For years we at Century 21 in the Okanagan chose to participate in other charities because Easter Seals, although a wonderful organization, was not totally local. Each year the Realtors in our company would vote to keep the money we raised in the Okanagan so Easter Seals was not an option.
A couple of years ago, Century 21 Canada adopted the "Send a kid to Camp" Easter Seals Campaign. All of our money would stay in the Okanagan and help support Camp Winfield.This camp is different than most camps for kids. It creates the ability for children with disabilities to spend a week being kids. They swim, play wheel chair basketball, climb walls, zip line, go down water slides;all the stuff that most of us did when we were kids and went to summer camp.
As you can imagine, all of these kids have very special needs that have to be looked after. The staff has to have special training and there has to be special equipment in order to pull this off. This is all expensive. Normally the cost is around $600 to $1000 to send a child to summer camp for a week whereas it is about $2100 to send one child to Camp Winfield for a week.
In 2010, Century 21 Executives in Vernon and Enderby and Century 21 Assurance in Kelowna raised $31,000 for Camp Winfield. We were the #4 fund raiser in the entire Century 21 system in Canada and the #10 fund raiser for all contributors in Canada.
My wife Carla Dahlen and I built this company on the premise that we have a responsibility to give back to our community. It has taken us a lot of years to find a charity that fits with our values and the values of our Realtors but we have certainly found it in the Easter Seals, Send a Kid to Camp program. Our goal is to continue to come up with ways that we can support this great cause. For instance, we have created a relationship with Husky gas stations. We send a Husky loyalty card out to every new listing we take. The customer can use the card whenever they fill up with gas at Husky and Husky will donate 2% of that purchase to Easter Seals. Our hats go off to Husky and we support them any chance we can.
Each one of our Realtors can also donate an amount from every deal. All year we put on various different fund raising events and all funds go to Easter Seals. We are more proud of our Easter Seals awards than we are of our production awards. This is the type of company that we have built and these are the values of the Realtors we employ. I am continually amazed and proud of how our Realtors donate their time and their money to this great cause.