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Agents care about their communities
Sep 04, 2008

The industry website realtorscaremanitoba.com provides examples of how REALTORS® from across the province provide a helping hand. 

REALTORS® are committed to many diverse projects such as building homes for Habitat for Humanity or shaving their heads to raise money for the kids at Children’s Hospital. 

The Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) raised $13,000 in July for its Shelter Foundation by hosting its second annual charity golf classic. Next week, there is a REALTORS® Care fishing tournament at Selkirk Park to raise more funds for MREA’s Shelter Foundation.

REALTORS® understand the need to get involved in helping out the communities they live in. 

In the West End, where he has lived his entire life, REALTOR® Frank Zappia is a proud member of the Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Maroons Football Alumni. During the annual alumni dinner, Zappia gave the following speech: 

“Our Maroons Football Alumni has worked hard not only to put on this dinner, but are spearheading other initiatives to raise funds in order to keep kids playing football and to create positive influences in the community.

“Two weeks ago Don McPherson, who is also a member of our Maroons Football Alumni, and myself attended Sargent Park Junior High in the first steps to starting a bantam program for the West End.  These are initial steps in trying to create a program for younger than high school kids (13  and 14 year olds) in the neighbourhood.  

“People have told me in the past that kids in our neighbourhood do not want to play football.  This, of course, is ridiculous.  Judging by our spring camp and the positive results from our Sargent Park visit this could not be further from the truth.  Interestingly enough, after the Sargent Park visit, we had 100 new hits on our website that evening.  We hope this will lead to interest from area youth and again strengthen ties with the theme of staying out of trouble by playing sport.

“We realize that most of us can’t fit into our football jackets any longer so we have baseball caps and T-shirts for sale at the back of the room if anyone is interested.

“The Maroons Football Alumni is very excited and were instrumental in spearheading the effort as coach Purpur indicated earlier in having our home games played at Daniel Mac. For the first time in the modern era, kids will walk out those school doors and be able to cheer on the home team.  The Football team will not have to walk to Tec Voc or get bussed to the Stadium any longer for home games.

“Before we have the great privilege of announcing our volunteer award, I just wanted to repeat how important it is to our school and neighbourhood that you are all here tonight to support this program.  Making a difference in a community, battling negativity and fighting neighbourhood decay is something to be proud of.  Over the years our neighbourhood — sometimes fairly but mostly unfairly — has had a negative perception and programs like this one are here to combat that perception.  

“Interestingly enough, the teachers I talk to would not want to teach anywhere else. Our kids are fine young gentlemen.  At one time or another I would bet that most of you here tonight lived in the neighborhood and realize what it once was and what it still can be. Things are definitely looking up, but we are not finished.  

“Groups like the Housing Opportunity Partnership, which is improving housing and promoting homeownership through extensive renovating and brand new infill, are causing a stir in the neighbourhood by weeding out unfriendlies and yet changing the landscape of the neighborhood.  The University of Winnipeg and its ongoing expansion, Red River College campus and the Hydro building are examples of things that are happening. As well, the recently announced free summer program which will provide inner city youth a chance to play sport is a welcome addition.  I encourage everyone here to get involved and help us make a difference.”

Zappia is involved in helping the Housing Opportunity Partnership, or HOP, succeed in acquiring homes in the West End. As the REALTOR® retained to market these completely refurbished homes to first-time buyers, he exemplifies many REALTORS® who understand the need to make a difference in their communities.

Another REALTOR® who got involved in his community was Cole Castelane, a long-time REALTOR® who grew up and still resides in Fort Garry. He read about the Winnipeg Real Estate News  Here Comes the Neighbourhood contest, in co-operation with Hot 103 and Sport Manitoba, and learned the winner of week three proposed to rebuild the player boxes at the Wildwood Community Club. Darren, the Wildwood Park resident who submitted the proposal along with some other volunteer parents, were successful in removing the condemned player boxes, but did not have enough money to rebuild the boxes.  

Representing the Castelane family, Cole matched the $1,500 Darren will receive from a community bingo to help residents complete the player boxes. He is also encouraging others in the community to make a donation.

Cole’s father Ron is not only a veteran REALTOR® but played professional hockey in Montreal and Boston, as well as junior hockey for the Winnipeg Maroons and the Winnipeg Steelers. 

Until two years ago, Cole’s sons both played AA and AAA hockey and still enjoy playing on the outdoor rinks. 

“I know how outdoor hockey and a community club like Wildwood’s is an important part of a community’s identity,” said Cole, “especially for our children, who look for recreation opportunities to partake in within the neighbourhoods they live in. 

“After 30 years of selling real estate in our terrific neighbourhood, we feel blessed to be involved with fostering sports and helping one another. As REALTORS®, we are pleased our newspaper helped initiate and support this contest. It brought to our attention an important neighbourhood asset that needed attention and we are glad to do our part.”

This fall, WinnipegREALTORS® will be supporting the private fund-raising efforts of the Friends for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. 

The association believes the museum is an amazing cultural opportunity for Winnipeg — not just from an economic point of view. The public is encouraged to support the campaign by visiting the website www.beginswithyou.net