New Foundation Fellows are pictured at the 2016 OREA Conference. See below for details.
The amount of support that REALTORS® across Ontario give to charities and shelters is not always recognized by members of the public.
However, the time and effort given by Realtors to their communities was the focus of a slate of awards presented recently. The Ontario REALTORS® Care Foundation recognized various individuals at a luncheon ceremony during the annual conference of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), held at Toronto’s Sheraton Centre hotel.
The charities that are the focus of the foundation’s efforts are devoted to shelter, a natural fit since real estate professionals are in the business of helping people to find homes. Some of the foundation’s recipient charities are: Habitat for Humanity, big Brothers and Big Sisters organizations across Ontario, Collingwood Crisis Centre, YWCA Sudbury, Covenant House Toronto, Couchiching Jubilee House, Domestic Abuse Services Oxford, Community Living Mississauga, the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa and the Regional Hospice of Quinte. These are just a few of the charities across Ontario that benefit from the efforts of Realtors.
Foundation past president Dreena Gilpin and president Barb Whitney presented awards at the luncheon to recognize supporters who have made a difference to the foundation and their local communities through their charitable efforts.
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The foundation presented four Spirit Awards to individuals. In addition, 15 people were named Foundation Fellows for their volunteer efforts and financial contributions to the foundation.
“The Spirit Awards recognized the significant contribution of individuals, boards and associations or organizations to the success of the Ontario Realtors Car® Foundation and/or to the advancement of its goal to assist our members in supporting shelter-related charities in the communities,” said Gilpin. “This year’s outstanding recipients have supported the foundation in promotion, fundraising activities, their dedication in giving to shelter-related causes in Ontario and exemplary dedication to advancing the foundation’s mission.”
Gilpin presented the awards and lauded the four recipients as follows:
Betty Doré of the London & St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® - “For all her years of tirelessly promoting the foundation, especially The Every REALTOR® Campaign, and for her role in restructuring the foundation, resulting in dramatic growth in the capital fund, and for all she has done in contributing to the success of the foundation over the years.”
Paula Hodgson of the London & St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® - “For her efforts in supporting the homeless in her community, in particular the Salvation Army and her church; for keeping the highest standards in real estate practice and for many hours giving back to the community in support of the foundation.”
Mike Stahls of the Lakelands Association of REALTORS® - “For his significant role in guiding, mediating and encouraging discussion around selection of grant recipients through The Every REALTOR® Campaign and for consistently seeking opportunities for local Realtors to volunteer, demonstrating their commitment and raising the profile of the foundation.”
Dana Yonemitsu of the Bancroft & Area Association of REALTORS® - “For her diligent efforts working with the Alzheimer’s Society, a shelter-based organization in [her] community, and for the time and energy put forth to the Alzheimer Walk each year; also, for all her support to the foundation in particular when the motorcycle ride fundraising event travelled through Bancroft.”
No group Spirit Awards were presented this year. Gilpin noted that the foundation did not receive any submissions in the board/association and organization category this time but urged OREA members and boards to consider making a nomination in the future. “We encourage all boards to do so next year,” she said. “Recognize your own board, a fellow board, or an organization that contributes to the success of the foundation.”
At the luncheon, Gilpin and Whitney also presented awards in honour of those individuals named as Foundation Fellows. (See group photo here.) “These recipients represent the heart and soul of the real estate profession." This year, the new foundation fellows will be joining an impressive group. The 15 newly-named individuals join the 267 others who have been honoured as Foundation Fellows since the program’s inception in 2001. They were recognized for “leadership, volunteerism and support for their communities” and for their general financial contributions of a minimum of $1,000 to the foundation.
New Foundation Fellows are: Donna Bacher, Realtors® Association of Hamilton Burlington; Jane Baker, Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board; Scott Bragagnolo, Timmins Real Estate Board; Dominic Cole, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Association of REALTORS®; Wayne Cornfield, Southern Georgian Bay Association; Jack Green, Kingston & Area Real Estate Association; Jerry Hay, The Barrie & District Association of REALTORS®; Jane Hurst, Durham Region Association of REALTORS®; Jeff Morley, Guelph & District Association of REALTORS®; Susan Nosko, North Bay Real Estate Board; Stephen Oliver, Niagara Association of REALTORS®; Cameron Paine, Windsor Essex County Association of REALTORS®; Dianne Usher, Toronto Real Estate Board; Carl Vandergoot, London & St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®; and Tom Wilkinson, Lakelands Association of REALTORS®.
Read more about other OREA awards and honours presented at the OREA conference.
Story by Mary Ann Gratton
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