ABOUT THE LOVE FOR LEWISTON FOUNDATION

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

The Love for Lewiston Foundation was born from a position the Olstad’s embraced to spend their son Lewiston’s first birthday, not as a pity party, but a celebration of his short but influential life. The community surrounded them in their darkest moments and the Olstad’s encountered light and strength in sharing their burden. The Olstad’s wanted to keep spreading the joy and love that they had received on to others. They believe to their core that Lewiston’s message of “squeezing a little tighter, loving a little deeper and dancing a little longer”, was meant to be shared with the world.

With seven weeks to the day, they rallied their close 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.

To date the Foundation is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency. 

Our Board of Directors

Jessica Janzen Olstad | Executive Director 

Jessica is the heart and soul of the Love for Lewiston Foundation. She is the founder and inspires everyone around her to give with passion and purpose.  After the loss of her son Lewiston, she rallied the community to raise awareness and funding for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Jessica was instrumental in successfully advocating the Alberta government to included SMA newborn prescreening in routine newborn screening.  

Jessica is the Executive Director for the foundation in addition to a Speaker, Online Retailer, Author, Life Coach and Mentor for small business owners. Jessica’s expertise in social media marketing, sales, event planning and business development has helped the foundation raise over $1,200,000 since its inception.  

Jessica was nominated by the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and awarded with the Doc Seaman Individual Philanthropist award in 2021.  

 

Jason Cirankewitch  | Board Member

Jason has been a part of the Love for Lewiston Foundation since its inception in 2017.  He has worn many hats for the foundation from founding Board Member, to compliance officer to Chief Party Officer. Jason is an incredible asset to the Board and you can thank Jason for your tax receipts too!  Jason led the charge and undertook the time intensive CRA Registered Charity application process. Jason has extensive knowledge in finance, sales leadership, strategic planning, and business development.  Jason holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Haskayne School of Business and is currently acting as Treasurer and Board Member for the Foundation. 

 

Ronnie Olstad  | Board Member
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, Lewiston and Hollis’ loving father, and husband 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.

 

Justine Moreau | Board Member
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. 

 

Kara Claypool | Board Member 

Kara is honoured to be the newest member of the Love for Lewiston Foundation Board of Directors.  Kara currently leads finance, technology, and human resources teams at Travel Alberta in the capacity of Vice President, Finance & Corporate Operations.  Kara, a CMA-designated leader has built her career working with entrepreneurial-minded, Alberta-based companies with a strong growth vision and has been integral in aligning team efforts to achieve the company’s overall strategic objectives with an emphasis on financial management, strong governance, and operational excellence.  Kara was humbled to be named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 one of Alberta’s Top 10 Rising Stars Under 40.  Enjoying time with her family and new puppy, Penny and embracing experiences under the mantra of “YOLO” or “you only live once” has lead Kara and her family to bust a move as much as they can.  She very much resonates with LFL Foundation’s core values to choose movement, bring joy and spread love, and is grateful to have the opportunity to do so as a new addition to the Board.  

 

 

 

 

Kyle Glover | Board Member 

Kyle is excited to be a Board Member for the Love for Lewiston Foundation.  Kyle is first and foremost a husband and a father of three, but also a Chartered Accountant who articled at KPMG.  After several years in financial reporting for PETRONAS Canada, a Fortune Global 500 Company, he now serves as Senior Planning Analyst coordinating and communicating financial forecasting.  Newer to the world of entrepreneurship, having started etchedyyc, he enjoys the positive impacts of operating a business on those around him. Kyle believes in giving his Time, Talent & Treasure to his community and is excited about the opportunity to do this in partnership with the Foundation. As a true conservative accountant he is motivated to help the Foundation achieve stability and longevity ensuring Lewiston’s legacy lives on.