Maple Ridge REALTOR® honoured with national award for charitable work
Ron Antalek has been honoured with the Canadian REALTORS Care® Award for his outstanding contributions to his community of Maple Ridge.
Ron’s a second-generation REALTOR® with more than 30 years of experience. In 1989, he put his burgeoning career as a schoolteacher on hold to work alongside his father and sister in real estate. At first, Ron intended to return to teaching after a short leave of absence, but he discovered he could parlay his passion for education into guiding families on their real estate journey while taking advantage of the flexibility of the profession to get involved with charities in his community.
Antalek Family Psychiatry Unit
In 2006, Ron made a personal donation of $1 million to the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation in tribute to the local hospital where his mother had worked as a nurse and where he has seen many members of his family benefit from great health care. “The hospital has been there for my family,” says Ron. “It came from the heart.”
In 2009, a portion of Ron’s donation was used to establish a new psychiatric unit at Ridge Meadows Hospital.
“Mental illness continues to be misunderstood in our society and often doesn’t attract the attention of donors,” explains Laura Butler, executive director of the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation. “Ron is to be commended not only for the size of his donation but also for his willingness to have the funding directed to mental health, an area of great need.”
Ron’s transformational gift to the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation was instrumental in the creation of the Antalek Family Psychiatry Unit, which serves the mental health needs of adult patients within the hospital walls. Years later, further funds from his donation were used—in conjunction with an effective matching campaign within the community, spearheaded by Ron—to help launch Foundry Ridge Meadows, a youth wellness centre in the community that provides young people with access to many health services, including mental health support.
Ron has served on the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation Board of Directors since 2009 and has been its chair since 2012. In that role, he has been deeply involved in the foundation’s strategic planning. “He has helped us move Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation to fund health care needs beyond the walls of Ridge Meadows Hospital—creating partnerships with other organizations in the community as we work toward common goals,” says Laura Butler.
The impact of Ron’s leadership and generosity are felt throughout his community. As Vicki Kipps, executive director of Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows Community Services, explains, “Our community—its youth, businesses, non-profits, hospital, and so many more—is much stronger due to the deeply engrained and selfless giving he demonstrates on a daily basis.”
Ron hopes that by accepting the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) Canadian REALTORS Care® Award 2020 and sharing his story, he might inspire others to give volunteering a try. “What is your passion? What makes you feel warm inside? What can bring a tear to your eye? Pursue that as a volunteer,” he recommends.
In Ron's honour, CREA has donated $5,000 to the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation.