Fundraising is an important aspect of SODA. Money raised is used to promote awareness for organ and tissue donation and to assist those who are awaiting or who have had a transplant.


Sarnia Organ Donor Awareness Group’s Jazz In The Village

It is with great sorrow we announce that Jazz and Blues In The Village has come to an end.

We have been incredibly blessed to have a small, but dedicated, committee of volunteers that planned each and every detail of this fantastic weekend and so many more who worked the event itself. And you, dear attendees, who made the Festival the wonderful weekend it was. We cannot thank you all enough for your time, support and the difference you made in aiding Lambton County transplant patient’s lives!

Jazz in the Village was a fundraising venture begun by S.O.D.A. in 2004. Dubbed “the little festival that grew”, the original Jazz Festival had grown to include Blues.

Jazz in the Village was a two-day event held the third weekend in September. We began our venture in Mitton Village, but as the Jazz Festival grew we realized we needed a bigger venue. For several years the festival had been relocated to McGibbon Park on Lochiel Street. The new location provided an inviting green space with lots of parking in the area.

Folks were able to come enjoy a fall festival full of scarecrows and corn stalks, crafts and artisans, hot food and cold drinks, all while the sounds of cool jazz and blues music floated over the open-air venue. Between bands, attendees were able to stroll around the park, visit one of the many food vendors for a bite to eat.

SODA Golf Tournament

The first SODA Golf Tournament was held in 1994. Each year it is held at the St. Clair Parkway Golf Course in Mooretown on the 3rd Friday in June. This annual tournament has raised over $100,000 in that time. We have had on average 160 golfers on 40 teams. Over 50 volunteers come out to help us every year. Businesses sponsor 18 signs, and about 150 others have donated to the prize table every year. St. Clair Parkway Golf Course has been a very good partner for this event and gives us an excellent rate that helps our fundraising.

Pro Am Golf Tournament

For the past several years we, along with the Kidney Foundation, have been the recipients of the proceeds from the Pro Am Golf Tournament at the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club. We are very thankful to have had the opportunity to take part in this tournament and to receive a substantial donation from this event. We are grateful to SGCC for their support of our endeavours.

Mike Stevens and Matt Andersen CD Release Party

On April 22, 2012, SODA hosted a CD Release Party for this dynamic duo for their new CD that was recorded in Banff, Alberta. Mike Stevens (a Sarnia native) is a Harmonica Virtuoso while Matt Andersen is a Blues Guitarist and Songwriter. The event will take place at the Imperial Theatre in Sarnia. Contact the SODA Office or the Imperial Theatre for further information on this exciting event.

Hearts in Bars

This fundraiser has been ongoing for several years. SODA Hearts are placed at local bars where patrons can purchase one for a Toonie. The patron signs their name on the heart and it is then displayed at the bar. Hearts in Bars started out as a Christmas project, but we now have it in April, which is Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Month (NOTDAM).

Coin Boxes

SODA coin boxes have been distributed to stores throughout Sarnia and Lambton County where shoppers can donate their change in support of SODA. Once a year we are invited to have our coin boxes at area LCBO’s. Every penny counts and the coins add up to help us promote organ and tissue donation awareness!

“One Time” Fundraisers

A large, hand-crafted doll house was donated to SODA. We held a raffled and used the proceeds for awareness.

We have raised funds with a Victorian Tea, which was held in an old Victorian home in downtown Sarnia and the servers were dressed in Victorian style clothing. Desserts for the tea were donated by local restaurants.

We sponsored the musical “Forever Plaid”, and the comedy “The Perfect Manhattan”. Both productions starred local talent with the profit from the shows coming back to SODA.

We have also raised money with car lotteries, cash lotteries, and Nevada Ticket sales.

In 2009 Adrian Verwegan and Hal Regnier began their “Ultimate Recycling Tour” on behalf of SODA. Adrian and Hal rode an estimated 4650 km from Key West, FL to Sarnia, ON and the money raised was generously donated to SODA.

Awareness Events

Bluewater Health

We regularly work with Bluewater Health to promote organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

Speaking Engagements

Representatives of SODA, donor families and recipients, speak at various schools, organizations and community groups to educate about organ and tissue donation and transplantation, as well as the necessity of registering to be a donor and sharing your wishes with family.

Art Competition

For the past several years we have held an art competition for local high school students. The artwork has Organ and Tissue Donation and our Jazz and Blues Festival as its theme. The winner of this contest receives a monetary prize and has their artwork displayed on placemats which are distributed to local restaurants. This project is done in August to promote our Jazz and Blues Festival, and also to create awareness about the need for organ and tissue donation.

Sarnia Home Show

For several years SODA has participated at the Spring Home Show at Clearwater Arena where we provide information on organ and tissue donation and encourage people to register to be an organ donor. In the past we were privileged to display the Trillium Gift of Life quilts. These quilts were made of sewn squares that were designed to honour Gift of Life donors and recipients.

Senior’s Fair

We participate in various Senior’s Fairs in Lambton County, providing information about organ and tissue donation and encouraging people to register to be a donor.

Past Awareness Events

In the past we have held a Celebration of Courage in April, during National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week (NOTDAW). We have also participated in the Volunteer Fair, which gave us an opportunity to both provide awareness and have the opportunity to gain new volunteers. We have participated, along with the Sarnia Kidney Foundation, in the Living Green Ribbon Event.