The year was 1990. Canada was in the middle of the Gulf War – the first ever televised – and nearly every citizen had their attention glued to a TV. Big Brothers and Big Sisters had just merged in Edmonton and we were trying to sell tickets to our Dream Home Lottery. We struggled to get the attention of our buyers and with the totals a little low our leadership decided to try another lottery in the same year.
“The issue was that there was no land available in St. Albert,” Liz O’Neill, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters (BGCBigs), recalls. “It was the middle of winter and I noticed a little sign in the snow. It read: ‘For Lots Call Landrex’. I pulled over and called the number right away.”
That phone call led to a meeting with Larry Andrews the CEO and Owner of Landrex Inc. who immediately recognized the value in the organization’s work. Liz proposed trying the very first Dream Street in an effort to break through the market. Rather than being turned away by the idea of bringing multiple builders to the table, Larry immediately reached out and brought them on board. The rest, they say, is history.
Twenty five years later, BGCBigs still relies on Landrex to provide us the best lots for our lottery and partnerships with talented builders. We are incredibly fortunate to have them as our partner, our supporter, and our friend in our efforts to provide safe places and positive relationships for nearly 5,000 children and families.
Landrex is a locally owned and operated land development company who, since 1974, has been building gorgeous communities within Beaumont, Fort Saskatchewan, Morinville, Sherwood Park, and St. Albert.
“Landrex has brought all sorts of incredible people into our lives,” Liz explains. “They helped us develop our golf tournament in a way that made it easy for us to sell to golfers and they did that by connecting us with all of their trades. Today, more than 50 percent of the people who come back to us each year to participate are Landrex contacts.”
“When we started golf, Landrex was just a sponsor,” says Gisele Sowa, VP of Sales and Marketing for Landrex. “Then as more staff started getting involved we became a major sponsor, and now we are proud to be the presenting sponsor. Slowly over the years we’ve increased our involvement because the more we work with BGCBigs, the more it resonates with our staff and our culture.”
Everyone at Landrex supports each other. Their participation in our golf tournament is a perfect example – everyone works that day, whether that’s golfing, helping us set up our auction, or working an activity at one of the holes.
Heather McLeod, Project Coordinator for Landrex, is a current committee member with the agency golf tournament and she’s been able to utilize the relationships she has with their suppliers and builders, consultants and contractors. “Of the people we helped bring to the table, we are now excited to know that over half of them don’t even need Landrex to be onboard – they are just committed to the cause,” Heather says.
What BGCBigs loves about Landrex is the value they place on families. Landrex itself is like a little family and they continuously step up to ensure that our organization’s families have the support they need. According to Liz, Landrex isn’t just a land developer, they believe in developing people and building communities.
And the truth in that statement is evident in everything Landrex does. Larry doesn’t just look at a piece of land and see the potential for a house, he looks at what will make a good community, a positive place that people will feel proud to call home. Without hesitation Landrex will commit to putting in additional landscaping, care and attention. One example is in Balmoral where they went over and above the landscaping requirements even though it was outside the normal scope of work for a land developer.
They also contribute to their hometown community of St. Albert by sponsoring a Bike-A-Thon and other local community events and programs. Larry donated to the University of Alberta to support the Landrex Distinguished Professorship in the Faculty of Arts and contributed to Edmonton’s Light the Bridge campaign, as well as many others.
On top of all that good work, Landrex makes a concerted effort to devote time and money to support BGCBigs – providing lots, forging relationships, sponsoring our golf tournament, and participating in our Lobster Lovers Gala.
“We truly believe in BGCBigs’ cause,” Gisele says. “It has become very near and dear to our hearts. And working with the organization allows us to focus our giving so we can really make an impact.”
“Landrex cares about kids and they care about community,” Liz says. “And they know they are making a difference. They’ve proven through so many ways that they are a company we can count on for the long term. Through their work we know they are helping our kids dream bigger.”
Together, Landrex and BGCBigs are creating brighter futures for our community’s kids and as a result building stronger communities.