Harrison Pensa Law Students participate in the Sun Life Ride to Defeat Diabetes for JDRF
Did you know that insulin was discovered by a Canadian?

In January 1922, after years of research, trial, and error, the world’s first diabetic patient received an insulin injection at Toronto General Hospital. For his discovery, Canadian physician Frederick Banting received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and was later knighted by King George V.

In keeping with Harrison Pensa’s abiding commitment to philanthropy, the firm’s law students are encouraged to promote and facilitate a variety of charitable endeavours. With that in mind, our Articling team spent the last month focusing on invigorating the spirit of Sir Frederick Banting’s discovery with our annual participation in the Sun Life Ride to Defeat Diabetes for JDRF. JDRF is a non-profit organization that funds type-1 diabetes research, provides community and activist services to those suffering from type-1 diabetes, and actively advocates for regulations favorable to medical research and approval of new and improved type-1 diabetes treatments.

Our fundraising efforts were initially stymied by the impact of COVID. Hygiene concerns and social distancing efforts had to be considered and prevented us from engaging in many tried-and-true methods used in past years. So we got creative!

Caffeine Tax

During our first week, we organized a caffeine tax. In each servery, our team placed a donation jar alongside a variety of sweets and goodies, including wonderful homemade treats from Purple Lips Bakery in London. We encouraged everyone to donate a bit of pocket change when they attended to grab their daily coffee and tea — don’t leave without a brownie!

T-Shirt Day

For week two, we introduced T-Shirt Day. On Friday of that week, we encouraged everybody in the office to wear their favourite T-shirt to work — and we were not let down! From Lindsay’s homage to the Chicago Bears to Sheelah’s Sci-Fi mash-up, we had a wide array of entertaining participants.

That afternoon, the Articling team went around to collect generous donations from everyone who participated in T-Shirt Day — and many from those who couldn’t! Good on you, HP team!

Guess Who? Harrison Pensa Edition

Finally, our magnum opus! The third and final week of our fundraising extravaganza brought with it our very own take on Guess Who? This allowed us to include all employees — even those who are working remotely!

Throughout the month, we encouraged everyone at Harrison Pensa to dig through photo albums and submit a photograph of themselves as a child! We sent out all the photographs with multiple-choice options and an answer sheet to send back to us  along with a $5 entry donation!

While some participants found it difficult — the pandemic appears to have prevented many people from having met each other — we received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback and heard people laughing and discussing adorable photographs. Our big winner took home a lovely basket of assorted items from Angelo’s Italian Bakery!


We had an absolute blast coming up with fun new ways to fundraise despite the pandemic, and we are thrilled to announce that we comfortably surpassed our goal of raising $1,500 for JDRF!

Hope we’ve done you proud, Sir Frederick!

Clayton Brent finished his articles at Harrison Pensa and is now an associate with the Insurance Defence and Subrogation group and the Estates Litigation team.