Royal LePage Golf Tournament Raises $25,000 for Saskatoon Women’s Shelters

The donations have been collected and the bills have been paid!

The great news is that $25,000 has been raised for YWCA Saskatoon and Saskatoon Interval House through this year’s Golf Tournament for Shelter. These amazing women’s shelters were so grateful to each receive a $12,500 contribution as we move into the holiday season, which is consistently their busiest. The donations were received with tears of joy and wide smiles and rewarded with hugs. It was an honour and a privilege for the golf

The committee for Royal LePage Golf Tournament for Shelter present a cheque for $12,500 to Saskatoon Interval House.

committee to present these gifts but our colleagues, friends, and business partners are the real heroes of this story. Without you, this would not have been possible, so thank you, and know that we deeply appreciate your commitment to this community, and your willingness to support us in our mission to provide a safe place for all of the women and children of Saskatoon.

I’m going to list the fine people and companies that supported this tournament. If you know any of them, I’d appreciate it if you’d share this post with them, and give them your thanks for making Saskatoon a better place, a safer place for those who have no option but to flee their homes due to violence.

Meal Sponsors

Tawny Bley and Tyler Hildebrand of oneSt. Mortgage
Mike Derbowka and Brad Jamieson of Cuelenaere LLP

This is such a significant contribution, one that allows us to give an additional $6,000 to these shelters. Thank you so much!

Hole Sponsors

Daytona Homes Saskatoon
Dave Gibson from Scotiabank
Tara Chornoby from CJC & Co. Law Office LLP
Lori Emde from TMG The Mortgage Group
Thomson Jaspar & Associates
Prairie Building Inspections
oneStreet Mortgage (Tawny and Tyler again)
Cuelenare LLP (Mike and Brad again)
Royal LePage Varsity
McDougall Gauley LLP
Scott Brown from Amerispec Home Inspections
Royal LePage Saskatoon
In Fine Order Real Estate Staging Services
Saskatoon Appliance & Midtown Appliance World
TKB Law
Ens Lexus Toyota
Abacus Signs
Linda Pittner from Royal LePage Saskatoon
C95, Rock 102 and 650 CKOM
Royal LePage Vidorra
Tj’s Pizza
Helen Hyde from Royal LePage Hallmark
Leland Kimpinski LLP

Prize Sponsors

Boston Pizza
Hudsons Canada’s Pub
Delta Bessborough
Fox and Hounds Pub & Brewery
Cindy Westfield from Royal LePage Renaud Realty
Ed Wojcichowsky from Royal LePage Saskatoon
Rock Creek YXE
CUT Casual Steak & Tap
Fionn MacCool’s Saskatoon
Scott Crossman from Royal LePage Saskatoon
Lavish Blowout Bar
James Haywood from Royal LePage Hallmark
Jason MacNevin from Can-Seed Equipment Ltd.
Garry Frie from Royal LePage Saskatoon
Boryski’s Butcher Block
Troy Gordon from Royal LePage Regina Realty
Jason Rumpel from Royal LePage Regina Realty
Lloyd McLean from Royal LePage Hallmark
Mike Derbowka from Cuelenare LLP
Brad Jamieson from Cuelenare LLP
Tawny Bley from oneStreet Mortgage
Tyler Hildebrand from oneStreet Mortgage
Rich Gabruch from Gabruch Legal Group
Lyndon Neher from Royal LePage Vidorra
Ramada Saskatoon
Ramada Plaza Regina
Tara Chornoby from CJC and Company Law Office
Sheraton Cavalier Saskatoon Hotel
Lisa Aron and Alan Aron
CTV Saskatoon
Gateway Travel
WMCZ Lawyers
Don McIvor from Royal LePage Hallmark
Don Cenaiko from Royal LePage Hallmark
Hilton – Airline Hotels

Cash Donors

Ed Wojcichowsky from Royal LePage Saskatoon
Don McIvor from Royal LePage Hallmark
Lana Kirchgessner from Royal LePage Saskatoon
Albert Hondros from Royal LePage Hallmark
Ron Thompson from Royal LePage Saskatoon

On behalf of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and the committee for the 3rd Annual Royal LePage Golf Tournament for Shelter (Colette Gates, Lyndon Neher, Jillian Moore, Michelle Butler, Lisa Poier, Lloyd McLean and Norm Fisher) thank you so much.

