Seniors That Are Making a Difference

May 2, 2010

What do older folk have to share with the world? This is a question that I never bothered to ask before because I never considered myself to be an “oldster”. Although I am embracing my age and stage, it was a bit of a shock when I discovered that I was in the “older” bracket (notice I didn’t say old). I didn’t see it when I looked in the bathroom mirror; even now as I gaze at myself each morning I see a younger version of myself. No, it was when I was walking by one of those big plate glass windows of a department store that I saw the reflected image of my mother looking back at me. I was transforming into my mother! Upon reflection (lol) I decided that wouldn’t be an entirely bad thing. Even though she developed Alzheimer’s in her last few years mostly she was a vital, contributing senior that went out of her way to make a difference in the world. So I’m dedicating the next few postings to my mother as I spotlight seniors who are making contributions to bettering our world—God knows we need all the help we can get to change things around.

A few weeks ago I came across a story in the Globe and Mail about Frank Flaman. I might not have even read the article but a few days before I had seen a new store in town called Flaman Fitness. My curiosity was transformed into admiration as I read about this man’s dedication to service.

Here is a guy who has made millions, who apparently has the Midas touch although it was grain or to be more precise grain bins (whatever they are) and not gold that made him his fortune. Since 1952 he has turned that venture into a group of companies operating retail stores across Western Canada.

However, unlike many wealthy people who indulge there wants he gives almost all of his money to worthy causes. His personal lifestyle is modest as he lives in a small condo and drives a Smart Car. In 2005 Flaman established the Frank Flaman Foundation that supports a sizeable list of local and global charities from Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity to Operation Eye Sight. According to one article I read:

Thanks to Mr. Flaman’s generosity, over 5,000 individuals in the developing world have had their eyesight restored, women and children fleeing domestic violence have a place to find refuge, and families in developing countries are given the resources to overcome poverty and social injustice.

Kevin Hrynchyshyn, another company employee, summed up this shared sentiment. "Frank is a humanitarian. Everything he works for and everything he does, it always has to go to help someone else. I don't know anyone else like him on the planet."


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