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The 90-year-old Manitoba man being recognized for his volunteer work

A 90-year-old Manitoba man is being honoured for his decades of volunteer and fundraising efforts.

Ron Helwer, who lives in Brandon, Man., is the recipient of the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award for the 2023 Manitoba Philanthropy Awards.

This award goes to a Manitoban who has shown commitment to the advancement of philanthropy, as well as strong leadership in coordinating volunteers and donors for fundraising projects for not-for-profit organizations.

“I’m very honoured and pleased…It’s exciting for an old farm boy,” he said, adding that he was nominated for the award by Beth Proven at Assiniboine Community College.

Helwer has been a volunteer fundraiser for several decades now, contributing to several campaigns including in the areas of community services, health care and agriculture.

Some of the causes he’s taken part in include helping to get a hockey rink built for the Brandon Wheat Kings, as well as fundraising for the Keystone Centre, YMCA, the Kidney Foundation, and the Cancer Centre.

“There’s always things to raise money for,” he said.

Helwer said he knows that not everyone likes asking others for money, but notes that there’s nothing wrong with doing it.

He added that there are a lot of good people out there who are willing to contribute.

“I’m really always amazed by friendly people that are willing to contribute and help,” he said,

As for Helwer’s advice on how to be a good fundraiser, he said not to take “no” as an answer.

He explained that even when he’s been that something may not happen or someone won’t give money, he still gives it a try.

“My advice is ask for more than you think you might get, because people will surprise you. It’s kind of an interesting game,” he said.

Recipients of the Manitoba Philanthropy Awards will be celebrated at a luncheon on Nov. 15 at the RBC Convention Centre.

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