New venue, new attractions, revamped menu at the Gimme Shelter fund raiser


by Todd Lewys
It’s official: the “Girl On Fire” will be performing in all her 3-D glory at the WinnipegREALTORS® annual fund raiser, Gimme Shelter, on March 13. But it won’t be Katniss Everdeen of Girl On Fire Hunger Games fame. Instead, it will be REALTOR® Amber van den Broek.
Who would have suspected that a REALTOR® would have a sideline involving dressing up in an exotic costume and twirling various apparatus to create amazing, fiery patterns?
“I started doing this about eight years ago,” said van den Broek. “I now do shows around the city ... I’m going to enjoy performing that much more at Gimme Shelter because it’s for such a worthy cause.”
Van den Broek’s act won’t be the only thing new at Gimme Shelter this year, said REALTOR® Susan Belanger, chair of the organizing committee. For one, the event will be held at a new venue. “We’re at The Ranch Saloon this year,” she said. “We felt it was a more user-friendly venue due to its interior layout and location (1931 Pembina Hwy.). It’s more wide open inside — that will allow people to access all the different attractions with greater ease, and there’s a (raised) stage, too. There’s also lots of parking right in front.”
Besides van den Broek’s Bohemian Fire act (its actual name), there will be several others to enjoy.
“Rod Peeler will be back doing his Rod Stewart impression. He’s probably going to do two or three songs,” said Belanger. “There will also be two REALTOR®-fronted bands — Alan Ediger’s  Alan Curtis Band, and the Suzanne Mariani Band. A third band, Cogan’s Heroes, will be an all-REALTOR® band. We’re also hoping to do some karaoke, where REALTORS® or members of the public can come up and sing one or two songs.”
Why are members of WinnipegREALTORS® turning into entertainers for one evening?
“Gimme Shelter is a feel-good event where everyone lets their hair down,” said REALTOR® and committee member, Hannon Bell. “When you come here, you don’t have to talk shop. You’re just here to have fun and contribute to a good cause in any way you can. Once the event is over, all the money raised goes to the Manitoba Real Estate Association’s Shelter Foundation to distribute to organizations that deal with homelessness, abuse and addictions. The feeling of giving back is unbelievable.”
Belanger added that between the new venue, a revamped menu and more affordable ways to donate to the cause, it’s hoped that the 2013 event will be the most profitable ever.
“There will be several ways people can contribute this year. First, they can ride the mechanical bull (sponsored by the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association). People can make a donation, then hop on to see how long they can stay on.”
Of course, patrons won’t have to risk life and limb to make a donation, she added. “As usual, we will have our live auction, but there will also be a new feature called the Mystery Tote. For $50, you get a tote bag that’s guaranteed to have $200 worth of goodies inside, including one with a Clarion gift card worth $1,000,” said Belanger. 
“There will also be 30 silent auction prizes in addition to the 10 larger live auction prizes,” she added.
“It’s an event designed for everyone — REALTORS® and public alike — to enjoy,” said Bell, “and to give to a good cause. I’m looking forward to seeing REALTORS® and the public come together to show how much they care about their community. Our goal is to raise more than $50,000 this year.”
For more information, including how to obtain tickets for Gimme Shelter ($25 each), call WinnipegREALTORS® at 204-786-8854.