It’s likely that women you know are affected by violence – the good news is you can help

For most of us, home is our safe place. It’s a place we can go to escape the pressures of life and shelter ourselves from danger. Unfortunately, home is not a safe place for everyone. Each year, hundreds of Saskatoon women and children fall victim to domestic violence. Make no mistake, these are women that you know, because violence against women has no socioeconomic barriers. It can happen to anyone. It does happen to far too many.

There are many issues that we need to address to break this awful cycle but the first priority is to provide these women and kids with somewhere to turn. They need a safe place to stay while they rebuild their lives. They need people who understand the challenges they face. People who can help them start again and build a future that’s free of violence.

You can help them find that. You can make an immediate and profound difference in the lives of people who are suffering right now. The question is, will you?

Saskatoon’s YWCA Saskatoon Crisis Shelter and Saskatoon Interval House provide these services. Over the years, thousands of women and children have found refuge in one of these shelters.

On Friday, July 21, 2017, my wife Becky and I head for Iceland to participate in a 100 KM trek to raise funds for this great cause. 85% of the funds we raise will go to the two shelters noted above. The 15% balance will be directed towards violence prevention programs to teach young people how to deal with life’s challenges without resorting to violence.

If you’d like to support us and these great shelters, you can do so by clicking the “Make a Donation” button at www.TeamFisherTrekForShelter.ca. Many thanks to all who have contributed.

We will be without internet access while we trek next week but look forward to updating you when we return.

Norm Fisher

P.S. The photo above was taken in 2015, on a similar trek that took us through the Peruvian Andes on a walk to Machu Picchu. This is our crew celebrating reaching our highest peak in a fundraiser that raised over half a million dollars for Canadian women’s shelters.

Lyndon Neher wins Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s Individual of the Year for Saskatchewan

Shanan Spencer-Brown, Executive Director of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation presents the "Individual of the Year" award to Lyndon Neher.

Shanan Spencer-Brown, Executive Director of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation presents the “Individual of the Year” award to Lyndon Neher.

We are very proud to announce that TeamFisher’s Lyndon Neher was selected as the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s Saskatchewan “Individual of the Year” for 2015.

This award goes to a Royal LePage REALTOR® with a history of supporting initiatives for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, and who has achieved something significant for the foundation in the last year.

Lyndon is a long-time supporter of the foundation through his generous financial donations and his willingness to support fundraising events for the cause. In 2015, he took the initiative to found the Royal LePage Golf Tournament. With his committee that included Colette Gates from Royal LePage Saskatoon, Alyss Gehl of Royal LePage Hallmark and Lisa Poier of Royal LePage Hallmark the tournament raised $23,000 for the YWCA Crisis Shelter and Saskatoon Interval House. This was the single largest fundraising event for the Shelter Foundation in Saskatchewan.

We’re proud of you Lyndon! Congratulations!

The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is Canada’s largest public foundation dedicated exclusively to funding women’s shelters and violence prevention programs. In a typical year, the Shelter Foundation is the largest corporate donor to most woman’s shelters across Canada.

Every dollar raised goes directly to helping the more than 30,000 women and children who are served each year by the shelters and support programs we fund. Since 1998, the Shelter Foundation has raised more than $20 million and currently supports 200 local women’s shelters and national partners. Our agents donate a portion of their commissions and Royal LePage offices across Canada hold local fundraising events. Our brokers, agents and staff also volunteer and provide in-kind goods to benefit the women and children residing in their local shelters.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

Our seven day experience trekking to Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu-Picchu--417It has been 53 days since Becky and I returned home from Peru. Each day, “Write about Peru” topped my to-do list, and for 52 consecutive days I have failed to strike that item, repeatedly moving it forward to be tackled another day. Today shall be that day.

It’s not that I didn’t want to write. I did. I just couldn’t find the place to start, or the words to describe an experience that was simply indescribable. As it sit here today in front of my keyboard and reflect on this experience, emotions are carrying me off and I find my vision suddenly blurred by tears.

