Hilton Vancouver Airport general manager Sanjeet Sadana (left, with previous hotel general manager Gary Collinge) will be honoured by Sport BC at its annual banquet March 12.
Photo by Don Fennell
Sport BC to recognize unsung hero in Sadana
By Don Fennell
Published 10:37 PST, Tue March 3, 2020
Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021
In the fall of 2013, Sanjeet Sadana left a Richmond Sports Council Meeting feeling burdened. It was reported that KidSport Richmond was struggling to provide funds to help kids play in organized sports.
There was very little money. So little, that the grants had been reduced to $150 per year. As well, cheques for approved funding would only be released when enough donations could cover the cheques.
Sadana shared his burden with his boss Gary Collinge, general manager of the Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel.
After some discussion, Richmond Sports Council received an email with a generous offer. The Hilton was willing to donate a 200-seat fundraising dinner that KidSport Richmond could organize. All proceeds would go to the local chapter. All expenses from catering, service, hotel rooms for out-of-town guests, meeting rooms, a VIP reception and more would be donated by the hotel.
Seven years later, with Sadana now the hotel’s general manager, little has changed—except that the Hilton has extended its commitment, and more funds are being raised so that more Richmond children are able to enjoy the benefits of sport.
As a result of Sadana’s efforts, KidSport Richmond board secretary Annie Watson says every child who has applied and met the criterion for funding has received funds.
“Another bonus is we have been steadily raising the amount granted to each child. In 2020, we were able to raise the amount to cover up to $700 per year for each eligible child.”
“Often the reflection of a leader can be seen in the team members they support and how they act. Sanjeet’s attributes come through in the amazing team he leads at the Hilton,” says Steve Valenzuela, chair of the annual KidSport Richmond Community Champions Gala fundraiser which marked its seventh year Feb. 28.
“(Sadana) has to be one of the nicest, warm-hearted and caring people you will ever meet. And the reality is we would not be able to do what we do without Sanjeet and his amazing team. Even when a new idea is pitched, Sanjeet is always accepting and willing to find a way to make it work,” says Valenzuela.
It was announced at the Feb. 28 gala by Thea Culley of KidSport BC that Sport BC will be awarding Sadana a Sport BC award at its annual banquet on March 12.