Over 50 REALTORS® and local business representatives gathered at the Sheraton Cavalier in Saskatoon on Monday, September 23, 2013, for the first Fall Legacy Challenge – a social to raise funds for worthy Saskatchewan charities under the Quality of Life Legacy initiative led by the Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS® (ASR).
The Quality of Life Legacy initiative awards grants of $5,000 to six community organizations from different regions of the province on an annual basis, 2013 being the first year. The initiative promotes the following principles:
Support shelter-related services in our communities
Enhance environmental sustainability, protection and/or conservation of our natural areas
Support public education on the importance of private property rights
Promote safer neighbourhoods and/or improved community services
Enhance and promote community development and better opportunities for “at risk” populations and/or disadvantaged citizens
Over $15,000 was raised on Monday through generous donations from the real estate industry in Saskatchewan on silent and live auction items, bringing the annual total to approximately $45,000. “Funds raised in 2013 will be used to award grants in 2014,” explains Bill Madder, CEO of the ASR. “Anything in excess of our annual fundraising goal will be invested in our Quality of Life Legacy Fund; we have had a very successful fundraising year.” The Legacy Fund is managed through the expert advice of the Saskatoon Community Foundation and was started by the ASR with an inaugural donation of over $130,000 in 2012.
“The most touching live auction items were a pair of framed paintings created and donated by a 10-year old pediatrics patient of the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon,” comments Joanne Kerr, ASR Board of Director member and Chair of the Quality of Life in Saskatchewan committee. The paintings sold for $1,500 after intense bidding. The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan was one of the six charities awarded the Quality of Life Legacy Grant last year, a charity focused on raising funds for a pediatrics hospital in Saskatoon. “It’s such a great item to auction off, art from a child who benefited from the funds we raised last year,” continues Kerr. “Everyone in the room was touched and proud to be part of that story.”
The Quality of Life in Saskatchewan committee will now be focused on increasing its number of major donors – called “Builders” – to increase the value of the Legacy Fund. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the ASR for more information on the program.
The Legacy Grant Program will be receiving applications again in early 2014. More information can be found here and updates will also be distributed through the ASR’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Any charitable organization in Saskatchewan supporting the Quality of Life in Saskatchewan’s principles listed above will be encouraged to apply.