Haskayne students renovate house

By Kirstin Morrell

While most students were studying and partying this weekend, some University of Calgary business students were working hard renovating a needy family’s house.

Members of Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship and The Social Exchange, two Haskayne School of Business clubs, repaired and painted the house in Pineridge while business sponsors carpeted and tiled. Their efforts paid off for one Calgary family.

“They were very surprised, very happy,” ACE Co-President Alissa Pistak said. “The lady was overwhelmed and the little boy was very excited about his Spider-Man-themed room. She said she felt like a celebrity.”

Community members were also impressed with student efforts.

“We get to see first-hand the positive impact this has on the family that’s been chosen,” said Brigitte Baradoy, Executive Director of Discovery House, a second-stage women’s shelter. “In this case, the woman had already done so much renovation on her own, working very long and hard and persistently doing her own renovations by hand. It was just incredible for us to see that burden be picked up by someone else. It was done quickly, and beautifully.”

Baradoy also said it was a morale booster for Discovery House workers, who see families endure hard-ship every day, and that she was thrilled to partner with ACE and TSE over the last two years. The project is currently in its third year.

Lisa Mahadeo, Vice-President Operations of ACE and project manager for the event, said club members put a lot of hard work into both the renovations and finding sponsors to provide raw material and skilled labour. She also emphasizes it was an important team-building exercise.

“I believe that all the students that participated would say that it was worthwhile,” Mahadeo said.

According to Pistak, giving back to the community makes good business sense.

“Philanthropy is a growing trend. It gives companies a competitive advantage,” she said, noting companies that engage in community or environment-based initiatives are able to charge more for products, because of the good reputation these initiatives build.

Pistak stressed ACE is serious about giving back to the community, and volunteerism falls under their club’s social responsibility mandate. This trend, she said, is more important in the business community than ever before, with major corporations helping employees who wish to volunteer.

While ACE Co-President Irfanali Moledina agreed, he emphasized that this event would not have been possible without the generosity of the sponsors.

“Last-minutes sponsors really came through for us,” Moledina said.

Events sponsors include CGA, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Tri-Jay Carpets, Benjamin Moore Paints, Bedroom Outfitters, Country Living, City Tile, Deerfoot Flooring, The Home Depot, Holiday Inn and East Side Mario’s.

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