job search to start their career with renewed self-confidence, knowledge and experience.

Ongoing funding for the Employment Readiness Program, awareness campaign, and other initiatives that facilitate inclusive workplaces and create more employment opportunities for people with disabilities will be provided by ongoing fundraising campaigns of the Joey Moss Memorial Fund, like the Joey Moss Memorial Golf Classic, taking place on Monday, August 13th at Blackhawk Golf Club.