Not only are Ranata and Albert Crispo a husband-and-wife team who supports each other in daily life and in their volunteer work, they laid the groundwork early on for their daughters to experience the joys and responsibilities of giving back to community.
Ranata has been employed with the City of Greater Sudbury since 2007, where she works as a human resources assistant, while Albert has enjoyed a 39-year career in sales at Nedco.
Albert started volunteering as a student lifeguard/instructor at the Gatchell Pool and in college he was elected president of Cambrian’s student council.
A love of sports and athletics paved the way for his volunteer choices as a parent.
“When our two daughters started playing hockey, I came on board as a coach,” Albert said.
He subsequently became an active member of the Sudbury Girls Hockey Association executive, serving nine terms as president. During his 17 years with the association, Albert helped improve the game of hockey for girls and helped develop the organization. He is very proud to have created the Sudbury Lady Wolves hockey program in 2000.
“The association just kept growing,” Albert said. “In the beginning, there were about 200 girls. Today, that number is over 600.”
Albert has also volunteered with the NeoKids Foundation by organizing a couple of fundraising barbeques at his workplace.
Ranata started volunteering in her early career. She participated in the very first Relay for Life in 1999, recruiting six teams at her place of employment, Life Labs (previously known as MDS Laboratories).
“In 20 years, I have never missed a Relay and I always made sure my family was also involved, even our two daughters,” Ranata said. Shanna and Dana Crispo helped with the set up of the luminary event when they were quite young. “Back then, Relay set-up started early on a Friday and the girls also appreciated the chance to miss a day of school!”
In 2005, Ranata became a volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). By 2011, she had expanded her role by joining their advisory committee as engagement volunteer. She was also a team captain for CIBC’s Run for the Cure.
Albert, on the other hand, has been active with Relay for Life since 2011, serving as event logistics chair. The family volunteers during Daffodil Days and Pink Ribbon Campaigns and they work together on many other CCS fundraising events as their work schedules allow.
“Until 2014, our family had not been personally touched by cancer, and at Relay we always watched the luminary walk from outside the track,” Ranata said. “But that year, Dana was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and suddenly we were on the inside looking out, walking the track alongside other survivors and their loved ones.”
The Crispo family feels truly blessed and grateful that Dana is now cancer free.
“We’re so proud of her and inspired by her,” Albert said.
Dana is a very active supporter of the CCS and recently joined their speakers bureau. She visits schools and special events, telling the story of her struggle.
“Our daughter brings a message of hope and encouragement to cancer patients and the community,” said Albert. “She is such an inspiration to our whole family and to everyone she meets.”
“For us, volunteering at the annual Relay for Life is a family tradition,” Ranata said. “It really is a very heartwarming experience, especially since our own journey with Dana.”
Volunteer words of wisdom from Ranata and Albert Crispo
“We volunteer because it’s good for the soul. Yes, there are challenges especially when you’re both working full-time,” said Albert. “But we work around it and make it happen.” Ranata added, “It makes you feel good for sure to make a tangible difference. And, you make many lifelong friends.”
Marlene Holkko Moore is a communications professional in Greater Sudbury and occasional contributor to Sudbury.com.
Helpers articles share stories related to volunteerism in Greater Sudbury. This section is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.