A Tree for Adam

I was saddened to learn that Adam Chiaravalle passed away on November 6, 2020, at the age of 26. What a loss for McMaster University and those who have called it home over the past several years.

Adam was pure joy. You could not leave a conversation with that person without feeling energized, hopeful and heard.

The most magnetic thing about him was not the charm or the humility or the swagger – it was the passion. He lived and breathed sustainability and community service. He could see a bright future for our planet and made you see it too.

When we last spoke, in typical Adam fashion, he pitched me on a “wild idea” – a spinoff of Pokémon, something to get children excited about biodiversity, a game to shape healthy relationships with nature.

The idea was like Adam – light, hilarious, filled with purpose, and a bit hard to follow.

I have started a mini fundraiser that I hope people like me – characters on the periphery of Adam’s life – will be able to help along its way to a target of $750.00, enough to plant a tree on campus in his memory.

I know that he would be touched by the gesture – in part because he loved that place and believed, as I do, that it is a force for good. That, and what could be more “Adam” than a tree?


Logistics (Nov 7): The campaign will run until November 20, 2020. Funds from this site will be deposited to my personal account. I will work with University Advancement to make sure every dollar goes to Adam's tree. [See "How the funds will be deposited" below for an update on this plan.]

Update (Nov 7): We reached our fundraising target within three hours of posting this campaign. We will continue to accept donations until the 20th. All funds will be donated to the university in Adam's memory.

Update (Nov 9): Given the amount of support that has come in (exceeded target by a factor of ten), please note the following logistical details, which are required by gofundme for campaigns of this size: 

     - About the organizer: The organizer was a colleague and friend of Adam's, originally from the GTHA. They kept in touch following the organizer's departure from McMaster University in 2017, primarily by email and phone calls. 

     - How the funds will be used:  Although there are many potential uses for these funds, the intention is as it was at the outset of the campaign: to plant a tree in Adam's memory and to donate any funds over the $750.00 target to McMaster University as a gift in his name. 

     - How the funds will be deposited: The original intent was to have funds raised deposited to the organizer's personal account. However, given the amounts now raised, that is no longer a tenable option. The organizer will work to coordinate a direct deposit from gofundme to the university's accounts. The note on logistics above is now out of date, but was left there for transparency (i.e., to avoid removing any part of this description that would have been read by supporters during the first two days of the campaign).


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  • F Khan 
    • $30 
    • 1 mo
  • Steven Vu 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Nancy Doubleday 
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Emily Plastina 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Teddy Saull 
Hamilton, ON
Saad Khan 
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