Pictured above: SCHOOL VISITS – Gord Bontje visiting a classroom at Gilgil Primary School
By CARLIE CONNOLLY, Red Deer Express
Co-owner of Laebon Homes gives the gift to celebrate 60th birthday.
Local businessman Gord Bontje, founding partner of Laebon Homes, gave $500,000 to A Better World in celebration of his 60th birthday.
Last October the organization hosted a special Legacy Circle trip to Kenya and Rwanda in honour of its most dedicated philanthropists.
For Bontje, it was a great time for him and around 20 other long-term supporters journeying through Kenya and Rwanda. He also happened to celebrate his 60th birthday at a bush dinner in the Maasai Mara, and attended two school capital project openings sponsored by him and his family.
“Kathy and I had the good fortune of being born in a beautiful and free country like Canada where ambition and hard work can be rewarded. We are pleased to share some of that material success with people in the developing world,” said Bontje in an email to the Express.
Bontje, who has been part of A Better World almost since its beginning, officially opened new classrooms and an administration building at Gilgil Primary School, as well as new classrooms and teachers’ housing within Sekenani Primary School, a newly sponsored school for the organization within the Maasai Mara.
“We believe that the best way to help people in the developing world build a strong society is to help with education and health related projects. We thank A Better World Canada for helping us invest our money in a way that helps a lot of people,” he said.
The large donation he gave will go towards projects in Kenya, Afghanistan and Rwanda. Through his efforts over 18 years, numerous children are learning in greatly improved conditions and teacher retainment in rural areas has also grown. Medical needs, such as surgeries for the disabled, will also be supported.