Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pinestone helps African children

Pictured with the contents of the Sleeping Children Around the
World bedkit for Togo are cottager Grant Clark, left from front,
who was happy to shake the hand of Darko Vranich, president and
CEO of Vrancor Group that owns the Pinestone Resort for his $1,500
contribution to the charity that provides bedkits for children in
Africa. At back, Pinestone's Frank Vismeg, managing director
and Natalie Stephenson, director of sales and marketing.
As published in The Haliburton Echo, September 20, 2010

Posted by Darren Lum

The Pinestone is extending a helping hand and a better night's rest for children in Africa.

Vrancor Group's president and CEO Darko Vranich was proud to come to Haliburton's Pinestone Resort, which is part of the hotel group, to announce his $1,500 contribution for the Sleeping Children Around the World charity that purchased 43 bedkits for children in Togo, West Africa.

Each bedkit costs $35. It comes with literature about the program and brief instructions and includes a mattress, bedsheet, blanket, towel, mosquito net, clothing items, school supplies such as pencils, erasers and notebooks. All of the contents are made locally, employing people in the area.

For different countries the bedkits vary to address specific needs of the area including cultural differences.

There were 4,000 bedkits in total that was distributed by cottager, and retired educator, Grant Clark and his wife Leslie Banner when the Canadian team went over to personally hand-deliver the kits earlier this year.

Clark, who is a former principal from Peel region, came up to the Pinestone to speak about his involvement with the charity this past Friday.

"Through the generosity of the Pinestone, 43 children have had a life-saving experience through this gift," Clark said. "What an enormous circle. Here's Pinestone providing comfortable sleep and what are they doing? They're reaching way across the ocean to Africa."

"We have touched the hearts of 54,500 children. The thing that is a little bit unique about the charity is the fact that everybody who volunteers gives their time at no cost," he said, adding he and his wife invested a considerable sum not for the credit, but the incredible experience and the chance to help.

They have been on 11 distribution trips and he adds every contribution goes to the bedkits. He started his involvement because of a teacher he worked with who was involved with the charity.

People working with the organization pay for their own travel and expenses when delivering the bedkits and also return the following year for an audit to ensure none of the bedkits have been sold.

The Pinestone first got involved last year when Clark, who is a golf club member, asked about the resort's involvement with the Sportmen's Bonspiel down in Oakville.

The Sleeping Children charity was founded by Murray Dryden of Manitoba, who was a door-to-door peddler and slept in train stations to save money during the Depression. He understood first-hand what it was like to not have a good night's sleep.

On a trip to India, Dryden stumbled over a child sleeping on the street and vowed to do something about giving children a comfortable night's sleep.

Dryden sold three Christmas tree properties worth $3 million for the cause and deeded his house to the charity.

Upon retirement he and his wife Margaret had a goal of raising $1 million, but the organization has surpassed that mark and is now moving towards the distribution of one million bedkits. Thus far the organization has distributed 688,600 bedkits.

Donations are accepted via the Internet or through the mail.

For more information go to the website: www.scaw.org.