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Canadian REIT’s Unusual Holiday Gifts: Free Rent

DEC 24, 2013 12:35pm ET
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In partnership with two local radio stations the Boardwalk Rental Communities surprised two Calgary families giving them free rent for one year.

Calgary’s Kool 101.5 FM, host of “Home for the Holidays” and Edmonton’s Virgin Radio 104.9 FM recently agreed to collaborate with the REIT to present “Break and Enter Christmas,” offering free rent for a year in a Boardwalk community.

Boardwalk and both radio stations asked listeners to nominate a deserving person or family this holiday season.

After receiving hundreds of nominations, Boardwalk picked two single parents as the 2013 holiday winners.

A single mother who works seven days a week to support her two young children and her own mother and also is studying to become a nurse with the goal of better supporting her family was the winner in Calgary. Melissa deserves the assistance as in addition she “volunteers tirelessly to raise money for cystic fibrosis research, a cause that affects her own family,” executives say.

Boardwalk donated free rent for a year and $2,500 for her college tuition.

In Edmonton, the winner is a single dad of four children, two of whom have special needs. The family’s cost of living keeps increasing and to the extent they have been struggling with hunger over the last three years and were forced to sell furniture including their beds to survive.

"I want to thank everyone today that my prayers have been answered,” said the grateful father upon hearing the news. “This is something my kids will never forget."

Boardwalk REIT currently owns and operates more than 225 properties with 35,277 residential units, totaling approximately 30 million net rentable square feet as of Sept 30.

This is the fifth year Boardwalk has held this contest in Calgary and the fourth year in Edmonton, says Sam Kolias, chairman and CEO.

"Selecting just one winner from each city is difficult. This year's recipients are amazing and inspirational people."

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