Million Dollar Smiles for Sick Children
Mississauga, ON – When children are very ill, family and friends often feel powerless to heal but they can bring a smile to a child’s face. This straightforward idea was the start of Million Dollar Smiles, a grassroots organization that aims to make a personal, positive impact in the lives of these children. Most weekends this summer, Ahmet Ahmet, a REALTOR® with Sutton Group – Summit Realty Inc.*, plans to help build playgrounds in the backyards of sick children. The Sutton office has generously sponsored two of the playground sets. Ahmet and some of his colleagues will also participate in the 1st Annual Million Dollar Smiles Walkathon on June 19, 2012 to raise money for teddy bears, other gifts and playgrounds.
“With Million Dollar Smiles, one of the best rewards is making an immediate impact. When we build a playground, 20 to 30 volunteers get together to construct it and have a good time doing the work. It’s a great group of people. When it’s finished, there is a big reveal and we get to see the child’s joy—it’s really an incredible feeling.”
It was the experience of a sick little girl that first introduced Ahmet to this community of caring individuals. “The daughter of a good friend of mine developed leukemia quite a few years back. The parents and friends of sick children got to know each other well when visiting the hospital and that’s how this grew. Now many of us are involved in Million Dollar Smiles. We build playgrounds and deliver huge teddy bears with gift certificates to children at home and in hospitals. For teenagers, we have given laptops, Xboxes and that sort of thing. I’ve been involved for a few years. It’s very rewarding.”
The story of how Million Dollar Smiles began was a television news feature. “Anna wanted to help a child several years ago so she sent out a teddy bear with a note tucked into the pouch saying she was looking to raise money for a sick child and asking people to send back the bear and donations by a certain date. Many weeks went by then she got a phone call from a lady in Calgary asking if it was for real. She said the teddy bear had hundreds of dollars inside. It was a long way from where it started in Toronto! Days later, Anna got a call from the police in Calgary. They took a picture of the teddy bear in handcuffs surrounded by the entire police department and returned it.”
Sutton is a 100% Canadian-owned and operated company with more than 9,000 REALTORS® in over 200 offices nationwide. To find out more about Sutton, visit www.sutton.com. To learn more about Sutton Spirit, visit www.suttonspirit.com.
Sutton Group Realty Services Ltd. Contact:
Mandy Siu 604-691-1610 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sutton Group – Summit Realty Inc.* Contact:
Ahmet Ahmet 905-897-9555 email@example.com
*Independently owned and operated brokerage