The final stretch…

United Way approaches final stretch.

One small hurdle and we are there.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  January 27, 2011  –  There are some things that just have to get done – every day.  Some things are seasonal others maybe once in a lifetime.  The dishes, every day; the garbage, once a week and the United Way Fund – once a year.  And it is that time of year again.

Running the Burlington United Way campaign is a mammoth task.  It requires all the skills needed to run a large corporation and then men and woman who do that job take time away from busy professional and personal lives to make the phone calls, attend the events, plan the strategy and get the money into the bank so that it can be distributed to those agencies in the community that take care of those who, for any number of reasons, cannot take care of themselves.

We have agencies in place to spot these problems and who can take the necessary action but they cost money.  The people who do this work have to be paid; rent and electricity for the offices they work in has to be paid for – it all costs money. Organizations like the United Way do the hard grunt work to pull those funds into the coffers and put it where it will meet the most pressing needs in the community.

The current United Way campaign is in the final stretch to raise $2.15 million that will get distributed to 44 agencies in the community.  The campaign is just $300,000 shy of reaching that total.  Dig a little deeper today and make this happen.  We are out of the recession for the most part – we’ve got the money, let’s share it.

These fund raising events don’t just happen.  They require hours and hours of  meetings and phone calls.  The team that is making those phone calls this year is made up of

Rick Bashista, Campaign Vice Chair & Insurance Sector Rep
John Flasch Insurance Agency Inc.

Kathy Brown, Health & Social Services Division Chair
Director, Client Services, Central West Community Care Access Centre

John Chisholm, Accounting Sector Rep
Partner, SB Partners

Dr. Nicole Ciraolo, Chiropractor Sector Rep, Canadian Laser & Pain Therapy

Jamie Edwards, Leadership Chair. JM Edwards Associates Inc.

Tom Irvine, Credit Union Sector Rep. Branch Manager, First Ontario Credit Union

Anthony Koleoso, Commercial Sector Rep. Regional Manager, Business Development, Speedy Glass

Ruth Lee, Banking Sector Rep. TD Canada Trust

Roman Martiuk, Business Division Chair. City Manager, City of Burlington

Tim Miron, GenNext. Manager, Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP Chartered Accountants

Nancy Morley, Finance & Advisory Division Chair. District Vice President, Burlington District

Jeremy W. Okolisan, Engineering Sector Rep. Vice President, Byrne Engineering Inc.

Mike Pautler, Halton Catholic District School Board Sector Rep. Halton Catholic District School Board

Joe Popkey, GenNext.  Sales Director, Golden Horseshoe, RBC Royal Bank, RBC Life Insurance Company

Barry Powel, Manufacturing Sector Rep. Accounting Manager, Umicore AutoCat

Judy Pryde, Community Agency Sector Rep. Executive Director, Community Living Burlington

Jeff Shannon, Investment Sector Rep. Division Director, Investors Group Financial Services Inc.

Ken Zukiwski, Investment Sector Rep. Certified Financial Planner, Certified Senior Advisor, Investors Group Financial Services Inc.

The team is led by Karmel Sachran, a Burlington lawyer who is also Member of the Board of Governors of Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital (2006 – present), Chair of their Human Resource and Compensation Committee, Member of the Executive Committee,    Board Representative on the Hospital Foundation Steering Committee for the Capital Re-Development Project (with fundraising target of $120 Million)

Karmel holds two annual fundraisers for local charities: the Wills & Powers of Attorney Event and an annual Canada 5 km run / 1 km walk event.  In 2008  he formed the Magnificent 7,  a group of seven individuals that trained to run a half marathon, raising money for local children in need and affiliated with the YMCA and Children’s Aid Society.

In 2009 Karmel helped with the formation of FAB Foundation, “Fit – Active – Beautiful” a program designed to help disadvantaged girls gain self-confidence and discipline in learning how to train and run 5 km.

Karmel has been a member of the Rotary Club of Burlington and was the 2008 recipient of Rotarian of the Year award and the recipient of Paul Harris Fellowship Award twice.

Karmel was a Founding Board Member of The Carpenter Hospice in Burlington. He was involved from concept, design, construction, operation and governance. The hospice   serves an average of 100 individuals and their families every year without cost to them and has an annual operating budget of $1.8 million.

A member of the Board of the Halton County Law Association Karmel was called to the Bar in 1995 and is a member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada. He founded Roseland Law Chambers comprised of 7 sole practitioners.

Whew !– where does this guy find the time to get all this done and run a very successful law practice as well?

The gift came from his Father, who was born in Nazareth, Palestine where he grew up and taught school for a short period of time and then was trained as a land surveyor by the British when they had a mandate to rule Palestine.

One of his Father’s jobs in the Middle Eats was to survey the northern part of Galilee during the Israeli rule where he eventually reported to the Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands.  We tell you all this to make the point that Karmel’s Father held a very responsible position in the Middle East but gave up what he had there and immigrated to Canada with his wife and children because he wanted then to be raised and live in a free country.

Norm Sakran foresaw the turmoil that today racks the Middle East.  He wanted better for his children and so they came to Canada where the Father ran into that question which faces so many immigrants: Do you have any Canadian experience?  Norm decided he would become a grocer and operated the Ontario Variety on Ontario Street, which is still in business, now run by Karmel’s brother.

Karmel brings that “child of an immigrant” to everything he does.  He understands how fortunate we are in Canada and works to share what he is able to earn and lives each day grateful that he is here.  He is a philanthropist by heart and works to inspire others on the duty of giving and caring for their community.

This week Karmel Sachran needs your help to get that last $300,00 into the bank so that his community can take care of those who cannot today take care of themselves.

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