The Good Neighbor Awards recognize REALTORS® who've made an extraordinary commitment to improving the quality of life in their communities through volunteer work. Five winners will receive $10,000 grants for their cause. The 2009 deadline will be May 22.
2008 Good Neighbor Finalists Announced
Want to Give to the 2002 Good Neighbor Award Winners?
Collectively, the five Good Neighbor Award winners for 2002 dedicated more than 4,000 hours last year, raised countless dollars, and recruited thousands of hours of volunteer time. Although they serve different causes, the Good Neighbors have two important things in common: They each had the courage to say, "I can help" and they unanimously contend that they receive much more than they give.
All of the Good Neighbor winners and honorable mentions serve organizations that depend on contributions to keep doing good. Here you'll find summaries of their activities and their charities' contact information. Please feel free to contact them directly to make a contribution or to get advice on starting your own community outreach efforts.
For more than 20 years, Hal Ehretsman has been more than a coach to his players. While coaching high school basketball, he recognized the need for special attention among disadvantaged urban youth and has found a successful game plan on and off the court. His players have won over 1,000 games, qualified for national post-season tournaments 25 times, and in 2001 his team was the only undefeated team in at the Junior Olympics. When they’re not on the court, Ehretsman advises his players on academics, making sure they remain eligible to play and qualify for college, even spending his vacations speaking with coaches and former players about his recruits. In 20 years, he's helped his players earn more than $10 million in scholarships.
John M. Green, CRB, GRI
John M. Green, REALTORS®
118 4th Avenue North
Franklin, TN 37064
Middle Tennessee Council Boy Scouts of America
3414 Hillsboro Road
Nashville, TN 37215
fax 615/297-9916 www.mtcbsa.org
John Green has been a Scoutmaster for nearly 50 years. Green currently leads a troop of 125 boys and eight leaders that meets weekly at his renovated barn, where the scouts can enjoy ham radio equipment, computers, bee hives, and a rappelling tower. But the most important thing Green provides to the boys, who range in age from 11 to 17, is his time. “He spends a great deal of time mentoring youth in career decisions, family crises, and life skills, and has kept many young boys away from trouble,” says Daniel B. Sutherland IV, district executive, Boy Scouts of America, Middle Tennessee Council. “[Former] scouts stop by often to thank Mr. Green for his time and dedication.”
Linda W. NortonCRS®, SRES, e-PRO
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
702 W. Drake, Bldg. A
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Funding Partners for Housing Solutions [501(c)3]
2000 South College Ste. 200
Fort Collins, CO 80525
fax: 970/494-2022 www.fundingpartners.org
Linda Norton’s real estate slogan is “Keeping the American Dream Affordable.” It’s a promise that has guided both her professional life and her personal commitment to provide affordable housing for Colorado residents. “When you see working families struggling to come up with a downpayment in a market where housing prices have tripled in the last 15 years, you just want to help,” says Norton. A founding member of Funding Partners for Housing Solutions, Norton works to provide nonprofit bridge and construction loans to the developers of affordable rental housing in eight counties along Colorado’s Front Range, including Denver. A companion program makes long-term loans to homebuyers for downpayments or closing costs. These programs have helped more than 400 low-income homebuyers buy their first homes and provided 750 units of affordable rental housing.
Cynthia J. Shafer, LTG
Lahaina Realty, Inc.
6035 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33908
tel: 239/463-8865, x12
Children have always been Cynthia Shafer’s top priority. While still in high school, Shafer began teaching disadvantaged children how to read and hasn’t stopped volunteering since. She now serves as a court-appointed child advocate for abused, neglected and abandoned children, shepherding the children through the legal system and recommending whether they should be placed in foster care. Remaining dedicated directly to the children, Cynthia spends her weekends between two programs she created: “Beds and Bedding” and “Duffels for Dignity”. Both provide items to transplanted children who may not have simple items that makes moving more comfortable and less traumatic, like a bed, a toothbrush, and a stuffed animal.
As a result of a house fire, six families were displaced without funds to relocate. Eviction left a family of six without shelter. The tragic death of a wife left a husband with three children, the youngest of whom was three months old, in financial and emotional despair. In these situations and a multitude of others, Anne Torcivia and the organization she founded 10 years ago, REALTORS® Against Poverty, have stepped in to provide personal and financial support. Over the past year, Torcivia has raised $40,000 to support the organization to purchase clothing, food, and Christmas presents for children; support a battered woman’s shelter and drug rehabilitation center; and help numerous homeless families find a home.