Peru was just one part of what can only be considered an amazing year for me, packed with wonderful changes and events. We opened Royal LePage Vidorra, our downtown location. We completed the purchase of Hallmark Realty and we began a new association with a terrific group of great people there. On a more personal side, my daughter Pamela announced that our family would soon (this December) grow with the addition of a grandchild! Yeaaaah! Becky and I re-opened the previously empty nest when Becky’s daughter Brielle came to live with us. My son Justin and his lovely partner Zoe who have been away for what seems like forever finally came home! I have so much to be grateful for, and then, Peru. Wow!

For those who don’t know, Becky and I went to Peru for a pretty special reason, the Machu Picchu Challenge for Shelter. Almost two years in the making, this fundraiser brought nearly 70 Royal LePage agents from across Canada together to raise funds for local women’s shelters in what turned out to be one of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s most successful fundraisers ever. As of today, $488,347.84 has been raised for shelters that badly need these funds. About $15,000 of that money will find its way to the Saskatoon YWCA Crisis Shelter and Saskatoon Interval House. To all of those who contributed to our campaign, thank you so very much! If you had intended to do so, but didn’t, and would still like to, our page is still open and accepting donations here. Nothing would thrill us more than to push this above $500K before we close. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.

Peru was amazing as you can well imagine. Over the two weeks we spent there we experienced so much. As I said, it’s very challenging to describe this trip in words. Thankfully, my new friend Cory Permack, husband of my Royal LePage colleague Rebecca Permack was gracious enough to allow me to use his photos to assist me. Thank you Cory! He took some images that will blow your mind. I promise. So, I’ve broken this post into sections so you can get to whatever seems interesting to you. If you can only make time for one or two clicks, I would really encourage you to visit the two “people” pages.

The beautiful city of Cusco, Peru

People of Cusco, Peru

Festivals and celebrations of Cusco, Peru

Markets and street vendors of Cusco, Peru

Food of Cusco, Peru

The Andes Mountains of Peru

Our trek through the Andes

Camping in the Andes

The Andean people of Peru

Animals of the Andes

Machu Picchu, the prize after a gruelling trek

The trekkers

Take aways

Once again, my thanks to all who supported us in this fundraiser, whether that was through contributions or an encouraging word. It was an experience that we will never, ever forget and we so appreciate you choosing to be on the journey with us.

Norm

It's been a very tough year for Saskatchewan already

492px-80_-_Machu_Picchu_-_Juin_2009_-_edit.2 (1)

Photo Credit: Martin St-Amant – Wikipedia – CC-BY-SA-3.0

The day has finally arrived! After more than a year of anticipation, Becky (love of my life) and I head off to Peru for an experience that is sure to change our lives. We’ll arrive in Cusco tomorrow morning, and once we’re there, a seven-day experience of a lifetime will begin. Together with a group of 60 friends, we’ll trek through the Andes to Machu Picchu, the 15th century “Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments, and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.”

As we make our way through the Andes, on foot, we will be living without the modern conveniences that we have come to expect, and in fact, take for granted. No beds, no bathrooms, no showers, no phones, no Netflix, no email, no facebook, email, etc. Just a group of friends, with a common mission, enjoying some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, in our own human stinkiness. Haha. Relax, we have a ton of baby wipes, and as an old friend used to say, there are very few personal hygiene problems that can’t be solved with baby wipes. I expect that’s a stretch but we’ll be okay.

It’s my hope, and the hope of those that we’ll travel with that this trip will be life changing, not only for us, but for others in our community. This is no ordinary trek. It’s a trek with a mission. Together, we are on a mission to raise much needed money for women’s shelters that operate across Canada. As of this morning, our efforts have raised over $450,000 for these shelters, surpassing our original goal but putting us within reach of the half million-dollar mark, which would be just an unimaginable achievement.

Perhaps you’d like to help? I’d appreciate just a few minutes of your time to tell you a bit more about what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it.

I realize that you’re probably a person who is conscious of the great needs that exist in our communities, and I’m sure that you have your causes that you support. I respect you for that entirely, so let me say this; if you can’t join me in this fight with a financial contribution you can help make a difference in other ways. Read on, please. I can’t let this moment pass without sharing with you the grave importance of the mission that we are on, this fight that we are in.

