In the end, this year’s encore to the highly-successful inaugural Gimme Shelter event on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010 was an outpouring of support by the WinnipegREALTORS® membership for The Manitoba Real Estate (MREA) Shelter Foundation.
How well did the second annual March 16 Gimme Shelter fund-raiser event go? Well, it nearly doubled the money raised in the previous year. This year, $49,000 was raised. You have to say it was an unqualified success.
“For all the things we have done over the years to engage our members to support worthwhile causes, I cannot think of one like Gimme Shelter that truly sees such a genuine outpouring of support from so many of our 1,600 members,” said Sheldon Zamick, a WinnipegREALTORS® director who was responsible for heading up the organizing committee in 2010 and 2011.
The best part is that the REALTORS® supporting the foundation had a great time while supporting a worthwhile cause. It was a fun-filled evening of live musical entertainment provided by real estate agents along with their guests.
On this evening, the array of different performers emceed by Jon Ljungberg belted out some catchy tunes that got everyone dancing and moving to the beat.
There were also open bids for many interesting prize packages and live auction offerings handled capably by local REALTOR® and auctioneer Dan Wachniak.
“As I said in my message to members, I am grateful to the entire organizing committee, our singers and musicians, our corporate sponsors, ticket buyers and all of the businesses who donated prizes and money,” said Zamick.
While good times were had by all throughout the evening, and there were plenty of smiles to go around, one person who had good reason to be grinning with glee was Roberta Weiss, the chair of the MREA Shelter Foundation.
“What really tugs at the heartstrings for me this time around is knowing how much the money we raised last year means to the needy shelter organizations and Manitobans requiring charitable support,” she commented. “To realize Gimme Shelter has raised that much more money this time around allows the Shelter Foundation to help more Manitobans with their shelter-related needs.”
The Shelter Foundation in 2010 was able to provide $45,000 to The Interfaith Immigration Program, New Directions, Habitat for Humanity (Virden build) and to Esther House.
“This MREA Shelter Foundation grant pays dividends two ways,” said Marty Dolin, the executive director of Interfaith. “On the moral side, the REALTORS® are helping to save peoples' lives by giving housing to refugees. On the economic side, this is an investment in the future of Manitoba’s economy because our immigrants work, pay taxes, buy homes and furnish their homes. That’s a win-win for a lot of us, thanks to the REALTORS®.”
The Manitoba Real Estate Association Shelter Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that raises money through organized events, projects and donations from REALTORS®, individuals and corporations and, in turn, distributes these funds to shelter-related charities in Manitoba.
This is its third year of issuing grants. In that time, the foundation has distributed $57,500 to the community to help provide people in need with safe, clean, affordable shelter.