Local Orillia REALTOR® Mike Stahls has been selected as a 2016 recipient of the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF) Spirit Award. Established in 2007, the award is given to real estate professionals that go the extra mile with outstanding fundraising events in their community.
Mike is a long-time supporter of Green Haven Women’s Shelter in his community, serving as the only male in a committee capacity on the fundraising committee since 2012. In working to raise awareness of the issues affecting abused women, Mike has raised significant funds for the shelter. In 2014, Mike organised a night of entertainment both to raise money for the shelter, and for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. The event was such a resounding success that it was held again in 2015.
The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is Canada’s largest public foundation dedicated exclusively to funding women’s shelters and violence prevention programs. Mike’s fundraising efforts on behalf of this important cause took him to trek Peru’s famous Inca Trail to the lost City of Machu Picchu in 2015. The Machu Picchu Challenge saw Royal LePage Realtors from across Canada raise over $495,000. Mike was able to exceed the required $5000 fundraising goal for the Foundation to join the trip with the proceeds for Green Haven in Orillia.”
The Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation Spirit Award is a nomination-based award given to real estate professionals by the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation Board of Directors. The criteria for successful nominations are focused on the importance of local Realtors supporting their communities with volunteer leadership in shelter-based charity organisations. Mike’s work with Green Haven, and his long-standing position on The Lakelands Board of Directors as a key decision-maker have given him lots of opportunity to support his community and his profession with great skill.
“The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® membership and Board of Directors is delighted to congratulate Mike on his recognition by ORCF”, says Association President Tom Wilkinson. “As a leader in volunteerism, and for his great work in the community of Orillia, Mike has always been a stand-out contributor to professional real estate.”
Muskoka – Through the month of December, REALTOR® members of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® visited local community shelter-based charities to distribute funds collected from the Every REALTOR® Campaign. The donations, totaling $17 590, were presented to organisations selected by the membership to assist with their efforts in promoting strong sustainable communities.
Local Realtors are committed to improving Quality of Life by supporting community initiatives ensuring economic vitality, housing opportunities and safe neighbourhoods. Each month, in support of the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, Lakelands members donate $2 to the Every REALTOR® Campaign. Annually, the collective funds are distributed to shelter-based charities within our boundaries to support their efforts of improving the quality of life for those most in need.
In 2015, groups that benefited from the grants included:
Hillcrest Lodge (Orillia): provides housing and meals for vulnerable seniors
Salvation Army Family Centre & Food Bank (Gravenhurst): provides support to families in need
Camp Oochigeas (Rosseau): provides summer camp environment for children with cancer
Burk’s Fall Food Bank: provides food and resources for those in need. Covers 7 municipalities.
Heat Bank Haliburton County: provides material & financial support for heating of homes
Cottage Dreams (Haliburton): provides rental cottages for families to gather after cancer treatment
The contributions by Lakelands members through the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation are important to the communities we live in as they boost the ability for these organisations to support residents. Lakelands President Tom Wilkinson: “Local Realtors have a deep pride for their community. The donation initiative through the Every REALTOR® Campaign gets us directly involved with organisations that make our communities stronger. Many of our local brokerages give to and support causes in their own specific communities on top of these monthly contributions. Realtors across The Lakelands Board are committed to our mission of being an integral part of the communities we live in. We’re all honoured to help.”
Local REALTOR® members of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® gathered in support of Heat Bank Haliburton today. Under the Quality of Life mandate supported by the association, and with the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, Realtor members spent the morning splitting wood to help build the pile higher for those in need.
“It seems timely as the nights get colder to make sure we have time to be thankful for our own warm homes”, says Tom Wilkinson, Association President “It seems hard to imagine that there are families in our neighbourhoods who have to make the decision between warmth, food or paying rent. It’s important to lend a hand and help others. As local Realtors, keeping the communities we live in strong through volunteerism and activism is essential to this cause”.
Heat Bank Haliburton gathers firewood to distribute to households struggling to keep the heat on. As a member of The Lakelands, local Realtors contribute $2 per month to the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation. Heat Bank Haliburton is one of 5 local charitable organisations chosen to benefit from these funds for this year. The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® selects organisations that focus on shelter-based support to those requiring assistance within the communities in their jurisdiction of Orillia, Muskoka, Haliburton and Almaguin.
“For a few hours today, we were able to help the Heat Bank get ahead, and make sure that the wood these families need is ready to go when they need it”, said Wilkinson. “The initiative of Quality of Life that Realtors subscribe to, along with the great work we can accomplish through our contributions to Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, fits perfectly with our desire to see Haliburton, and other communities we represent, be vibrant and sustainable.”
Through late fall to early winter 2014, Heat Bank Haliburton assisted 57 households. 28% of which were seniors in need of support, with 34% being families with children. Says Wilkinson: “Local Realtors have pride in their communities. This is a fantastic initiative, and we’re honoured to be able to help.”
Quality of Life, including strong, safe communities with available housing is a foundational principle to which the over 680 REALTOR® members of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® commit. As real estate professionals, Lakelands members are keenly aware of the importance of and the challenges experienced by shelter-based charities and food banks across our regions.
Each month, Lakelands members donate to the REALTORS Care® Ontario Foundation as part of their membership in the Association. At the end of the year, charities within each of the regions which Lakelands members serve – Haliburton, Orillia, and Muskoka – are selected to receive a share of these donations.
This year, $17,870 was distributed amongst the following organizations:
- the Burk’s Falls & District Food Bank
- The Lighthouse in Orillia
- the Point in Time Centre for Children, Youth, and Parents in Haliburton
- Cottage Dreams Cancer Recovery Initiative in Haliburton
Burk’s Falls & District Food Bank
The Lighthouse – Orillia
Cottage Dreams Cancer Recovery Initiative – Haliburton
Point in Time Centre for Children, Youth & Parents – Haliburton
Cottage Dreams and Point in Time photos courtesy of Mark Arike/The Highlander
A strong community is a large part of the foundation for much of what we enjoy as “the good life”. As community residents themselves, the members of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® are committed to helping to build strong communities throughout all of the areas they serve in Muskoka, Haliburton, Orillia, and Almaguin. This includes making a difference in the lives of those in need of a little extra help. Continue reading