We could not wait to introduce you to our next, very special, featured guest. I met Jenn Ruvo through a personal contact, namely, my fiancé. I was immediately in awe of her dynamism, enthusiasm, passion, and tremendous down-to-earth kindness. Put simply, I loved her. My fiancé and I attended an event planned by Jenn for her SVR Foundation benefiting Complex Care Services at The Montreal Children’s Hospital. It was called Cocktails and Couture and, boy, did my mouth drop when I arrived. I looked to my fiancé to say, “Jenn, did this? Jenn frikin’ did all of this!!!” It was this very elegant affair complete with trendy vendors, fashion designers, celebrities, researchers, physicians, and all kinds of wonderful people gathered in support of Jenn’s incredible cause. This 20-something year old woman, driven by the love for her young cousin Stefano (who spent the first year of his life at the Children’s due to a rare genetic breathing disorder), decided to raise money and awareness for the hospital responsible for the care, expertise, and treatment needed for Stefano’s well-being. I was completely floored by her pursuits, commitments, accomplishments and…by her heart. On Friday, September 16th, Jenn will be holding another fundraiser at the Grevin Wax Museum in Montreal for the SVR Foundation. It is sure to be a great success and Sassy cannot wait to attend in support.
Jenn has graciously responded to questions we were just dying to ask her. Here is our Q&A session with her. Enjoy!
Q: Thank you for taking time for us, Jenn. Please tell us more about you.
A: I am a marketing major at John Molson School of Business and recently launched my very own namesake marketing & communications agency. My mission is to help small- to medium-sized start-up businesses reap the benefits of a dedicated marketing agency at affordable prices. Working with start-ups is intriguing to me, as they have something unique to offer and being a part of the making of something great is the most rewarding! In addition, I am a writer for Montreall.com, a premier portal into Montreal’s cultural scene where we keep Montrealers informed and up-to-date on what to do, where to go, and when to do it. Charity is something near and dear to my heart. One of my greatest achievements is founding the Stefano Vito Ruvo (SVR) Children’s Foundation, in 2012, benefiting the Complex Care Services at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. My mission is to provide hope, compassion and financial help to children with complex medical needs and their families by organizing annual fundraising events. In May 2015, the Montreal Children’s Hospital named the new consultation room after my family due to my fundraising initiatives. In May 2016, TD Bank chose my cousin Stefano and I to be the recipients of the Nicolas W. Matossian Junior Community Award of Excellence. Helping others thrive is my ultimate goal ☺
Q: You are doing so much for our culture and community. What drives you to be so involved?
A: The Complex Care Services provides my cousin Stefano among many other patients with complex medical needs the utmost care and support. It’s a department few know about and no one fundraises for, so I wanted to initiate a difference in an area that was lacking support. The money raised by the SVR Children’s Foundation has financially helped several families at the Complex Care Services benefit from equipment, treatments and/or services that are otherwise not covered by private or public organizations. The costs related to all of the above can be very expensive for families, adding a financial burden to an already stressful situation. We actually make a direct impact on a family’s life, and this is what drives me to be so involved.
Q: You seem to collaborate with a variety of different companies and organizations. What makes you want to partner with each one, respectively?
A: Yes, we collaborate with several local talents and trendsetter to create one of a kind events. In return, sponsoring our events provides companies with the unique opportunity to connect with the Montreal community, build brand awareness and show the company’s support for an incredible cause: children’s health. I get a thrill fusing my love for charity & marketing together.
Q: What advice would you give to young Montreal entrepreneurs?
A: My advice to young entrepreneurs is to continuously challenge themselves and step outside of their comfort zone in order to be the best version of themselves. By doing so you will stay competitive, innovative and improve your strengths and weaknesses. It’s also important to remember we’re human, and need to take care of ourselves and stay motivated to avoid burnout and isolation. There’s no such thing as a smooth road to success, we all face setbacks, but they will only make us stronger and wiser. Lastly, be kind, humble, and have a positive outlook, the rest is history!
Q: You have devoted so much time and heart into the charity you founded. Might you describe the SVR Foundation and the inspiration that started it all?
A: I touched upon this in the question above, so I will speak more about my cutie cousin, Stefano – the inspiration behind it all. Stefano spent the first year of his life at the Montreal Children’s after being diagnosed with Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS); a rare genetic breathing disorder where Stefano’s brain forgets to send signals to his diaphragm to move; therefore, making him dependent on artificial ventilation for life. At the age of 4 years old, Stefano underwent surgery for diaphragmatic pacers allowing him to be disconnected from his vent in the daytime, but reconnected in the evening when he goes to sleep. Stefano was also diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease at birth, an associated condition to CCHS, in which case his large intestine and a third of his small intestine had to be removed and replaced with an ileostomy. Miracles do happen, Stefano’s intestine grew back and doctors were able to remove his ileostomy and reconnect his intestine, allowing him to go to the washroom like the rest of us (you can’t imagine how happy this made him!). We all had a scare this past Christmas when Stefano’s heart stopped, he immediately underwent surgery and a pacemaker was inserted in his tiny little body. While Stefano sounds like a delicate, vulnerable little boy, I think Sassy can confirm that this is really not the case! Despite his challenges, he’s charming, funny and vibrant.
Q: Are there any upcoming events the community can attend to support the SVR Foundation?
A: Yes! Friday, September 16th is the SVR Children’s A Night at the Museum, sponsored by PVH, benefitting the Complex Care Services at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The SVR Children’s, along with Montreall.com, have organized a foodie extravaganza that will definitely impress! Our venue is none other than Musée Grevin, Montreal’s very own wax museum, with wonders to behold! We anticipate 300 attendees. Laura Casella (reporter/host on BT Montreal) will be hosting our upcoming event!
Fundraising Goal: $35 000, let’s hit the $100K mark this year!
Bar & Mixology by Brahm Mauer
Food Stations by Brera, Fiorellino, Falafel Avenue, Daylight Factory, VertU Bar Santé, Dilallo, Bretzel et Compagnie, Lafrenaie, Patisserie Petit Lapin & Bars Boutique.
Coffee bar by Baristello
Music by Pag & Mylo
Henna Tattoos by Mehendi
Strolling Magician by The Amazing Todsky
Raffle & Silent Auction
Notable raffle prizes/silent auction items: Air Canada roundtrip for 2 anywhere in Canada, USA & Carribean; Via Rail roundtrip for 2 Montreal – Toronto; Watch, polo & cap from Maserati Laval; 1 day rental of a Polaris Slingshot from Location VIP; $500 gift certificate for Discount Car Rental; 5 x $100 gift card from Nuva Beauty & Spa; Cavallo Design artwork; autographed sports memorabilia; electric drum set from Jam Industries; Alouettes tickets; concerts tickets (Eros Ramazzotti, Simple Plan, Maroon 5, The Doobie Brothers, Chicago & Earth, Wind, Fire, SIA); Disney on Ice packaged with a limo service and the list goes on!!!
Laura Casella (reporter/host on BT Montreal) will be hosting our upcoming event!
For Tickets: https://events.sparxo.com/svrchildrens2016
Jenn Ruvo Instagram page @jennruvo
SVR Children’s Instagram page @svrchildrens
SVR Facebook /svrchildrensfoundation/
SVR Twitter @svrchildrens
SVR website www.svrchildrens.wix.com/svrchildrens
SVR email address [email protected]