The National Association of Realtors has announced the finalists of its annual Realtor Magazine 2017 Good Neighbor Awards. The award is designed to highlight realtors who make "an extraordinary impact on their community through volunteer work."
This is the 18th edition of the awards, which honors realtors who donate their time and energies to enrich the lives of people in their local communities. In total, the 10 finalists for the 2017 awards collectively raised over $48 million to fund their community improvement projects.
“The Good Neighbor Award represents a thriving culture of giving back, and each of our finalists have made a tremendous difference in their communities,” said NAR President William E. Brown, broker-owner of Investment Real Estate in Oakland, California and founder of Investment Properties. “We congratulate this year’s 10 finalists for their outstanding efforts to help make the world a better place.”
The NAR says the final stage of the awards will see five winners named from the final 10 candidates. Each winner will benefit not only from greater exposure in the media, but also a $10,000 grant that can be used to further their community efforts. In addition, the winners will also be invited to an all-expenses paid trip to the 2017 Realtors Conference & Expo in Chicago later this year.
The NAR is inviting members of the public to vote for their favorite Good Neighbor finalists. The top three who gain the most public votes will be awarded the title of Web Choice Winner, and receive additional prizes worth $2,500, $1,250 and $1,250 respectively. Those interested in voting can do so here, but must register their votes before October 2.
Here's a quick rundown of the ten finalists:
1. Deborah Berg, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Birmingham, Michigan for United Methodist Women’s Rummage Sale
Berg runs one of the country's largest rummage sales, which raises $225,000 per year to support people in need through 35 local, national and international nonprofits. She manages a force of more than 700 volunteers during the twice-annual, week-long sales. Through the rest of the year, she oversees the acquisition of furniture and high value donations.
2. JoAnn and Joseph Callaway, Those Callaways Real Estate, Scottsdale, Arizona for Salvation Army
The Callaways mobilized thousands of local real estate professionals to serve as volunteer bell ringers, who collected more than $250,000 in red kettle donations for the Salvation Army. The Callaways also founded an innovative program that has raised $1 million to support addiction recovery.
3. Sal Dimiceli, Sr., Lake Geneva Area Realty, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for The Time Is Now To Help
Dimiceli founded a nonprofit to ease the suffering of people living in poverty. He personally responds to requests for help by providing financial counseling and addressing individual needs, whether it's providing emergency food assistance, transportation or child care so a person can hold a job, or paying overdue rent to prevent eviction. In 28 years, he has donated and raised nearly $17 million.
4. Lara Dolan, Keller Williams Realty Consultants, Roswell, Georgia for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Dolan is the driving force behind ShamRockin’ for a Cure, an annual event that has raised more than $2.5 million to help patients with cystic fibrosis. She uses her vast network of community connections to increase attendance and sponsorships to help CF patients get closer to a cure.
5. Bryson Garbett, Garbett Homes, Salt Lake City, Utah for Foundation Escalera
Garbett founded a nonprofit that provides access to education to children in the rural Chiapas region of Mexico. In 18 years, his organization—which has built 177 classrooms and provides high school scholarships—has helped nearly 100,000 students.
6. Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna, III
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for Howard Hanna Children’s Free Care Fund
Hanna leads a nonprofit that donates millions to children’s hospitals to fund treatment for children without insurance or whose treatment isn’t covered by insurance. Since 1987, Hanna and his company’s 9,000 real estate professionals in eight states have raised and donated more than $14 million.
7. Louise McLean, RE/MAX Solutions, Merritt Island, Florida for Space Coast Association of REALTORS® Charitable Foundation
McLean founded a nonprofit to support the more than 2,200 homeless children in Florida’s Brevard County with necessities such as food, clothing, school supplies, glasses and toiletries. They also provide nonessentials like sports equipment, band instruments and even college scholarships, allowing children to further their education.
8. Mony Nop, Mony Nop Real Estate, Livermore, California for Mony Nop Foundation
Nop created a nonprofit to encourage kids to set goals and achieve them by providing leadership training and scholarships. He uses his own experience as a child who fled the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 1970s to motivate thousands of middle school and high school students to overcome their own challenges.
9. Donna Ting, Tri Isle Realty & Development Co., Wailuku, Hawaii for La’akea
Ting co-founded a residential and day program for developmentally disabled adults, the first of its kind to open on Maui since 1985. The facility includes a community center, a farm and a country store to provide life skills training and activities to help clients lead more independent and meaningful lives.
10. Kay Wilson-Bolton, Century 21 Troop Real Estate, Santa Paula, California for SPIRIT of Santa Paula
Wilson-Bolton founded Many Meals, which feeds up to 600 people a hot meal every Wednesday. She also distributes 30,000 pounds of food per month through a food bank, and, as an ordained chaplain, runs a reception center behind her real estate office where she counsels people in need.