CHICAGO– REALTOR® Magazine, the official publication of the National Association of REALTORS®, has announced the names of the five recipients of its fifth annual Good Neighbor Awards.
The Good Neighbor Awards honors the ongoing volunteer efforts of Realtors who are making exceptional contributions to improve the quality of life in their communities. Winners were selected based on the depth and impact of their volunteer contribution, the broadness of that impact, and their demonstrated leadership and initiative. Nearly 300 entries nominations were considered this year.
The 2004 winners of REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards are Thomas Bush, Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors, Commercial Division, Winston-Salem, N.C., a powerful advocate for child abuse prevention who helped start the largest private provider of child abuse prevention and treatment programs in the state; Robin Croft, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Warwick, R.I., who opened a transitional home for women recovering from addictions; Ned C. Li, H&I Real Estate, Rockville, Md., who founded a community center that now has 2,000 members and 350 volunteers; Thomas Maloney, Liberty Pierre Joseph Realty Inc., Pittsfield, Mass., who helps victims of fires and natural disasters put their lives back together; and Diane Mintz, Marvin Gardens Real Estate, Berkeley, Calif., who founded an organization that has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged kids to summer camp.
Profiles of each of the Good Neighbor Awards winners and their programs will be featured in the November issue of REALTOR® Magazine and at www.realtor.org/realtormag.
Each of the five winners will receive a $7,500 grant for their community project, a crystal trophy, and the right to use the Good Neighbor Awards logo on their Web site and promotional materials. The recipients and a guest also will be sent, expenses paid, to the 2004 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando in November, where they will receive their awards in front of an audience of 6,000.
Thomas Bush has been a powerful advocate for child abuse prevention since 1979 when he helped bring the first of nine Stop Child Abuse Now centers to North Carolina. The largest private provider of child abuse prevention and treatment programs in the state, SCAN now serves 10,000 clients a year. Through the Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center of N.C., Bush has helped raise more than $3 million and recruited 10 of the 32 current board members. When he got married in 2000, he and his fiancé—also a SCAN volunteer—registered for gifts at Toys R Us to provide Christmas presents for the children.
Robin Croft founded The John T. Croft Recovery House in memory of her father to provide transitional housing for women who are recovering from alcohol and drug addictions. The house, which she bought, renovated and furnished with her own money, shelters women who are emotionally and physically abused, homeless, and penniless. A total of 125 women, aged 19 to 60, have been sheltered there since 2003. Croft provides the women with food, clothing, and personal hygiene products for as long as needed, and refers them to resources for counseling and continuing education.
Ned C. Li, H&I Real Estate, Rockville, Md.,is founder and current executive director of Chinese Culture and Community Service Center Inc., which he has been leading for 22 years. With 2,000 members, CCACC has grown into a major culture, education, health, and community service organization, especially for low-income residents. He has managed the sports program since 1982 and established a runners club, a photo club, and a language program for non-Chinese speaking parents of children adopted from China. He has also emphasized the volunteer spirit within the organization. With 350 volunteers, CCACC is one of the largest volunteer organizations in Montgomery County, performing community service projects such as citizenship training and sponsoring meals for the homeless and health clinics for the uninsured.
Thomas Maloney has volunteered for American Red Cross, Berkshire County Chapter, for 10 years, eight of those as chair of the Disaster Action Team. He responds to fires, search and rescue missions, and natural disasters such as floods and tornadoes. In the moments after a disaster, Maloney arranges emergency shelter, clothing, food, and basic necessities for victims. He then coordinates follow-up assistance from agencies that provide longer-range support. A former full-time firefighter, Maloney used his strong ties with the fire department to ensure that the DAT is called immediately in crisis situations. As chair, he recruits and trains team members and travels throughout the county to negotiate contracts with vendors and shelter providers. He has personally responded to hundreds of calls, most of them in the middle of the night.
Diane Mintz had planned to spend an hour a week as a tutor in nearby Richmond, Calif., where half of the children live in poverty. But as she got to know the children and learned how few had ever been outside the neighborhood, much less to the theater or a museum, she knew she had to do something. In 2000, she founded Youth Enrichment Strategies, which has sent more than 1,000 kids to overnight camp—365 this summer alone. She also devised a weekend family camp to teach camping skills as well as leadership and conflict resolution skills to children and their entire families.
NAR President Walt McDonald said the Good Neighbor Awards gives NAR the opportunity to honor some of the many Realtors who give of themselves to improve the quality of life in their communities. “Realtors care about our communities and have a vested interest in building healthy communities. The accomplishments of the Good Neighbor Award winners are an inspiration to the 1 million real estate professionals who are members of NAR, and we are proud that they can be recognized as models to all Americans of what each person can do to improve our communities one deed at a time,” said McDonald, broker-owner of Walt McDonald Real Estate, Riverside, Calif.
REALTOR® Magazine Editorial Director Pamela Geurds Kabati said, “We created the Good Neighbor Awards to reward Realtors for contributing to their communities, something so many of them do without any recognition. We’re proud to highlight their achievements to help show the world the positive difference Realtors make in the places they call home.”
REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards is sponsored by eNeighborhoods Inc.—which has supported the program since its inception—Fannie Mae, and new sponsor Pulte Homes Inc.
“As founding sponsor of the Good Neighbor Awards, I am honored to help highlight the truly amazing things that Realtors are accomplishing at the grassroots level in their communities,” said Stu Siegel, CEO of eNeighborhoods Inc., who has also personally contributed to the Good Neighbor Awards through The Stuart & Jill Siegel Foundation. “I’ve found that the most successful of Realtors are those who give back to their communities and integrate community service with their day-to-day businesses.”
In addition to the winners, five Good Neighbor honorable mentions will receive $1,500 grants. They are Linda Asbee, Century 21 Sparow-Shoreline, Long Beach, Calif., for For the Child; Melissa P. Deputy, Prudential New Jersey Properties, Flemington, N.J., for Hunterdon County Foster and Adoptive Families; Leslie Edwards, RE/MAX Advantage, Fayetteville, Ga., for Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity; Robert F. Kevane, The Kevane Co. Inc., La Mesa, Calif., for San Diego Blood Bank, Saint Augustine High School, Boys and Girls Club of East County, and the City of San Diego Affordable Housing Task Force; and Sandra B. Martin, RE/MAX Executives Inc., Atlanta, for Lifekeeper Foundation.
eNeighborhoods Inc., (www.eneighborhoods.com) of Boca Raton, Fla., a REALTOR VIP Alliance partner, is the industry leader in providing easy access to neighborhood information for every community in the United States. Real estate professionals who use this everyday marketing solution maintain a competitive edge with the ability to create the most powerful CMA, HomeBook, BuyerTour, newsletter, flyers, and Web site.
Fannie Mae (www.fanniemae.com) is a private, shareholder-owned company based in Washington, D.C., that provides financial products and services that make it possible for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families to buy homes. Since 1968, Fannie Mae has helped more than 61 million families achieve homeownership.
Pulte Homes Inc. (www.pulte.com), the nation’s leading homebuilder, has been helping people build a better life for more than 50 years. Its Del Webb (www.delwebb.com) brand is the nation's leading builder of active adult communities for people age 55 and older. Together, Pulte Homes and Del Webb have received more J.D. Power and Associates awards for customer satisfaction than any other homebuilder.