You see, in spite of the fact that we like to see ourselves as living in a pretty civilized society, all of the hard evidence suggests (No, it actually proves) that we as a society continue to undervalue women. A recent story in the Huffington Post reveals, more or less what we all know. A woman in Canada can expect to be paid less than a man for the same work. Sadly, women are still well under-represented in positions of authority. Check out the 41st Parliament of Canada where you’ll see almost three men for every woman who holds a seat.

But, this mission isn’t about pay equity…or politics. It’s about something even more important than that. It’s about life, security, and safety.

This mission is about the fact that Canadian women are still being beaten and killed by their domestic partners at an alarming rate.

That’s a fact! In a typical year, more than 60 Canadian women will be killed by the person who they share a home with, the person who is supposed to care for them and love them.

This is a problem that is worse in Saskatchewan than it is in any Canadian province. This year is no exception. It’s already been a very tough year for Saskatchewan.

Consider for a moment, Latasha Gossling, the Tisdale woman who died in April, along with her three beautiful children, at the hands of a man who she had been in a relationship with for three years.

Then there was Celeste Yawney, a 33-year old Regina woman who had dedicated her life to the protection of women in her community, killed in May. An “ex-boyfriend” has been charged with her brutal murder.

Most recently, 47-year old Lisa Strang had her life taken in her McLean area home just weeks ago, her husband charged with her murder.

Most people, I believe, have no idea how terribly common this is. In a story published on Global News, Amy Stenrud of the Regina YWCA had this to say about domestic violence in Saskatchewan.

“You never expect it to happen to someone you care about, however the stats tell us something else. Saskatchewan has the highest rate of all the provinces, the only rate higher is in the territories, of intimate partner violence.”

It’s all too common. In fact, 67 percent of all Canadians personally know of a woman who has been either sexually or physically abused. Did you know that one in three young women report having experienced “dating violence”?

These women are our mothers! They are our sisters! They are our daughters, for crying out loud!

The very sad reality is that every single night in Canada more than 3,000 women and children seek help at a shelter when they finally gather the courage to say, “enough” and that’s not easy, because the perpetrators of this type of violence wear their victims down emotionally to the point where you’re actually scared to tell the people you love what’s going on.

The first line of defence in this important fight is to ensure that they have help when they finally reach the “enough” moment, but it’s not always easy. Last year, in Saskatoon, the YWCA Crisis Shelter provided help to 950 women in our community. According to their website, they “had to turn away more than they could serve.”

This is not right…not here…not in Canada.

These women are our mothers! They are our sisters! They are our daughters!

No woman should have to feel unsafe in her own home, and when she does, we need to support her, and that starts with providing a safe place where she can go for help.

So, I’m going to ask you to do three things, four if you’re a man.

  • If you can, go to TeamFisherTrekForShelter.ca and make a donation, please. Whatever you can afford will go to good use right here in Saskatoon at the YWCA Crisis Shelter and Saskatoon Interval House.
  • Keep your ears open for off hand jokes that involve violence against women and speak up when you hear them. There’s nothing funny about slapping a woman. Nothing!
  • Watch for signs of abuse in your own circles and encourage woman who are suffering to seek help at a shelter. Let them know that there is hope, that there are people who want to help.
  • If you’re a man, treat the women in your life with the respect that they deserve, every day. If you lose your cool and adopt a threatening tone in an attempt to scare, you’ve already gone too far. Stop it!

Until we reach a point where women are safe from violence in their own homes, we’ll have huge problems as a society. We have got to put and end to it. We can. We will.

Becky and I would like to express our thanks to the many people who have already chosen to support our fundraiser, financially or otherwise. For the record, each participant on this trek looked after his or her own travel expenses, so your contribution is not underwriting a vacation. In fact, every dollar you donate will make it to a local shelter where it will go to work helping abused women and their kids.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and learn about what we’re doing.

Let’s put an end to domestic violence and make home a safe place for everyone.

We’re off to catch a plane.

Norm Fisher

P.S. The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is a registered charitable foundation. The administrative costs of the foundation are underwritten by Royal LePage so every dollar raised goes directly to helping the more than 30,000 women and children who are served each year by the shelters and the support programs we fund. Since its inception, the Shelter Foundation has raised more than $20 million and currently supports 200 local women’s shelters and national partners