The Lumbards own Brockie Donovan Funeral & Cremation Services, a fourth-generation family-owned company that’s been serving Brandon and area for more than a century.
The two say they’re also hugely gratified that their business allows them, not just to be a part of a community they love, but to actually give back to it. “We really enjoy being an active support to this community, which has been so good us – we’ve donated more than $100,000 in the past 10 years to various community organizations, and charities, community events and improvement initiatives, arts and sporting groups,” Kelly said.
An example would be their non-denominational annual Tree of Memories Community Candlelight Memorial Service, in which they have hosted roughly 800 people per year for more than 20 years. “It is a special evening that allows members of our community to join together in remembering our loved ones who are no longer with us to celebrate the holidays,” Wade explained. “We prepare an ornament with the name of the person who has passed away, and give it to their loved ones to hang on a 12-foot Christmas tree before the service. They don’t have to be our clients – this is a community event we want to share with everyone who might benefit from it.”
A fun family fundraiser called Gossip in the Graveyard brings in money for a different local organization every year (this year it will be Helping Hands). “We hire a local acting company who dress in period costumes and portray the stories of interesting local characters who are buried in the Brandon Cemetery,” said Kelly. “The characters come alive during this two-hour, interactive walking tour to tell fascinating stories and tales of Brandon’s history.”
The event sells out every year and has raised more than awareness – since its inception in 2007, it has brought in over $27,000 for local non-profits. Then we have the Brandon and Westman’s Caregiver Award to recognize those individuals who give so much to those around them, with the winners being nominated by community members and chosen by a committee.
Perhaps most exciting of all is the Brockie Donovan Seniors Care Legacy Fund, created to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, and to thank city residents for their years of support.
“It’s mandate is to assist and enhance the lives of Brandon’s senior citizens,” Wade said. “We started it with an initial donation of $50,000 to the fund and augment it by adding to the fund with every family we serve, so it keeps growing. We want to support programs that reflect our values and help us keep our community healthy and strong.”
Small wonder, then, that last year their company received the Brandon Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award and was a finalist for the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award.
To see a comprehensive outline of their many more compassionate services and community initiatives, visit their website at www.brockiedonovan.com.