Month: July 2015

The Toni Alain Spirit Of Giving Program – A personal Mission

At Viral In Nature, we believe in giving back to our community and making the world a better place.  There are many reasons this is actually good for business such as:

  • It boosts Employee Morale and can attract Top Talent
  • Sponsorship can increase your company’s visibility
  • Increase your network opportunities
  • It generates a positive brand Image

But sometimes the reason is much more personal and genuine.  
Toni AlainMy name is Shawn Michael Alain and I’m the President of Viral In Nature.  I started this social media agency in 2013 and through hard work and with the help of my talented staff, we’ve been blessed with some amazing growth.  It’s been a long hard road to get to this point in my life but I’ve had help along the way from my Mom, Toni Alain.  My Mom died of a brain tumour when I was 16 years old and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her.  She went for brain surgery three times, each time we prayed it wouldn’t come back, but it did.  My Dad was a School Teacher and was able to take extended leave, my Mom was an Entrepreneur with a craft business, but unfortunately as many Entrepreneurs know that taking this career path means you usually don’t have the medical benefits an employee of a large company has.  Although my Dad did everything he could financially and tried to hide our financial insecurity from my brother and me, I could sense there was problems when he sold our prized Robert Bateman painting.  Looking back now I admire my Father for everything he did for his commitment to being there for my Mom at all costs while raising two kids. When it came back after the third surgery the Doctor wanted to do a fourth DadandBrothersurgery but the chances of survival weren’t good.  Instead of taking the risk of shorten her life, she unselfishly and courageously chose to spend her final days with her family.  I remember my last day with her.  She hadn’t gotten out of bed in weeks.  I’m pretty sure up until cancer she hadn’t touched a drug in her life, didn’t smoke, hardly even drank and now she was on several medication drugs including taking “comfort” doses of morphine.  On my last day with her she was too weak to move or even talk, but I know she could hear me because she could blink once for yes and twice for no.  I spent the entire day by her bedside talking to her and telling her stories.  Even then I thought my Mom was invincible and would pull through, I never had any doubts.  That night I went to sleep in my room downstairs.  In the middle of the night I woke up and was wide awake, minutes later I hear my Dad running down the stairs to wake me.  My Mom had passed.  I kneeled by her bedside for hours crying in pain and shock right up until the Coroner came later that day.  After, every night for months I cried myself to sleep asking God why did he take my Mom?  I couldn’t imagine not having my Mom in my life.  But I was wrong, she is in my life.  I think about her every day and she has shaped how I live my life.  When times were tough I pray for her guidance to help me through it.  When I’m afraid of failure I look to her courage.  And her never ending unconditional kindness and giving is the reason my company, Viral In Nature, has developed “The Toni Alain Spirit Of Giving Program” in memory of my Mom.

Some of the charities we’re involved with:

The Alberta Cancer Foundation – The Alberta Cancer Foundation is committed to making a difference for the 43 Albertans who hear the words “you have cancer” every day. As the fundraising partner for the Cross Cancer Institute, Tom Baker Cancer Centre and 15 associate and community cancer centres across the province, we invest in things that matter to Albertans: earlier detection, better prevention strategies, improved treatment and enhanced quality of life.

RideToConquerCancerThe Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer – The Largest Cycling Fundraiser in Canadian History. The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer® is for anyone who wants to challenge themselves for a great cause.

TomBakerGolfClassicTom Baker Cancer Centre Golf Classic – In memory of Fred C. Coles.  Since 1991, this special charity event has made life better for cancer patients at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.  Working with the Alberta Cancer Foundation, $5.5 million has been raised in support of enhanced care and research here in Calgary.

cashandcarscharityCash for Cars Lottery – Make life better for patients in all 17 cancer centres across the province by supporting the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s Cash and Cars Lottery.


from Social Media Blog – Calgary Social Media Management and Crisis Communication – Viral In Nature – Viral In Nature
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