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Honouring Victoria's most generous donors

Nov 08 2012

Fallout from the financial crash of 2008 has shrunk corporate charitable budgets, but individuals have stepped up to fill the void, says a Victoria fundraiser.

Suzanne Dubé, president of the Vancouver Island Chapter of Professional Fundraisers, said it's become tougher to raise money for good causes in the past four years.

"Corporations are cutting back," said Dubé. "But individuals have really stepped up."

She was speaking in the lead-up to tonight, when individuals and groups in the community who are pitching in will be recognized at the Fairmont Empress Hotel as part of National Philanthropy Day.

Five awards will be presented:

? The Generosity of Spirit Award will go David Flaherty, president of Pacific Opera Victoria, who made a special $100,000 gift to Pacific Opera this year to retire the company's deficit.

? The Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club will go to Soroptimist Victoria, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Soroptimist, meaning "best for women," raises an average of $35,000 annually to support efforts such as Women's Transition House, holiday hampers for single-parent families, school supplies, bursaries and birth training for Pacific developing countries.

? The Youth in Philanthropy Award (ages five to 10) goes to St. Margaret's Junior School.

Over the last 18 years, the students of St. Margaret's Junior School have raised about $26,000 to support the Children's Health Foundation, through events such as an annual Book and Bear Sale, rocking chair Rock-A-Thon and the "Girls Just Wanna have Fun"draiser.

? The Youth in Philanthropy Award (ages 11-18) goes to Reynolds Secondary School.

This year is the eighth consecutive year that students of Reynolds have been part of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock. Students have held car washes, bottle drives, bake sales and shaved their heads to raise a stunning $370,000.

? The Corporate Responsibility Award goes to commercial real estate firm Colliers International.

Since 2000, Colliers has donated more than $600,000 to the B.C. Cancer Foundation, Junior Achievement, Make a Wish Foundation,

Boys and Girls Club, B.C. Children's Hospital Fountain, CHILD Foundation, Salvation Army, B.C. Association of Community Living and Columbia Centre.

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