2002 Good Neighbor Honorable Mentions Louis (Lou) Vahan Bozigian
Coldwell Banker—Bozigian Realty
42306 North 10th St. West
Lancaster, CA 93534
Desert Haven Enterprises Inc.
P.O. Box 2110
43437 Copeland Circle
Lancaster, CA 93539
The son of Armenian immigrants, Lou Vahan Bozigian, Coldwell Banker Bozigian Realty, Lancaster, Calif., never lost sight of one of the fundamental responsibilities of American citizenship: to build strong communities. As a result, there’s scarcely a facet of the community Bozigian hasn’t served as a volunteer, from the public schools to the performing arts to the American Cancer Society. Though his drive to lead has supported many causes, Bozigian’s true passion was inspired by his daughter, Caren, who as a toddler suffered brain damage in a car accident. To help families like his, Bozigian began volunteering for Desert Haven, a non-profit that helps the developmentally disabled become productive and self-sufficient. Since 1958, Bozigian has served as president 10 times. Today the organization provides job training for about 400 adults with Down’s syndrome, brain damage and other disabilities, placing them at local businesses like Wal-Mart and restaurants. The organization has also earned groundskeeping contracts with city businesses including Edwards Air Force Base, where about 100 developmentally disabled adults maintain the grounds.
Muriel Howard, CRS®, GRI
Howard Real Estate Inc.
1503 East Page Ave.
P.O. Box 812
Malvern, AR 72104
fax: 501/337-4958 e-mail: email@example.com
As budget shortages forced area hospitals to close, Muriel Howard recognized the need to support the medical facility in her small town. If it closed, the nearest hospital would be an almost an hour away—a potentially life-threatening distance. Howard leads a foundation to recruit volunteers, raise funds, and educate civic organizations and business leaders about why they should support the 92-bed hospital, where more than 60 percent of the patients rely on Medicare and Medicaid. Funds raised are used to buy equipment and to educate residents through health fairs and seminars. Voted Woman of the Year by the local newspaper, Howard has shown dedication to her community for the last 20 years. A cancer survivor, she’s also an active volunteer and major fundraiser with American Cancer Society.
Libby Clawson Gatewood, GRI
610 West Hundred, Suite A
Chester, Virginia 23836
804 530-0100 Office
804 523-4453 Fax to Email
804 768-0066 OfficeFax
804 586-5147 Cell
Since 1996, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Libby Gatewood has been a powerful force in helping others brave the disease. In addition to founding the local chapter of VBCF, she’s a popular speaker and support-group facilitator, teaching women how to safely use make-up to cover treatment-related changes in appearance—though she often was bald in public during her own chemotherapy treatment. In order to share her knowledge, Gatewood co-wrote the book SOAR: Strength, Optimism And Recovery and organized funds to distribute the book to newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients at no cost. Gatewood also introduced a bill to the Virginia General Assembly for the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation Pink Ribbon License Plate, the proceeds of which support breast cancer awareness programs throughout the state.
Suzanne M. Goldstein, GRI
Long & Foster
5101 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016
fax: 202/362-0104 firstname.lastname@example.org
Suzanne Goldstein heads Food & Friends, which delivers three meals a day to 1,100 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses in Washington, D.C., and 12 surrounding counties. To meet a growing need, Goldstein initiated a $7 million capital campaign in 2000, which after receiving a $990,000 Community Development Grant from the District of Columbia and a $100,000 pledge from Goldstein herself, is well on its way to reaching its goal of tripling Food & Friends’ capacity. In addition to her leadership and fundraising duties, Goldstein serves every summer as a crew member for a four-day AIDS ride, where she sleeps in a tent, fills water bottles, hauls ice, and picks up trash for bicycle riders.
Ouida J. Spencer
RE/MAX Executives Inc.
3350 Northlake Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30345
United Cerebral Palsy of Georgia
330 North-East Expressway #9
Atlanta, GA 30341
fax: 770/455-8040 www.ucpga.org
Ouida Spencer has actively volunteered with the United Cerebral Palsy of Georgia for more than 20 years and has played a major leadership role since 1995. Before she took over as vice chair, UCP had an annual budget of $750,000 and reached only 100 people. As a result of her efforts to expand the UCP’s capabilities and outreach, today it has an annual budget of over $17.5 million and provides daily, hands-on services for more than 1,000 individuals with developmental disabilities. Spencer is also a tireless advocate for housing rights of disabled adults. To move people out of hospital settings and into the community, Spencer has helped house more than 200 people in single-family homes with three or four adults and a care provider. Spencer travels throughout the state to identify suitable housing, obtain appropriate zoning, educate neighbors and deftly handle their concerns.