NEWS AND EVENTS - Sunday, February 11, 2018
A SERBIAN LADY WITH A BIG HEART
If you want something said, ask a man;
if you want something done, ask a woman. (Margaret Thatcher)
On Saturday, February 3, 2018 a fundraising dinner was organized in Toronto by Rebecca MacDonald, a lady with the biggest heart in North America, born in Sarajevo and raised in Belgrade, who for three decades has lived in Canada, with the goal of raising funds for scholarships to be granted to the best Serbian students who are advancing their studies in Canada.
Besides members of the MacDonald family, attending this event was: Ambassador for Republic of Serbia Mihailo Papazoglu; General Consul in Toronto for the Republic of Serbia Vasilije Petkovic; Dean of the Synaxis of Serbian Saints Church in Mississauga Rev. Jovan Marjanac; Protodeacon Dr. Damjan Bozic; Frank and Monica Heizenfront, founders and owners of a company for automobile parts; John Beard congressman and former Canadian minister of foreign affairs; Steven and Jennifer MacDonald, director at the Bank of Canada; Daniel MacDonald, founder and owner of a water filter company; Bruce Campbell, businessman; Jill Denim, corporate director for the Invest Fund at the Bank of Canada; Vlada Dosen, Serbian store owner in Toronto; Petar Stefanovic, president of an engineering company, and others.
At this very successful evening the host, Mrs. MacDonald, together with her friends collected $75,000 for the Investing in the Future Foundation of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Canada, which provides scholarships for young Serbian students in Canada.
Already on Sunday, February 4, 2018, at the main St. Sava celebration and Day of Statehood of the Republic of Serbia in Toronto, three of the best students received scholarships: Jelena Tanic, a sophomore at the Medical School, scholarship holder in laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Toronto), Catherine Zec (sophomore at Ryerson University where she studies sociology) and Stefan Pjanic (a freshman at Ryerson University where he is studying computer engineering).
That evening Rebecca MacDonald noted that the Foundation has only begun its work and that plans for the future are great: “We have gathered here, above all, because of our community. The future of this country and our community in Canada, our own future is in our children. I am convinced that the monies we have collected, $75,000, is only the beginning. I didn’t collect these funds on my own but together with my friends from Canada. Some of them are with me this evening and I would like to especially thank them. I would like for us to continue dreaming of our beautiful children and allow them to make their desires and aspirations come true. Today we saw three of them but in Serbia there are many more of these beautiful young people, and we have to continue to try to help them make their dreams come true, that they be the best in their life choices and that they be what they want to be. Thank you to everyone. I would like to say that my goal is that in the following year I collect at least one million dollars for our ideals which are expressed in our Foundation.
Rebecca MacDonald moved to Canada when she was 22 years old as a medical student from the University in Belgrade and became one of the most successful and wealthiest women in the business world, but she is also a humanitarian worker who spends much of her time helping the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian people. She financed the construction of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Toronto, she helps Serbian organizations and manifestations and provides scholarships for Serbs in Canada.
Rebecca MacDonald’s baptismal name is Ubavka Mitic and she was born in Sarajevo. She was raised in Belgrade. After her second year of medical studies she moved to Toronto. Twenty years ago she founded JUST ENERGY a company that sells energy derivatives. As a result of great success she has been chosen as the most successful woman in Canada for seven consecutive years. She opened the New Times Stock Exchange a number of times, which is considered the crown of success for businessmen in North America. During the wars and pogrom of the Serbian people she assisted the refugees. She made a monetery donation through the Canadian government during the floods in Obrenovac. She renovated a number of orphanages. University hospitals in Toronto bear her name.
Contributing to the growth of the Serbian colony in Canada, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej awarded her with the Order of St. Sava in 2016. In 2017 President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik awarded her with the order of honors with gold rays for her recognized public work and contribution in the fields of humanitarian aid to the Serbian people and the Serbian Orthodox Church in renovation, as well as her contribution to the bilateral relations between the people of Republika Srpska and Canada.
Protodeacon Damjan Bozic