Change for Children – Amazingest Race 2018

Thick fog spread over much of the Edmonton Capital Region the morning of Friday, May 11 that cleared in time for teams to review the PJHA and be outfitted with their GoPros in the 14830 parking lot. Four teams raised at least $750 for Change for Children and were given a 15 minute Head Start – it’s now 8:45am… Amazingest Race 2018 is on!

To conquer this 8-hour event, 2-person teams needed to decipher ten route clues and overcome nine challenges to sprint to the finish line where Lee was waiting at the Wilfrid Laurier boat launch. Teams were tested on their knowledge of our newest Paragonians (hope they read those Welcome e-mails), challenged to show-off their booty-poppin’ dance moves (we have video footage of Blair, Scott & Konstantin), shoot an arrow just like Katniss Everdeen, secure a podium finish at Fast Track Go Karts (Diana’s real name is actually Danica Patrick), face their fears on the SkyFlyer zipline or MindBender roller coaster (Trevor blacks out when he’s upside down. Acrophobia has nothing to do with spiders Cortney), impress colleagues with poetry and artistry in an artistic representative of an original Haiku (Blair starts to get really competitive. Kahlie puts him on a Time-Out), due to time delays no one had to endure the library challenge, compile photo evidence of 10 scavenger hunt items around the Edmonton Valley Zoo (penguins are in the Antarctic, not the Arctic – but it has nothing to do with Clue 1 either way. Blair is getting angry. No one likes Lee’s clues. Scott and Eldon pull to the lead with a last-minute creative selfie with wood chips) and everyone’s favorite challenge Brain Buster (listing the challenges, by name, in the correct order – Barb made us do it) is the last stop before the finish line… Scott and Eldon serve the 15 minute Brain Buster penalty but still manage to secure 1st Place. Kayla & Katelyn W. use their Know it All card to bypass Brain Buster and secure 2nd Place. Cortney & Nancy stroll up in 3rd Place. Blair & Trevor take 4th (“4th is the WORST place to get” says Blair). Appetizers, cold beverages and a buffet dinner were waiting for participants, volunteers and guests back at the Zoo where guests had exclusive after-hours access to the animals.

It was another successful race, dare we say our best yet? Be sure to thank the volunteers – there were many, many route clues and challenges to plan, print, fold and stuff in envelopes (…360 to be exact).

2018 Fundraising Update – Change for Children

Many of you will remember our Nicaragua project from 2015/16. We raised over $30,000 toward the construction of two schools in the remote BOSAWAS biosphere reserve, and also sent a number of Paragonians to the area to lend our soil expertise to local agricultural efforts.

Fast forward two years and Paragon is taking on another corporate goal – this time in Guatemala! The Comitancillo region in the western highlands of Guatemala faces high rates of extreme poverty and malnutrition due to frequent disasters and an economic reliance on growing cash crops for export rather than for food. Farmers here are in need of monetary and technical assistance, as well as improved seeds and tools to make this region productive enough to feed its population and to produce export crops to diversify income and stimulate the economy. The project, again run by Edmonton charity Change for Children, includes nutrition and environmental education programs in schools and the establishment of school gardens and agricultural training for students. School gardens supply school lunches using produce from their gardens. This project benefits 5 schools (800 students) as well as 250 farming families (2000 people) who receive improved seeds, tools and training to improve agriculture and by extension nutrition in this region.

To find out more about our fundraising visit:

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4th Annual Staff Charity Golf Tournament

The Paragon 4th Annual Staff Charity Golf Tournament was held on June 8, 2018 at the Ranch Golf and Country Club. The weather was perfect for golf with clear skies and a slight breeze to keep the mosquitoes away and hot enough to justify a cold grapefruit radler. The day started with a chance to enjoy lunch, warm up at the driving range, and just socialize before hitting the course. The course was fun and fairly challenging and by the end of the game the teams managed to put up some impressive scores.

The winning team was comprised of Calvin, Jonah, Lyndon, and Paul, who each took home a $100 Visa card and will have their names engraved on the Meistari cup! The last place team were the real winners, as they were each handed some contents of Todd Stephenson’s desk circa 2008. Several game prizes were also given out, with Blair taking home the big one – a $1000 Kal-Tire gift card for having his tee shot coming in closest to the tire set on the fairway. There were incredible raffle prizes available too, with the proceeds going to YESS; here’s a list of the lucky winners:

– Kitchenaid Mixer in Tiffany blue – Trevor
– Electra Bicycle – Veronica
– Margaritaville Mixer & Oilers Framed Photo – Kate A
– Callaway Golf Bag – Liz
– Beef from StonePost Farms – Lyndon
– Bose Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker – Claire K
– Hilton One Night Stay – Sebastian
– Rebel Restaurant GC – Kayla

The event raised 4,000 dollars for YESS!
Thank you to all of our sponsors and organizers for putting their time in to creating such a fun event with a meaningful cause.

The Winning Team – Calvin, Lyndon, Paul and Jonah
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Did you know…

Did you know that Paragon completed the soils and terrain baseline survey at Kearl back in 2003? Paragon continues to maintain staff at the Kearl Oil Sands site to plan and oversee all soil salvage and placement activities, including detailed reclamation supervision and monitoring.

 A closer look at progressive reclamation: Imperial’s Kearl oil sands mine

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ESAA’s Community Involvement Award

Paragon is proud to announce that we were selected as the winner of the ESAA (Environmental Services Association of Alberta) Industry Award for community involvement.

The Community Involvement Award is presented to an ESAA member organization that has shown an outstanding commitment to bettering their community through active fundraising and community involvement.

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2015 Fundraising Update – Change for Children

After visiting the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in 2015 Paragon as a whole made a commitment to fund-raise $25,000 to support Change for Children in the construction of a secondary school and garden. Through a number of initiatives and exciting staff events we were able to exceed our initial goal and raised nearly $35,000!

Since eclipsing our goal, construction has begun (see photos below) and we’re gearing up for the second annual trip where Paragon employees will help plant the school garden.


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2015 Photo Contest

The 2015 photo contest had a number of great entries. The winners, as voted by Paragon employees, can be seen below.

First Place: Northern Lights, taken at Elk Island National Park. Credit: Susann Dietrich.
Second Place: Icelandic Waterfalls. Credit: Samantha LeCerf
Third Place: Edmonton River Valley. Credit: Susann Dietrich
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Amazingest Race Recap

Paragon recently held its first annual Amazingest Race. This unique event had teams of staff members travelling across Edmonton by foot and taxi to complete a variety of puzzles, challenges, and adventures.

(Left to Right) Tactical laser tag was among the long list of activities that made up the day-long competition. Participants square off in a game of bubble soccer. Bird house construction at its's finest.
(Left to Right) Tactical laser tag was among the long list of activities that made up the day-long competition. Participants square off in a game of bubble soccer. Bird house construction at its finest.


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Driving Change for Children

On August 20th, Paragon Soil employees took part in the 3rd Annual Paragon golf tournament at the Ranch Golf and Country Club.  After a group of Paragon employees joined Change for Children on a tour of the BOSAWAS biosphere reserve in Nicaragua in the spring of 2015, Paragon has committed to raise a target of $25,000 for the charity by the end of 2015.   With 30 Paragon employees and guests in attendance, the tournament raised funds to help build a much needed elementary school and garden for rural communities in the area.


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