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Celebrating 2020 IBAO Community Leaders
Illustration by Madison van Rijn
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e’re continuing our Community Leadership Award Spotlight throughout the year, featuring Ontario Brokers who went above and beyond for their community last year.
Broker, Personal & Business Solutions, Staebler Insurance
Michelle loves to give back to her community any way she can. As the
Co-Chair of the Charitable & Community Involvement Committee at Staebler Insurance, she’s had a significant impact on the brokerage’s charitable efforts. Not only is  Michelle involved in the committee's efforts to raise funds and donate to worthy causes, she also contributes herself.
“This past year I’ve been part of a team of volunteers that ensures there are at least 60 meals going out to those experiencing homelessness or living in temporary shelter. Tiny Home Takeout is a fantastic charity that typically serves up to 200 meals from their take-out window and provides our team with 60 to 100 portions five nights a week to distribute. Their slogan Grab a bite, give if you can means everyone gets what they need despite their circumstances. The growing need in Waterloo region is staggering. Supporting charities that put good food in the bellies of those experiencing homelessness or on the verge of homelessness is so important. Thanks to IBAO for the opportunity to donate to this most deserving charity.”
PAUL HAINER President, Insuranceland
Paul’s been a team member of the ‘twas the Bite Before Christmas Foundation since 2014 and a Board member since 2019. The non-profit’s mission is to Fight Hunger, Feed Hope and Empower People in Need within the city of Mississauga. Every year they organize fundraising events between July and December, ending the year with their annual Turkey Dinner that hosts 750+ attendees. Over the past 10 years, Insuranceland has donated $5 to the Mississauga Food Bank on behalf of each person who calls in for a quote or gives a referral. Paul has donated over $60,000 since beginning this initiative.
“I’d like to thank IBAO for the recognition they’ve given me for the charity work I’ve done with Feed Mississauga and ’twas the Bite Before Christmas. Our organization raises money for the Mississauga Food Bank and provides hot meals during this Covid time to families in need—over 15,000 meals have been provided to Mississauga residents.”
PETER BLODGETT President, Darling Insurance
Peter and Darling Insurance have long been committed to supporting local charities and causes. Each year, Darling Insurance organizes events like their annual golf tournament which has raised over $240,000 for local charities, The Loonies of the Street Christmas Fundraiser and the Darling Chili Challenge where local charities and businesses are invited to serve their best chili. All money raised goes to cancer research. Since their largest event was canceled because of Covid, Darling Insurance supported their local Humane Society by making a donation for every picture people shared on their Facebook page—over 385 people posted a picture within the first 24 hours.
“The communities we do business in have been tremendously loyal and supportive of our brokerage. It’s the very least we can do to give back in any way we can. Our giving back imparts a small yet important element to the fabric of these communities. As the old proverb says, you only get back as much as you give. We’re proud and humbled to be recognized for our philanthropic efforts.”
Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Preferred Insurance
Peter is an extremely community-minded individual and consistently goes above and beyond to make a true impact. Because of the pandemic, things have been particularly difficult for families facing childhood cancer. Restrictions, closures and layoffs have made the diagnosis harder both financially and emotionally. Peter was among the first supporters to reach out to Childcan to see how he could help. He was instrumental in a matching fund campaign with the matching portion driven by Peter’s outreach to business partners. With his help, they were able to exceed campaign expectations.
“I was truly honoured to have been selected as a Community Leader by IBAO. There are many worthy causes across our great province, but the one most special to us is Childcan. Children shouldn’t get cancer. It feels so wrong and unfair. When families are faced with this devastating emotional news, the next phase of their life often leads to extreme financial hardship as they work through long and intensive treatment plans and incur so many costs. For over 45 years, Childcan has been serving families in Southwestern Ontario through responsive and direct financial assistance, compassionate emotional support, proactive social programs and funding novel research. Our annual event has increased in size and results for the past nine years. With thanks to our many business partners, individuals and partner-inspired events, we’ve raised over $500,000. We’re very thankful to IBAO for supporting and contributing to a charity so near to our hearts.”
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