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Media : Independent Agency Services

Manitoba Travel Industry Raises Thousands for Haiti
02/16/2010 - Independent Agency Services

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Manitoba's travel industry came out in force to show its support for the people of Haiti following the devastating 7.0 Mw earthquake that hit the country, 12 January 2010, at an event billed as the "Travel Social of the Century", held 12 February 2010, in Winnipeg. With attendance exceeding 300 people, nearly $10 000 was raised to assist the Mennonite Central Committee in relief efforts.

A staple of prairie fundraising, a "social" is a uniquely Manitoban event whereby a party is thrown at a community centre or legion to raise funds for various events (such as weddings) or charities.

Pat Rachey, Signature Vacations Western Canada General Manager and one of the event organizers, explains how the fundraising event came to be:

"Local tour operators and travel agencies were talking about Haiti and how we send so many people on deluxe all-inclusive vacations to the Dominican Republic and right next door all these people are suffering. We decided Manitoba travel people are always up for a good party and with a social we could have a good time and raise some money for a good cause."

Helping to assist in a successful fundraiser, food and prizes were provided by local and national businesses, including grand prizes from WestJet Airlines, Air Canada Vacations, Trafalgar Tours, and Globus. Donated prizes included two domestic air only tickets from Westjet, two air only tickets to Punta Cana from Air Canada Vacations, a coach tour for two from Trafalgar Tours, and a $2600 credit on a Globus/Cosmos tour.

“The response was amazing… better than expected. Everyone pitched in to help, from selling tickets to providing prizes," said Rachey. "Once people heard about the social, ticket sales went through the roof and we were sold out within days.”

The entirety of the $9 800 in funds raised through the sale of admission, drink, raffle, and 50/50 draw tickets are being given to the Manitoba Chapter of the Mennonite Central Committee and will be used 100% toward helping the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

"I know Manitobans are known to be generous, but this went beyond our expectations. I can’t say thank you enough to everyone in the industry," beamed Rachey.

More information on the work of the Mennonite Central Committee can be found at


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