2023 Newmarket POG Honouree
David Butler and Jason Barnes are copartners of Alair™ Newmarket & Kitchener/Waterloo, Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) teammates, and community builders. Alair™ strives to be locally respected while nationally recognized for the quality of work they do. It's part of their motto to help others live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. David and Jason truly believe in their tagline, #LivingBetterStartsHere®, and are proud to say that they build both beautiful homes and communities.
As builders who take great joy in bringing their clients' luxury custom home and renovation dreams to life, they believe it's equally important to give back to those much less fortunate. Since 2018, Alair™ has participated in ten HHTH tournaments in York Region raising nearly $62,000, sponsoring close to $19,000, and volunteering more than 120 hours. Every event brings together a mix of their immediate team members and valued trade/industry colleagues. Together, they canvas to champion the cause, for which all money raised stays local, supporting 360°kids and Blue Door. The tournament includes three games of hockey which they play alongside NHL alumni, followed by a reception where they get to hear and celebrate how much these services have changed lives.
In addition to their passion for hockey to support homeless individuals, they also had the chance to support Kitchener/Waterloo's A Better Tent City in 2022, where their second office is located, helping fifty chronic homeless residents living in forty-two Tiny Homes live better. Alair™ believes that housing is a human right and when this urgent need arose, their team stepped in. On the heels of this thoughtful and generous project, they got to be a part of a documentary in partnership with EarlyBird Films which spotlights the evolution of homelessness—a human crisis heightened by the pandemic—in hopes to encourage others to find opportunity, be bold, and help support and build community. On a larger brand scale, Alair™ nationally made their first major charity commitment to donate $100,000 over the next five years to support SickKids Foundation to specifically help fund the build of a new hospital. With this, Alair™ recently celebrated achieving their first $20,000 raised!
It's been heart-warming for David and Jason and their team to contribute in a meaningful way to the areas where they build homes. Interestingly, one of the programs at Blue Door that receives funds from HHTH is Construct, an employment social enterprise that provides in-class training, on-the-job work experience, and wraparound support to help vulnerable individuals secure long-term, well-paying careers in the construction trades. This training is what their industry requires to fulfill the critical need and demand for more homes in Ontario. Talk about full circle.
David and Jason realized that to change the future for the positive, they needed to educate themselves further and learn directly from the root causes of, for example, homelessness. Admittedly, there was so much they didn't know, so much they still don't know, but they say they are better humans for getting involved, learning, and asking others to join them in making a difference.