Adopt-A-School: Vancouver executive tees off on childhood hunger, privation with golf challenge
This past summer, Renate Mueller was supposed to be golfing in Spain for three weeks.
Today she should have been teeing off in Thailand.
But those plans were made before COVID-19 made the world a smaller place, leaving Mueller and her globe-trotting golfing partners stuck at home.
“So I thought if I can’t spend the money on golf holidays, what should I do with it? I’ve been fortunate in my career and I’ve been able to accumulate a few shekels,” said Mueller, a successful Vancouver businesswoman and president of Renate M. Mueller Consultants Inc., which specializes in business mergers and acquisitions.
She then considered what she had read in The Vancouver Sun concerning the plight of impoverished families in B.C. with children being exposed to hunger and privation because many parents on low wages or social assistance are having to choose between paying rent or buying sufficient food.
“I’m a subscriber to The Sun and I cry every time I read stories describing how these children are suffering. It’s a nightmare.”
Over the years Mueller has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for children’s causes through charity golf tournaments.
“That’s always been my passion,” she said, explaining how she finally decided her golfing money should go to The Sun’s Adopt A School campaign.
“But then I thought ‘No, I have to do more than that,’ ” she said.
“I know lots of golfers and so I want to issue a challenge to them to put the money they would have spent on golfing holidays to help these children,” she said.
“I’m going to put up $10,000 and I’d like to raise $100,000 for Adopt A School.”
That conversation took place on Friday, Nov. 20.
Three days later — after she had phoned some friends over the weekend and raised $50,000 no sweat — she changed gear.
“To heck with it. Time to think outside the box. Go big. I’m going for $200,000,” she said.
“I know lots of people in the business world and just think of all the big companies and corporations that donate to charities through golf tournaments which they now can’t hold.
“I am going to appeal to them to get involved, too. This is an opportunity for them and golfers to feed and clothe children and I can’t think of anything more important right now than doing that.”
The Adopt A School (AAS) campaign is attempting to raise $1 million to meet requests from over 100 schools across the province that are trying to deal with thousands of children arriving at school hungry and ill-clothed. These schools don’t have the resources they need to help.
They need money to buy food for breakfast and lunch as well as keep children fed at weekends. Also they need funds to buy clothing, as teachers report many children are coming in without coats or boots.
AAS is administered by the Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund board and has raised $6.5 million to help schools deal with the effects of poverty since 2011.
Board member Shelley Fralic said AAS is happy to give Mueller her own funding page for the Golf Challenge on the Children’s Fund Fundrazr website where donations can be made.
“Renate is so determined and inspirational. It’s wonderful she wants to help,” said Fralic.