CMHC Distinguished REALTORS® Award — Sheldon Zamick helps others to help themselves


Sheldon Zamick’s overriding desire is to “help others help themselves, so they can then do wonderful things.”
The recipient of this year’s Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Distinguished REALTOR® Award has worked diligently over the years supporting many different charitable organizations. In the process, he has provided an example of how REALTORS® are involved in making the community a better place every day. 
Zamick said he was surprised and excited to have won the award.
“I had no idea I was going to get it,” he said.
Zamick received the award at the annual general meeting of the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) on March 14. The presentation was made to the WinnipegREALTORS® director and member of the MREA since 1986, by Lynn Power, a business development representative from CMHC.
“It is normally quite easy to ramble off a list of committee work and community involvement of a recipient,” said Power. “Our recipient has gone way above and beyond, extolling passion for the industry, in addition to an almost endless list of community causes. The association is fortunate to have a true leader within its membership.”
The purpose of the CMHC Distinguished 
REALTOR® Award is to recognize an active member who demonstrates outstanding leadership and dedication to the real estate industry through board/association involvement and community service. 
 Zamick has lent his time to an extensive number of organizations over the years including Habitat for Humanity, the Winnipeg Humane Society, the United Way of Winnipeg, St. Amant Centre, and the Charleswood Lions Seniors Centre. 
He presently sits on the board of governors for the MREA Shelter Foundation and is the current chair for the national REALTOR® campaign for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which has so far raised almost $1.7 million of its target goal of $2 million. 
“In the end, you don’t do charity work to get awards,” said Zamick. “You do such things to help people to have a better life.
“What we take for granted,” he added, “others less fortunate think is insurmountable. I like to help find ways to make things happen for them.”
Zamick gave the example of a 19-year-old man, a client with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).
The CNIB director said the young man wanted to become a wood worker, but didn’t know how to go about making his dream become a reality.
Zamick and the CNIB were able to get the young man into a Red River College wood-working course.
“It was rewarding in itself to help make his dream happen,” said Zamick.
Over the years, Zamick has helped raise over $1 million for the CNIB to support people with vision loss in Manitoba.
On Christmas Day and Good Friday during Easter, you will find Zamick joining other MREA members and staff serving meals and helping out at Siloam Mission.
“It’s so exciting to see that those 700 people (who come to the mission) get their meals, and see that they are actually being thought of and not forgotten — not tossed out.
“By offering them a helping hand, some of them will get back into everyday society,” Zamick added.
Zamick expresses pride in supporting the MREA Shelter Foundation, which provides grants for shelter-related causes, such as Esther House, Siloam Mission, Habitat for Humanity, and the North End Women’s Centre Inc., among others.
For two years, he was the chair of the WinnipegREALTORS®-sponsored annual Gimme Shelter social, which last year raised over $50,000 for the MREA Shelter Foundation. To date, the social has raised over $120,000 for the foundation.
“I’m proud to have participated with the real estate community to raise money for others who don’t have the ability to support themselves,” he said. “We are helping provide them with a safe way of living so that they can move ahead toward a better life.”
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a project that Zamick believes is particularly worthy of support.
“Winnipeg will be mentioned all over the world when it comes to human rights issues because of the museum,” he added.
“Whenever I bump into someone and engage them in conversation, I tell them how they can participate in the museum by making a donation.”
Proof of the success of his promotion of the museum is that REALTORS® from across the nation have stepped forward to make donations.
Other causes Zamick supports include the Combined Jewish Appeal, the Variety Club, the Children’s Miracle Network and the MS Society.
In 2004, Zamick was awarded the Winnipeg REALTORS® Community Service Award.
In 2010, the recipient of the CMHC Distinguished REALTOR® Award was Ruthe Penner, who was the first chair of the MREA Shelter Foundation.
“REALTORS® have done so much for shelter-related causes,” she said. “We know about peoples’ problems. You can’t help but get to know the problems people in the community have when you sell real estate for a living.”