REALTOR® Magazine Announces Winners of Second Annual Good Neighbor Awards

REALTOR® Magazine, the official publication of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has announced the names of the five recipients of its second annual Good Neighbor Awards.

The Good Neighbor Awards honor the ongoing efforts of individual 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 contribution, the broadness of their impact, and their demonstrated leadership and initiative.

Each of the five winners will receive a $5,000 grant in the name of their community project. The recipients and a guest will also receive travel expenses to attend the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago in November, where they will receive their awards. Five honorable mentions will each receive a $1,000 grant.

This year’s winners are: Doris Attebury of R/E Professional Consultants, Lubbock, Texas, founder of East Lubbock Special Angels, which collects donated goods from the community and distributes them to those in need; Jean Clary of Century 21 Clary & Associates, Emporia, Va., founder of Children are Really Extra Special, a program that enlists corporate sponsors to fund educational opportunities for 4,000 low-income, rural school children; Craig Conant of Elsberry Realty, Warrensburg, Mo., who supports many projects in the community including founding a Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter and a children’s memorial park; Debra Parmenter of Coldwell Banker Heritage House, Durango, Colo., who, among her many charitable activities, founded Adopt-A-Family, an organization that donates Christmas gifts to the needy; and Matthew Schrum of Weichert, REALTORS®, Yardley, Pa., who has worked as a volunteer firefighter for 19 years.

The five honorable mentions include: Karen Brown of Weichert, REALTORS®, Burke, Va.; Claudette Bruck of Multiple Choice Realty and Investments, Tamarac, Fla.; John Green of John M. Green, REALTORS®, Franklin, Tenn.; James Hay of Weichert, REALTORS®, West Chester, Pa., and Ronald Phipps of Phipps Realty, Warwick, R.I.

Doris Attebury’s East Lubbock Special Angels has become a safety net for residents in a poor, isolated neighborhood in Lubbock, Texas. Attebury enlists residents, colleagues and even her buyers and sellers to donate used household goods and then matches the donated items to the people who desperately need them. Attebury started her organization just two years ago without much money or resources, but through her ingenuity she has been able to collect donations to fulfill needs as diverse as extra bedding for a woman who had to house her grandchildren, school books for needy children, and car seats for infants and toddlers. She has tapped homebuyer and homeseller clients for help, asking them to donate used carpeting or furniture they might otherwise have thrown away.

Jean Clary founded Children are Really Extra Special (CARES), a program to ensure the futures of children in a community where the high school drop-out rate was more than 40 percent. For 10 years, Clary has obtained corporate sponsorships to provide children with one-on-one mentoring, field trips, gifts and supplies, and most of all, people who care. Currently, more than 4,000 students in two counties are sponsored. Clary and her colleagues sponsor nearly 300 children themselves, and are raising money to fund a year of college education for each of them. Clary’s devotion to the children is more than financial. One of her favorite projects is an etiquette and life skills class she teaches once a week in which children learn everything from how to open a bank account, to how to write a thank you note and how to have dinner in a fine restaurant.

Craig Conant is behind many projects that enrich his community. “We have felt like a part of this community,” Conant said of his town, Warrensburg, Mo. He played a leading role in setting up a chapter of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentoring program. He helped obtain an infant hearing monitor for the local hospital and presided over a program to induct volunteers for local charities. He also funds a scholarship at Central Missouri State University in the name of his daughter Angel, who was killed by a drunk driver, and is now building a Children’s Memorial Park in honor of children whose lives have been cut short.

Debra Parmenter is making a difference in the lives of many in her community through her volunteer work, fundraising, donations and above all, her empathy. She founded Adopt-A-Family, which has given Christmas presents to 15,000-20,000 needy families over the last 10 years. She is a leader of the Women’s Resource Center which helps women gain independence through its educational, mentoring, resource and referral and networking programs. In addition, Parmenter raised or donated more than $70,000 for dozens of local and national charities including, Alzheimers Walk, American Cancer Society, Durango Arts Center, and her alma matter, Fort Lewis College.

For 19 years, Matthew Schrum has been on call to save lives and property as a volunteer firefighter. Over the years, Schrum has driven emergency vehicles, devised new training programs, trained new volunteers, and undertaken various administrative and operational responsibilities for the Northampton Volunteer Fire Company. As Deputy Fire Chief, he oversees three fire stations and more than 100 fire fighters.

“These awards recognize REALTORS® for contributing to their communities, something so many of them do without any recognition,” said REALTOR®Magazine Editor Stacey Moncrieff, a Good Neighbor Awards judge. “By spotlighting these exceptional Good Neighbors, we hope to show the world at large the positive difference REALTORS®make and to inspire REALTORS® around the country to give back to their communities.”

NAR President Richard Mendenhall said REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards offer an incentive for REALTORS® to work with nonprofit groups to solve quality-of-life issues within their communities. “Lending a helping hand in our communities is such a cornerstone of REALTOR® life. These awards not only recognize those in our family who are working to improve their communities by diligently supporting programs that assist those less fortunate, these awards remind us all how fortunate we are to be REALTORS® and to be able to do what we do,” Mendenhall added.

REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards program is sponsored by eNeighborhoods, a product of iPlace Inc., and Fannie Mae.

“We were amazed at the level of commitment and success achieved by real estate professionals to help make their neighborhoods a better place to live,” said Stuart Siegel, CEO of iPlace and a Good Neighbor judge. “It would have been difficult to select the top one hundred, so picking ten was nearly impossible.”

“REALTORS® always have been active in their local communities, but these finalists have gone to extraordinary lengths to try to create safe, affordable, livable neighborhoods,” said Jamie Gorelick, vice chair of Fannie Mae. “Their efforts help explain why homeownership is an integral part of the American Dream.”

REALTOR Magazine is the award-winning magazine of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, Chicago, Ill. eNeighborhoods for Realty, a product of iPlace, Langhorne, Pa., is the most comprehensive database of home resale information and neighborhood information in the country. Data are delivered through subscriptions and infrastructure alliances with leading websites. More than 65,000 paying users subscribe to eNeighborhoods. Fannie Mae 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 30 million families achieve homeownership.