Christmas is a wonderful time to give back to others and this is what makes the special occasion so enjoyable.
Clinton Howell, who is the founder and owner of H2 Systems Inc. in Burlington and real estate representative with the Dan Cooper Group of Royal LePage Real Estate Services in Oakville, is hosting a contest that will make the spirit of giving even more extra special.
This contest has ‘love’ written all over it.
You see, Howell’s contest, “Give Like Santa,” is open to all Burlington and Oakville residents (over the age of 18) and is loaded with plenty of treats – healthy and entertaining on every level. A major sponsor of this year’s contest is Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and Lettuce Love Cafe, two healthy food establishments in downtown Burlington owned by renowned business women Kelly Childs and daughter Erin Weatherbie.
All contestants have to do is visit www.clintonhowell.ca and click on the Give Like Santa entry form. From there they can enter by telling a quick story about who they would like to see win the prize and how that person is someone deserving and in need, or less fortunate (each submission requires a minimum100 word entry). The contest runs from December 1 to December 20, 2015.
The winner will be presented with a gift package, and they in turn will get to present it to the person they nominated in their contest submission form.
The gift package includes: $100.00 Gift Card from Lettuce Love, $100.00 Gift Card to Kelly’s Bake Shop, $100 for Cineplex, and a $100 family gift package from Clinton Howell of the Dan Cooper Group, Royal Lepage Real Estate Services. The gift package also includes a $200.00 gift card for any service provided by Jenny B Health & Fitness.
“At Kelly’s Bake Shop and Lettuce Love it’s all about the love and giving back,” smiles Kelly during an interview at the Bake Shoppe that is decorated to the nines with Christmas ornaments, wreaths and trees. “We are thrilled to take part in this special contest and we know the ‘Give Like Santa’ contest will put a big smile on someone’s face.”
Kelly and Erin set out on a mission five years ago to create and share their passion of vegan dishes and delights sprinkled with pure greatness. The dynamic business duo have long thrived on whole food, plant-based, gluten-free dieting that is high in nutrition and simply delicious.
Kelly, who is hailed as a pioneer in the nation’s vegan movement, grew up in a household that championed healthy living. Erin’s advocacy for health and wellness stems directly from her mother’s influence.
“When we both decided to go 100 percent vegetarian we felt a real positive change,” says Erin. “My mom was the catalyst in me developing a passion for healthy living and healthy food, now we own our own businesses and get to work together every day.”
Lettuce Love opened its doors in 2010 (formerly called Kindfood) and two years later Kelly’s Bake Shop was born. Both popular outlets they created are known as Canada’s first and most popular gluten-free eating establishments. And word is that they just might even be poised for further growth.
“The old saying ‘you are what you eat’ rings very true for us,” says Kelly. “Over the last couple of decades, we’ve really become an unhealthy society due to much of the food we eat. We couldn’t sit back and watch it any longer.
Kelly’s Bake Shoppe was named 3rd this year in a list of the Best 25 Cupcake Shops “In The World You Must Visit Before You Die” (an amazing Bucket List) by the BuzzFeed community. Since opening day the Shoppe has continually won Best Bakery and Best Dessert for Burlington, Toronto and the GTA.
Lettuce Love is Burlington’s Number 1 rated restaurant on TripAdvisor and Readers’ Choice, and it has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Vegan Restaurants on the planet by Happy Cow. Even better, Lettuce Love is a Twenty-Time Award Winner for Best Service, Best Food, Best Veg-Friendly, Best Business and Best Restaurant.
The mother and daughter team are also sharing more than 100 of their delicious, gluten-free, plant-based recipes in their new book, Made With Love (Penguin Random House), which is set for release in April 2016.
Kelly and Erin are staunch believers in giving back. They are active supporters of Farm Sanctuary, an American animal protection organization that serves as an advocate for farm animals. Ellen DeGeneres is among the list of notable celebrities who backs Farm Sanctuary in California.
They also play their part in supporting Because I Am A Girl (campaign), which addresses the issue of gender discrimination around the world and which promotes the rights of girls living in poverty.
“Our connection to Farm Sanctuary and to Because I am A Girl is clearly simple: We want to give a voice to the voiceless. We only want to make the right difference and inspire others to do the same,” says Kelly.
Erin states, “While we run successful businesses, we are so very grateful that we have the opportunity to give back to others. For us it’s not about making money, but instead helping others and raising awareness to animal rights and the rights of girls living in developing nations.”
Clinton is beyond impressed with Kelly and Erin’s entrepreneurial prowess, and their commitment to educating others on the importance of living healthier lifestyles and philanthropy.
What’s even more interesting is that Howell’s approach to business and life mirrors that of Kelly and Erin’s.
Howell exercises daily and he is now on a vegan food diet.
“I have long been a fan of Lettuce Love and Kelly’s Bake Shoppe. In fact me and my family are regulars at both establishments,” says Clinton during an interview. “I too have noticed a huge change since shifting my diet to vegan foods and exercising more.”
“Kelly and Erin are superb role models in helping others discover healthier lifestyles and this helps on the longevity front. What’s even more special for me is to see kids and adults who have diabetes enjoying amazing food and delightful desserts. Kelly and Erin are putting smiles on so many people’s faces and they are helping people live longer lives,” adds Howell.
While being successful in business is important for Howell, he too is one who believes in giving back to others, just like Kelly and Erin.
He is devoted to helping a number of organizations like Easter Seals Ontario, The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Smilezone, and the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Art Gallery of Burlington.
“Giving back is the most rewarding feeling you will ever have,” says Howell. “It’s great to see Kelly and Erin being so involved in making the world a better place. Each and every day I also work to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Most of all Clinton is thrilled that Kelly and Erin are supporting this year’s “Give Like Santa Contest.”
“It’s great they are major sponsors of our annual contest and I am so thankful for their gratitude,” says Clinton. “Their generosity and love will certainly make the spirit of giving this year way more extra special.”
Clinton’s company, H2 Systems Inc. in Burlington, is popular for its excellence in offering the best in home theatre systems, home automation, home integration, built-in-multi-zones and video solutions, flat-screen TVs, home networking, home theatre design and construction and décor for its clients.
H2 Systems Inc. has won 17 awards to date for home theatre and integration which is more than any other company in Canada.
Howell also is a popular real estate agent with the Dan Cooper Group of Royal Lepage Real Estate Services. With 25 years of superb service in the real estate industry, the Dan Cooper Groups has been named to the Royal LePage Chairman’s Club – National Top 1% Lifetime Member. And the firm has won an array of top real estate awards: Award of Excellence, Diamond Award, Director’s Platinum Award, President’s Gold Award, Master Sales Award, and Sales Achievement Award. The Dan Cooper Group is also well known for its philanthropy efforts to an array of local organizations.