For the past 15 years, the Good Neighbor Awards program has honored REALTORS® who volunteer their time and energy to help strengthen their communities and better the lives of their neighbors. The five individuals recognized as this year’s REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Awards winners exemplify REALTORS®' commitment to serving their communities and helping the underprivileged.
“The winners of this year’s Good Neighbor Awards are a perfect example of REALTORS®' dedication to building successful neighborhoods and serving those most in need,” 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 honor the impact the winners’ passion and goodwill have had on the lives of their neighbors and communities.”
The Good Neighbor Awards have been granted annually since 2000 and are presented by NAR’s REALTOR® Magazine. This year marks a special milestone: As a result of the Good Neighbor Awards and its related programs, more than $1 million in grants has been awarded to the winning charities.
The 2014 winners each will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity and will be profiled in the November-December issue of REALTOR® Magazine. The recipients will be presented with crystal trophies on Saturday, Nov. 8, during the 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in New Orleans. Meet the winners:
Tricia 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. 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.
Since she was a founding member 27 years ago, Jane 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 and childhood diseases. Locke runs the charity’s annual telethon and attends every fundraiser. 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.
Edward 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 having a kidney transplant in 1973. He started by letting patients stay in his 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. Pompeian will also receive an additional $1,000 for Gift of Life as the Web Choice Winner. Over the past few weeks, readers were able to vote for their favorite Good Neighbor and he gathered the most votes out of the 10 finalists.
Rosemary Tran Lauer founded Devotion to Children in 1994 to fund child care 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 United States with two young children. DTC, which has helped 3,000 children since 2006, also funds preschool and other educational opportunities that are directly related to a child's future success in school.
Paul Wilson is the founder and event chair 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 has raised $2.4 million in five years. These funds have helped Wolfson purchase state-of-the-art MRI equipment with groundbreaking technology that can help with early diagnoses and prevent some surgeries.
In addition to the winners, five REALTORS® have been recognized as Good Neighbor Awards honorable mentions and will each receive $2,500 grants. They are Jill Dover from Sherwood Realty, Grand Rapids, Mich., for Senior Sing-A-Long; Gail Doxie from RE/MAX Realty Group, Fort Myers, Fla., for Miles of Smiles Foundation; Robert J. Fitzsimmons from Gateway Arms Realty Corp., Staten Island, N.Y., for Seamen’s Society for Children and Families; Dorothy Gokey from Gokey Real Estate, Clinton, N.Y., for The Business Training Institute Inc.; and Beth Smoot from Fonville Morisey, Raleigh, N.C., for The Green Chair Project.