The REALTORS Care® program is ongoing. For instance, WinnipegREALTORS® is committed to raising money for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR). The fund raising did not stop in 2010 and will continue this year. At the end of January, WinnipegREALTORS® will share with other REALTORS® from across the country why CMHR is relevant to all Canadians, as well as why REALTORS® from coast to coast need to consider how Canada’s respect and support of human rights has helped build a better quality of life for all Canadians.
The CMHR is just one effort among many that WinnipegREALTORS® and its individual members and broker companies are involved in.
REALTORS® are well aware of the need to build stronger and better communities. This year, the 1,600 members of WinnipegREALTORS® will again participate in the REALTORS Care® program launched a few years ago by the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) as part of a network encompassing 100,000 REALTORS® from coast to coast. Each provincial real estate association spearheads a program linked to the national Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation, which promotes worthy community efforts to help various organizations and people in need.
Every week of every month, REALTORS® give their time and make donations to help worthwhile community causes. They have shaved their heads on a dare, organized seniors’ Christmas light tours, have organized fund-raising events of all sizes, and picked up hammers and saws to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.
Since the Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation was set up in January 2008, REALTORS® from across the country have raised close to $15 million.
In addition, individual REALTORS® have some of their very own personal causes that do not require any prodding from the industry association to make a volunteer commitment. One long-time dedicated REALTOR® decided in the last few years he wanted to help reshape lives as much as physical neighbourhoods. Through his sheer tenacity and determination and love for football, he resurrected the Daniel Mac high school football program. Moreover, he is directly involved in coaching the team and instigated a fund-raising effort to acquire equipment for the team.
After winning only two games in the first four years of being back on the gridiron (both in 2009), the turn-around in 2010 was quite spectacular, as Daniel Mac reached the championship final, although it lost to Dakota. Knowing REALTOR® Frank Zappia’s hard work and dedication, a Daniel Mac football championship may well be in play next year.
As can be appreciated, every year REALTORS® from across the province give to worthy causes through time and money. On a corporate level, WinnipegREALTORS® held its most successful member fund-raising event. It attracted over 800 members and guests to a fund-raising social in support of the MREA’s Shelter Foundation. The inaugural Gimme Shelter event raised over $26,000. The rock ’n’ roll fund raiser will again be staged this year.
WinnipegREALTORS® also stepped up to raise money for Haiti relief and donated over $1.4 million to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. REALTORS® also supported the REALTORS Care® Fishing Derby in September to raise funds for the MREA Shelter Foundation.
There are many more stories worth sharing, but nothing is more urgent and timely as the commitment of REALTOR® Donna Kirsch, the broker/owner of Gateway Real Estate Ltd., is behind a major fund-raising social for the Dubois family boys.
Tragically, on November 21, 2010, a devastating car accident took the lives of Brenda and Marcel Dubois, the parents of five boys ranging in age from nine to 19. With the exception of Jordan, the oldest boy, the other four boys were travelling with their parents and sustained injuries from the accident. One brother is paralyzed from the waist down and another has suffered brain damage.
Jordan is committed to doing what he can to help raise his brothers, using his parents as his role model. After the tragic accident, he told the Winnipeg Free Press: “They were the most giving people. Anything that the boys asked for or that we asked for, they’d do their best to make sure we were happy. They only wanted the best for us.”
Jordan is going to look after his four younger siblings and is doing everything he can to keep his father’s courier business running. But he needs help, so Donna Kirsch is jumping in to do what she can. Her daughter Rhylee is a friend of Jordan’s and went to school with him, while her younger daughter Taylor has dated Michael Dubois (16) and attends the same school.
Donna, along with Rhylee and some other close friends of the Dubois family, are organizing a fund-raising social to be held on January 22 at the Gateway Rec Centre. They are receiving plenty of silent auction prizes, cash and cheques. They are also planning to put large bins at the entranceway to collect items for the Dubois pantry, including cleaning supplies, toiletries, canned goods, etc.
WinnipegREALTORS® is helping the cause by informing Donna’s fellow REALTORS® about the special social.
Donna said that the social will be geared toward youth, so prizes such as electronics are welcomed. If you have a prize, Donna will pick it up. She can be reached at 781-8141. Cheque donations can be mailed to Donna Kirsch, 140 Malcana Street, Winnipeg MB, R2G 2S9.