By Ewa Chwojko-Srawley

In 2009, Karen Merk, owner of Merk Photography, founded Portraits of Giving, an initiative which honours people who donate their time and resources for the benefit of others.

This year, Wei Hwa, one of the top agents at Century 21 Canada, was honoured. The presentation took place on August 8 at The Briars Resort & Spa in Jackson’s Point.

Wei Hwa moved to Georgina in 2010, where–in his own words–he was welcomed with open arms.

During his acceptance speech, he said, “My team and I are beyond thankful for the warm embrace of this very supportive community. Giving back to local charities is our way of saying ‘thank you’ in return.”

Hwa and his team help Georgina charities through fundraising events, bottle drives, food drives, and toy drives. They regularly support Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge and Sandgate Women’s Shelter.

“I am a huge animal lover,” says Hwa, “so a charity dedicated to saving innocent lives is a natural choice for me.”

Gail Lenterns, the founder of Shades of Hope, who was the 2018 Georgina Honouree, nods in agreement.

“We often see Wei at our place. He’s not only a generous financial supporter, but he also visits us regularly, taking the time to befriend and pet the animals.”

Wei Hwa & Team

Hwa adds, “I also throw my support behind the Sandgate Women’s Shelter because women who face challenging circumstances deserve an abundance of resources and unwavering support so that they can rebuild their lives and thrive. On October 21, we will host a Halloween Dance fundraiser for the shelter.”

The event, as always, featured entertainment by Vanessa Wang.

This year was particularly special because she sang an inspiring song she composed entitled ‘You Are the Light,’ a touching tribute to the honourees.

Hwa and his team were congratulated by MP Scot Davidson, Melody McGlone, representing MPP Carolyn Mulroney, and Mayor Margaret Quirk, as well as sponsors Mike Waddington (CPG Aerospace) and George Vasilache (owner of Signarama), both residents of Georgina.

Karen Merk invited everyone to a gala in November, where honourees from all York Region communities will be recognized.

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