January 2, 2024

Our Community: Townline Homes donations, Realtor Food Bank Challenge

Townline Homes CEO Rick Ilich was in Victoria this week to personally deliver early Christmas presents to two community organizations after an earlier $500,000 gift to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.

During his Dec. 18 visit, he presented $5,000 in Thrifty Foods gift cards to both Fernwood ­Neighbourhood Resource Group and Our Place Society.

Ilich had purchased the gift cards during a live auction at the foundation’s Visions gala in ­November, where the company contributed $500,000 to the ­Imaging is Power campaign.

“We’re proud to support the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, and know the immediate impact it has on the health of our family, friends, and neighbours,” said Ilich. “A key tenet of our philosophy is enriching and supporting the communities we build in ­— we know that this is a critical part of maintaining their vibrancy and the wellbeing of those who call them home.”

The Visions gala raised $2.5 million toward the ­campaign’s $11-million goal. The campaign has raised $5 million from about 3,200 donors since October.

“Our team and caregivers are celebrating the momentous show of generosity our hospitals are ­experiencing this holiday season,” said Avery Brohman, CEO of Victoria Hospitals Foundation.

“How ­inspiring to see that generosity reach beyond our hospitals, and to witness a gift that keeps on giving. Thank you ­Townline Homes for lifting up our hospitals, charities, and community as a whole.”

The Imaging is Power campaign aims to refurbish three MRIs for Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals, as well as fund a new CT scanner at Victoria General, a SPECT/CT scanner and a new C-Arm for the heart catheterization lab at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

In 2019, Townline Homes donated $600,000 to support the purchase of a 3T MRI at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Exhibition on Ukrainian students who have died in war
To put a human face on Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union created Unissued Diplomas, a travelling exhibition featuring photos and stories of Ukrainian students who have been killed in the war.

The exhibit, at Christ Church Cathedral until Jan. 15, has been shown at more than 45 universities around the world.

The exhibition is free to view but donations will be accepted for the Canada-Ukraine Foundation for humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

• For more information, go to unissueddiplomas.org

Engel & Volkers wins food bank challenge
While Engel & Völkers Vancouver Island has been named the 2023 Food Bank Challenge Champion, the community was the real winner at this year’s ­Realtor Food Bank Challenge during the Oak Bay ­Christmas Festival, an initiative of the Oak Bay Business ­Improvement Association.

Real estate agencies Pemberton Holmes Oak Bay and Engel & Völkers Vancouver Island had been locked in a friendly competition, collecting donations between Nov. 20 and Dec. 10.

The combined efforts of the agencies garnered $9,200 in donations — which was split between The Rainbow Kitchen and The Mustard Seed. They also ­collected 624 pounds of food for the Rainbow Kitchen’s hot meals and Food Sharing program.

For the Rainbow Kitchen, the food and cash donations represent nearly a month of meals.

Community members, meanwhile, donated $437 and 539 pounds of food at the Oak Bay collection point before and during the Island Equipment ­Owners ­Association’s Truck Parade and Food Drive, which wound down Oak Bay Avenue.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association and the incredible teams that made this possible. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of the community,” said Tracy Chowen, distribution and logistics supervisor for the Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society. “Your dedication and generous donations are creating such a positive impact; it’s truly life changing for our guests here at Rainbow.”

Started in 2018, the Realtor Food Bank Challenge has collected 15,400 pounds of food and more than $56,000 for food banks in the region.

The Oak Bay Christmas Festival is presented by Oak Bay Village businesses through the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association, which represents members from 100 businesses along Oak Bay Avenue and feeder streets from Foul Bay Road to Monterey Avenue.

Campaign supports SUPPLY Victoria’s move
A non-profit organization that provides low-cost art, office and school supplies to artists, students and ­teachers has started a crowdfunding campaign to help offset some of its costs as it moves to a larger facility in the new year.

SUPPLY Victoria hopes to raise $14,000 in the online fundraising campaign to help pay for the move in January.

The group has been operating its Creative Reuse Centre on Fairfield Road for the past year and a half. While the location has been a hub for community engagement, the group says the space lacked a loading dock and other amenities.

The new location will be larger and wheelchair friendly, making it easier for community members to make retail purchases or drop off donations, it says.

The money will help pay for fixtures, signage, moving supplies and services and more.

Supporters can donate at GoFundMe under Help ReHome SUPPLY Victoria.

• For more information, go to supplyvictoria.ca.

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness month
Jan. 1 marks the beginning of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

But you can get a head start. All donations made to the Alzheimer Society of B.C. until Dec. 31 will be matched up to $65,000, doubling your impact.

Alzheimer Society of B.C. programs emphasize living well and forging new community connections, empowering people through self-advocacy.

• For more information, or to donate, go to alzheimer.ca/bc/en


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