WASHINGTON (August 27, 2014) – The National Association of Realtors® has recognized 10 Realtors® as finalists for REALTOR® Magazine’s 2014 Good Neighbor Awards. This award honors Realtors® who help build communities, often supporting causes that enrich and improve neighborhoods and volunteering their time to better the lives and homes of community members.
This year marks the 15th year the Good Neighbor Awards program has recognized Realtor® volunteers. The Realtors® being recognized have donated time, money and energy to address the needs of the people and neighborhoods of their communities.
In October, five winners will be selected from among the 10 finalists and will receive travel expenses to the 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in New Orleans, where they will accept their awards at a presentation in front of thousands of their peers. Winners will also receive a $10,000 grant and national media exposure for their community charity. In addition, five honorable mentions will receive a $2,500 grant. The winners will be featured in the November/December issue of REALTOR® Magazine.
“Realtors® are integral to successful communities, and these 10 finalists are a perfect example of the impact their passion and goodwill can have on the lives of their friends and neighbors,” said NAR President Steve Brown, broker/owner of Irongate, Inc. Realtors® in Dayton, Ohio. “As we celebrate the 15th year of the Good Neighbor Awards, I am proud to witness the enormous impact that Realtors® have in their communities and around the world.”
The 10 REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Awards finalists are:
Carlisle-Northcutt founded the Children’s Volunteer Health Network, which provides free medical, dental, vision and mental-health care to children in need. She has recruited a network of more than 90 volunteer health providers and, in 2012, she opened a stand-alone dental clinic with full-time staff. Their signature program is a mobile dental clinic, a specially outfitted bus that travels to schools to provide kids with preventive dental care. Since it launched in 2005, CVHN has treated more than 7,000 children and provided 50,000 free procedures that would have cost $3.7 million.
Dover is president of Senior Sing A-Long, which enriches the lives of seniors in care facilities through free concerts, music therapy and customized playlists. Dover coordinates 150 performances a month to 8,000 seniors in eight counties. She serves 67 long-term care facilities, veterans’ homes and rehab facilities, with an emphasis on serving people with dementia or other cognitive impairments.
In 2007, Doxie founded the Miles of Smiles Foundation, which offers equine-assisted therapy for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Doxie, who went back to school to earn a master's degree in mental health counseling, helps veterans work with the horses to rebuild the trust and confidence that are keys to rebuilding their lives. She recruited volunteers to build a barn and fences on a 20-acre ranch and also lectures on the importance of helping veterans and their families deal with PTSD.
Since 1981, Fitzsimmons has been a devoted volunteer for the Seamen’s Society for Children and Families, which finds foster homes for at least 300 New York City youths every year and supports them through educational programs. Fitzsimmons chairs the organization’s annual calendar fundraiser, which has raised almost $500,000, and has secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in private funding.
Gokey is president of The Business Training Institute, which provides educational and support services to high-risk children and families in Utica, N.Y., including new immigrants and refugees. Gokey launched a series of weekly family workshops to address such subjects as bullying, drop-out prevention and active parenting. She also oversees an after-school program for 550 students speaking 42 languages, established parent resource centers in three high schools, and recruited parent liaisons who persuaded 200 dropouts to return to school last year.
Jane B. Locke, Century 21 Properties Plus LLC, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Over the last 27 years, Locke has been president and held every other position on the board of Carolina Children’s Charity, an organization that helps families pay for medical costs arising from children's birth defects. Locke runs the charity’s annual telethon and attends every fundraiser. This year she helped the charity to raise $433,000. CCC has awarded grants totaling $3.7 million to thousands of children, ranging from a few dollars for a medical alert bracelet to the thousands needed annually to cover medication and supplies for uninsured children with type 1 diabetes.
Pompeian founded Gift of Life Transplant House in 1984 to give organ transplant patients an affordable place to live while awaiting an organ donation or receiving post-operative treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Pompeian became aware of the need for affordable temporary housing after his kidney transplant in 1973. He started by letting patients stay in his own home and then began purchasing homes and apartment buildings. The facility now has 87 rooms and logs more than 50,000 guest nights per year.
Smoot and her business partner saw the need for a “food pantry for furniture,” so they decided to put their staging expertise and business acumen to work. Since creating The Green Chair Project in 2010, they have furnished 624 households for people in need and eliminated 577 tons of home furnishings from landfills. Their 25,000-square-foot showroom features stylish groupings of gently used housewares for people who are transitioning from homelessness or incarceration, escaping domestic abuse or recovering from a fire or natural disaster.
Lauer founded Devotion to Children in 1994 to fund childcare so low-income parents can work or continue their education to break the cycle of poverty. She knows firsthand the challenges of being a single parent, having fled Vietnam in 1975 and come to the U.S. with two young children. DTC, which has helped 3,000 children since it was founded in 2006, also funds preschool and other educational opportunities that are directly related to a child's future success in school.
Wilson is the founder of the Wolfson Children’s Challenge, an annual fund-raising event that supports Wolfson Children’s Hospital, the region’s only medical facility for children. The event includes a 55-mile ultramarathon and relay events, and it has raised more than $2 million in five years. These funds have helped Wolfson purchase state-of-the-art MRI equipment with groundbreaking technology that can help early diagnose and prevent some surgeries.
REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards is supported by primary sponsor Liberty Mutual Insurance and realtor.com®. Nominees were judged on their personal contribution of time as well as financial and material contributions to benefit their cause. To be eligible, nominees must be NAR members in good standing. More information about the Good Neighbor Awards finalists is available at www.REALTOR.org/gna.
Liberty Mutual Insurance (www.libertymutual.com/nar/) is one of the world’s leading and most trusted insurance carriers. For more than 100 years, their mission has been to provide comprehensive, quality insurance products that help their customers live safer, more secure lives. Liberty Mutual has worked hard to develop personal insurance programs that provide long-term benefits to their customers, and constantly strives to improve their products and services. Equally important, is their legacy of working for the public good through philanthropy, safety research, and educational outreach. For that reason, Liberty Mutual is proud to be the 2013 and 2014 primary sponsor of REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards, expanding their partnership with the National Association of Realtors®. For more than a decade, as part of the REALTOR Benefits® Program, Liberty Mutual has been NAR’s exclusive partner for auto, home and renters insurance. Through this program NAR members are eligible to receive special savings and insurance benefits.
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National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.