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Danielle & Jon Margolis

By MYRON LOVE

On November 19, when Danielle Margolis begins her ten-day, 100-kilometre trek across the Sahara Desert in Morocco, her mother-in-law, the late Rae Margolis, will be uppermost in her mind.

 


Rae Margolis passed away at the end of November after a short illness at the relatively young age of 73. As her daughter-in-law points out, community and philanthropy were very important to Rae and the fundraising walk across the Sahara is one of the ways in which Danielle (who is married to Jon) will be paying tribute to Rae’s memory.
(Rae Margolis is also survived by Gary, her husband of 47 years, her daughter, Tara, and Tara’s husband, Aaron Calvo.)
Danielle and Jon Margolis are both realtors long associated with Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate. (They work out of the Corydon office.) Five years ago, Royal LePage’s national office launched an ongoing fundraising initiative – the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation - in support of women’s and children’s shelters across Canada. The initiative consists of hikes every two years in an exotic locale. The first one centred around Machu Pichu in Peru. The second was in Iceland.


“I was interested in participating the first time, but I was pregnant with our daughter at the time and couldn’t go,” Danielle says. (She and Jonn also have a 6-year-old son.) “This time it felt like the right time and place.
“I have always wanted to see Morocco and the Sahara Desert.”
She adds that in his last conversation with his mother, Jon told Rae about Danielle’s plan to hike in the Sahara. “Rae was proud and excited that I would be doing something like this,” Danielle says. “She was pleased that I would be carrying on her good works for the benefit of people we don’t know.”
Danielle will be among a group of 120 Royal LePage realtors from across the country – divided into four groups - who will be taking the Sahara challenge. They will begin their adventure in the Moroccan city of Marrakech from where they will be driven in 4 by 4 vehicles to their starting point at the Maider El Kbir plateau. From there, their goal will be to cover 20 kilometres a day carrying only their day packs. Their other supplies will be transported by the 4 by 4’s or camels to their evening resting places where they will spend the night in open-style tents.


The adventure will end in Marrakech with a farewell banquet.
As soon as the weather improves, Danielle – who has always been physically active – will begin training - a regimen that initially will involve going on three to four kilometer hikes three or four times a week and gradually lengthening them.
“I am looking forward to tackling some of the hiking trails in the Whiteshell when the weather is warmer,” she says.
For now, she is working out on a stationary bicycle.
One of the challenges of the expedition, she notes, is what clothing to take with her as the desert temperature even in November alternates between the heat of the day and sub-zero readings after dark.


“The hardest thing for me will be leaving our children for ten days,” she notes. “I have never been away from them for that long.
“But I also want to set an example for them – even though they are still young – of giving back to the community through donations of time and energy as well as money.
“I believe that an experience like this will make me a better parent and a better person.”
Danielle notes that participants in the trek have to raise a minimum $5,000 each. She reports that she has already raised $15,000 toward her own goal of $25,000. The money will be donated to Bravestone Inc. in Winnipeg. A portion of funds raised will also support domestic violence prevention programs across Canada, including those focused on youth, to help break the cycle of family violence.
She further notes that “participating in this has also grown the relationship between my father-in law, Gary, and me. He has given himself the role of my campaign manager and it’s a credit to him for my large success in fundraising so far. I’ve very thankful for his help and enthusiasm.
“And none of this would be possible without the support of my husband, Jon.”

Readers wishing to support Danielle in making it easier for women and children to walk safely and bravely away from violence and gain hope for a future without abuse can visit Danielle’s online fundraising page https://royallepage.myetap.org/fundraiser/Sahara/individual.do?participationRef=1185.0.1322231869. .

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