The day after graduating high school, Carey Fraser hopped on a Greyhound bus to Calgary with $8.37 in her pocket. It was to start the life of meaningful adventure and travel she’d always known was to be hers. And it is – Fraser has worked on international aid projects in dozens of countries, and has carved a place as a highly successful fundraiser, helping link the city’s most fortunate with the world’s most needy.
Having grown up dirt-poor in Red Deer, the stylish Fraser has an inkling about need. But the inner motivation that really drives the workaholic woman is needing to make a difference.
Seeing first-hand children living in the crushing poverty of Managua, Nicaragua’s main garbage dump, reinforced her commitment to serve as a conduit between the rich and the poor. “I knew it was my calling. I knew it. I knew this was what I was meant to do,” Fraser says, emphatically shaking her index finger.
Several years ago, when Fraser was a sales rep for a moving company, she organized a fundraiser for cancer research – convincing a team to schlep a baby grand piano up the Calgary Tower.It was hugely successful, and resulted in her being headhunted by a local non-profit agency. Since then, she has worked with major donors and corporations to formulate giving strategies that have benefited people in more than 40 countries, through organizations and now her company, The Fraser Group, Inc.
“I know a lot of people want to move from success to significance,” she says, from her colourful office in downtown’s Art Central. “And they want it for their families, too.” Fraser confesses she doesn't adhere to that worklife balance thing. But since marrying artist Margo McKee a year ago, the consummate networker is learning to “socialize for just socializing's sake.”
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