Realtors give hand up to women in need

Transition houses benefit from Royal LePage fundraising

Making a difference in the community is something real estate agents and staff with Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty take seriously.

That commitment, which amounts to about $40,000 per year, is not lost on Marlene Goley, manager of women’s and family services at The Cridge Centre for the Family in Victoria. The Centre operates the Cridge Transition House for Women, one of four such regional facilities supported by the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.

“The difference this support makes for the women and children we support goes beyond money,” said Goley, whose organization received its annual cheque recently.

“It provides safety, hope, a fresh start and (recognition) that the community cares. For our clients, those contributions are priceless.”

The foundation, operated nationally by Royal LePage, is the only charitable group in Canada administered by a real estate company. Money raised locally stays in the communities.

The Cridge Centre alone has received more than $100,000 over the past decade thanks to the efforts of agents and staff. It goes toward such practical applications as driving clients to appointments or children to school, the changing of locks, plus moving and counselling fees.

The foundation supports three other women’s shelters here, including the Victoria Women’s Transition House, Margaret Laurence House and the Sooke Transition Society.

Royal LePage agent Sharen Warde remembers when the company first tackled fundraising for shelter services, back in 2000. They set a goal of bringing in $500 per shelter, but raised just $437.50.

By comparison, the company’s annual charity golf tournament and silent auction held last fall collected about $25,000. The remainder of the money is donated by realtors.

“I guess it’s just pulling together – the community and our realtor association and our company,” Warde said, explaining the campaign’s ongoing success. “It’s been a really good mix and a good fit.”

Shannon Whissell, manager of communications and fund development for the Cridge Centre for the Family, said it really helps to have the consistent support of Royal LePage.

“I’ve attended the golf tournament for the past four years and I’m always amazed at their good will,” she said. “They tend to have a lot of people like mortgage brokers and others there supporting the event.”

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