The holiday season is a time of receiving, but more importantly a time of giving back to the community to those who are less fortunate. With this in mind, Under the GUI took part in a charity event on the 21st of December. The Winter Gala event was organized by the SDC (Social Diversity for Children) Blue Ribbon Foundation, an organization that seeks to empower children with disabilities while connecting them through “cross-compassionate” programs with the wider community. As a non-profit organization, Blue Ribbon Foundation depends on the donations and events such as the charity to fund and support programs that give better opportunities for all youth. This year’s highlight event was held at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel.

The keynote speaker was Spencer West, a man who has overcome his own personal physical disability and uses it to inspire others to do the same or join the journey to help others overcome. As an Ambassador for Feed the Children, Mr. West has spoken in a multitude of events. The message this year was “Empowerment and Redefining the Impossible,” a passionate and touching message of how we as a community can support our neighbours to surpass their current limits and to lead extraordinary lives. The proceeds of the fundraiser went to fund programs that sought to meet Blue Ribbons’ goals of developing opportunities for those who face greater challenges than we do on a regular basis.

We are proud to have been one of the diamond sponsors of the event along with other companies such as WestJet. The donations of Under the GUI were made with the hopes that new and greater opportunities will be created for all youth, no matter their backgrounds or limitations.


In addition to the monetary support, Under the GUI also supported the charity event by running a booth for the enjoyment of attendees. The booth displayed the cutting-edge technology of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset developed by the company Oculus. The headset is a major advancement in the technological field that allows the user to view the virtual world almost to the same extent that we can see the world on a day-to-day basis. Under the GUI used the Oculus Rift to simulate a roller coaster ride, which the viewer was able to experience. Many came to try out this incredible piece of technology, and were left amazed with the realism they experienced.

The booth was run by some of Under the GUI’s best and brightest – Michael and Jackson, who are fourteen and fifteen respectively. Michael and Jackson have been students at Under the GUI for a little under a year, and have a very strong understanding of coding and the methodically logical processes needed to problem solve and develop games and programs. The boys operated and demonstrated the capabilities of the hardware and programming using the skills that they had learned from their classes and did an astounding job. Big props to them for representing us!

We’re fortunate to have been part of such a great cause towards the empowerment of children with disabilities, and wish the foundation luck in their future endeavours!