ABOUT THE LOVE FOR LEWISTON FOUNDATION

The Love for Lewiston Foundation was born of a position the Olstads embraced to spend their son Lewiston’s first birthday not as a pity party, but a celebration of his short but influential life and the life lessons they desired to pass on to others. They felt the community surround them in their darkest moments and encountered so much light and strength in sharing their burden that they wanted to keep spreading joy and love to others like it was so generously offered to them. They believe to their core that Lewiston’s message of “squeezing a little tighter, loving a little deeper and dancing a little longer”, is meant to be extended to the world.

 

With seven weeks to the day, they rallied their lose friends, organized and hosted their first official Lewiston event on May 25, 2017 – it raised just over $42,000 in one night. To make everything legit as an Alberta-registered society, the paperwork was prepared during the planning phases but not expected to be completed for months. Jessica received a call the morning of the party, on Lewiston’s first birthday, declaring that the paperwork had been processed, approved and certified, making the Love for Lewiston Foundation an official society. This was all thanks to an amazing accounting team at Pinnacle Accounting and Finance to help push through the paperwork and ensure every “t” was crossed and every “i” was dotted. The Foundation is currently working to achieve its registered charitable status with the Canada Revenue Agency. We currently are unable to offer tax-deductible receipts for your donations, but please ask us about other ways we can assist you in this area.

 

The Love for Lewiston Foundation exists to create awareness, bring joyful experiences spreading love and directing money to local families, and ultimately raising funds focused on treatments and finding a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy through SMA Research and The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Our Board of Directors

Jessica Janzen Olstad
Jessica is a farm girl, now urban city dweller in Calgary, Canada. She ditched her corporate gig and the 9 -5 grind to live her most authentic, bold, joyful life. She is most proud of her husband and kids, but that’s closely followed by the foundation work and Love for Lewiston clothing line. It’s developed, designed and locally made in her hometown to help raise funds and awareness for the
Love for Lewiston Foundation, SMA & Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. Jessica and her  Hot Hubby – Hot Ronnie as she calls him – started the foundation with 3 of their best friends to honor our son who passed away in November 2016 from a rare genetic disease called SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). Their goal is find a cure and get newborn screening to place so that no family has to endure what they did with our son Lewiston. Her daily focus is to run towards the roar.

Marie Tsang
Marie is a proud board member of the Love for Lewiston Foundation. As a friend to the Olstad’s for the past decade, she was utterly heart broken and devastated by the loss of Lewiston. Rallying around the family and the SMA community to bring joy and work towards a cure is one of her greatest passions. Marie works behind the scenes, to support Jessica and Ronnie’s crazy ideas and helps bring them to life. As Secretary of the Board, she keeps everyone on track and supports overall operations. While Jason is the most serious board member, Marie is the second most serious, which is the perfect balance to Jess and Hot Ronz.

Shailynn Taylor
Born and raised in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, Shailynn Taylor knew from a young age that despite living with type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, she planned to spread her wings after high school. She dove into discovering what moving away from home was like while fighting a terminal disability and being dependant on others for her daily care needs. Shailynn moved to Vancouver BC in 2014 to create a life of her own at Simon Fraser University. When she realized BC wasn’t where she planned to be long term, she moved to Alberta where she has happily lived in Calgary for four years while attending Mount Royal University. At MRU Shailynn is presently in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program and she hopes to enter the field of Law or probation once she has completed her degree. Shailynn is so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with the Olstads and Lewiston during his short time here and is honoured to be a part of continuing Lewiston’s legacy through the Love for Lewiston Foundation.

Justine Moreau
Justine is honoured and grateful to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Love for Lewiston foundation. She is a Partner in Calgary-based creative services firm Bespoke Projects, and her passion for exceptional brands has been fostered by varied local and international professional marketing experiences. Captivated by great ads, she gradually made moves to the agency world where she sharpened her copywriting skills and learned how to move a great idea from a screen to a billboard – and beyond. Her strategic planning, digital marketing and creative development skills ensured she was well positioned for her current leadership role, and is key in contributing to the overall direction and activation of the Love for Lewiston brand. Plus, she usually brings popcorn wherever she goes. 

Ronnie Olstad
Ronnie is a born and raised Calgarian and proud to have spent his entire life in this great city. He is a small business owner and partner in a Franchise company 98 Food Co, a local Calgary business, which franchises over several provinces and provides locals with great food and drink.  Brands under the banner include Chachis’s Sandwiches, Hula Poke, Dirtbelly and Deville Coffee. Ronnie is most famously known for being Swayzie and Lewiston’s loving father, and wife to Jessica. As the backbone of the foundation he is a strong supporter of his wife’s crazy ideas, working quietly in the background to ensure their success. He has a love for the Miami Dolphins, San Jose Sharks and Oakland A’s. Family time is the most important thing to him and he enjoys quiet weekends at home bbqing and making the yard beautiful. Ronnie is Lewiston’s number one fan and leading the charge with newborn screening in Alberta. As a lover of sports and physical activity, he initiated the LFL Golf Tournament, raising funds to honor his son, giving hope to those who need it, and bringing greater awareness to SMA, all of which is changing the landscape of SMA.

Jason Cirankewitch

Jason is born and raised in Calgary and lives with his lovely wife Kelsey who is teacher here in the city. Kelsey is the pillar and keeps Jason from being too serious.  His role as Assistant Vice President of Capital Markets for Coast Capital Equipment Finance. He enjoys long walks on the beach, ripping it up on the dance floor and playing rec league hockey. Jason stepped up and asked to be a part of the founding board and was willing to take on all of the financial component to ensure that every cent is accounted for. His attention to detail is has given the foundation the leg up to manage money and manage it well. Jason serves as Treasure on the board. He also wants the title of CPO – Chief Party Officer but Jessica always gives him a good run for his money. 

Leann Soon
Bio coming soon.