REALTORS Care Foundation: Realtors ride for a great cause

September 2, 2011 — One of the many things I enjoy about being a REALTOR® is that there’s never a dull day. Thanks to our varied professional backgrounds and range of special interests, even after 32 years in the business, I learn something new virtually every time I chat with another GTA REALTOR® Member.

One example of the diversity within our professional community is a group of REALTORS® who also happen to be motorcycle enthusiasts. Each year they get together for a ride in support of the REALTORS Care Foundation, which assists shelter-related charities throughout Ontario. This year’s ride, which took place from July 13th to 15th, marked the culmination of an important milestone as riders completed a multi-year goal to visit each of the 42 real estate boards in Ontario. Their objective was to raise funds and awareness of the Foundation’s charitable endeavours, and increased participation in this year’s event showed that their efforts are working. Thirty-five riders took part this year, in a journey that took them throughout Central and Eastern regions of Ontario.

The ride kicked off at the Toronto Real Estate Board with stops at the Durham Association of REALTORS®, the Northumberland Hills Association of REALTORS®, and the Kawartha Lakes Real Estate Association before wrapping up the day’s travels at the Peterborough and Kawarthas Association of REALTORS®. On day two, participants made stops at the Bancroft, Quinte, and Rideau-St. Lawrence Real Estate Boards, remaining in Brockville overnight. 

Day three included a visit to the Cornwall and District Real Estate Board before reaching the final destination, the Ottawa Real Estate Board. While media and local politicians greeted riders at various stops throughout the journey, a particularly notable reception took place during the final leg of the trip.

The riders’ arrival in the nation’s capital coincided with 90th anniversary celebrations at the Ottawa Real Estate Board, with representatives on hand from the Ontario and Canadian Real Estate Associations. As anniversary presentations wrapped up, everyone in attendance heard the rumbling of motorcycles and rushed outside to greet riders. During the last week of July a special visit was paid to the Thunder Bay Real Estate Board, to reach the goal of visiting every real estate board in the province.

As always, TREB’s CEO Don Richardson took part in helping raise awareness. I asked Don to share this year’s experience with us, and here is what he had to say…

“The ride was great! It was very heartening to see even more riders this year. A real sense of community involvement by each Board we visited. The last Board we stopped at was Ottawa. This was perfect, as Ottawa was celebrating their 90th Anniversary with speeches and presentations, apparently the timing was perfect, because just as the last speech ended, those at the celebration heard the bikes rumbling outside as we arrived, and all rushed outside to welcome us. It was heartening to see the support for the Foundation and the increase in awareness. It was perfect throughout. Perfect weather, great energy, excellent planning while raising awareness for a worthy cause.”

Although the total numbers have not yet been calculated, it is anticipated that this year’s ride will have raised more than $50,000 for the Foundation, which will bring the total raised since the event’s inception to more than $220,000. Given that the Foundation operates solely on the basis of voluntary donations, these funds are vital to its success. Thanks to efforts like the ride, the Foundation, now in its 44th year, has an impressive track record. Last year alone, TREB provided REALTORS Care Foundation grants to 35 different shelter-related charities throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

While plans will soon be underway for the 2012 Ride, it’s not too late to sponsor one of the dedicated individuals who took part in this year’s event. Since the Ontario Real Estate Association pays for The REALTORS Care Foundation’s administrative costs, every dollar donated directly benefits shelter-related charities throughout the province.  For more information visit www.realtorscareontario.ca

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