NAR’s awards highlight Realtors across the U.S. who have dedicated their time, money and passion to helping others – and one 2021 finalist hails from Fla.
WASHINGTON – The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) honored 10 Realtors® as finalists for its 2021 Good Neighbor Awards, including one Realtor from Clearwater, Fla.
Now in its 22nd year, the Good Neighbor Awards recognize Realtors who have made significant, tangible volunteer contributions in their communities to improve the lives of their neighbors in need.
Christina Sauger with Rutenberg Realty Inc. in Clearwater, Fla., is one of the 10 finalists. Sauger founded The Harbor Dish, a nonprofit organization that provides healthy meals and companionship to anyone regardless of their ability to pay. The mobile program includes hosting large-scale community dinners on a pay-what-you-can model, and delivers hot meals to seniors, foster children, domestic violence survivors and others in need.
NAR President Charlie Oppler says he’s proud to honor this year’s Good Neighbor Award finalists “for continuing the Realtor tradition of giving back and making a difference. Despite the many challenges navigating COVID-19 restrictions and running a nonprofit during the pandemic, these Realtors were there to help their communities at a time their contributions were needed most.”
The public can vote for their favorite of the 10 Good Neighbor finalists, which will help the top three finalists to be recognized as Web Choice Favorites. The Web Choice Favorites will take home an additional donation of $2,500, $1,250 and $1,250, respectively. Cast your vote now through Oct. 1, 2021, for Florida’s finalist, Christina Sauger.
Both the winners, as determined by judges, and the Web Choice Favorites will be announced on October 6. The five winners will receive a $10,000 grant and national media exposure for their charity, including a feature in the fall issue of Realtor Magazine. The winners will be honored during the upcoming 2021 Realtor Conference & Expo in San Diego, Calif. Five honorable mention winners will receive $2,500 grants:
In addition to Sauger, the finalists are:
- Dawn M. Adams, The Palmetto Real Estate Company, Aiken, S.C.
Since 2011, Adams has been helping to rescue and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking both in the U.S. and internationally. As a board member with Abolish Slavery Coalition (AbolishSlavery.org), Adams organizes multi-agency task forces that help locate those who were kidnapped, while helping rescued victims begin the process of restoring normalcy in their lives.
- Bob Bell, Mile Hi Property, Denver, Colo.
Every Friday, Bell and hundreds of volunteers meet to pack and deliver weekend meals for 10,000 at-risk children scattered across 72 Denver-area schools. By eliminating overhead and relying on his dedicated volunteers, Bell has turned Food for Thought into a powerhouse, with 497,205 backpacks of food delivered to date, the equivalent of almost 4 million meals.
- Sharon Chambers-Gordon, Windermere Professional Partners, Tacoma, Wash.
Founder of Raising Girls, a nonprofit that helps low-income young women boost their confidence and self-esteem, Chambers-Gordon and her volunteer team donate menstrual hygiene products to tweens and teens who might otherwise skip school and sports because of embarrassment or financial constraints.
- Chris Cockerham, F.C. Tucker/Bloomington Realtor, Bloomington, Ind.
Cockerham helps combat homelessness by taking advantage of his expertise and contacts in the real estate industry. He has spent more than a year helping New Hope for Families find a new permanent location, which doubled its shelter capacity and raised $1.2 million, in large part from local Realtors.
- Sydney Ealy, Brooks & Davis Real Estate, Houston, Texas
In 2014, Ealy founded TWST4Girls, a nonprofit organization that offers a variety of educational programs and one-on-one mentoring for low-income girls. The opportunities are designed to help girls aged 11-17 boost self-esteem, learn important life skills, and start on a path toward higher education.
- Brent Gieseke, Exit Realty Professionals, Kansas City, Mo.
Gieseke wears many hats as a volunteer serving the needs of refugee families. Since 2018, he’s helped acquire and renovate homes, called “Blessing Houses,” while teens from refugee families work at his side to learn job and life skills designed to help in their acclimation to life in America.
- Kibe Lucas, KW The Kibe Lucas Team, Wasilla, Alaska
For 20 years, Lucas has been a passionate board member for the Children’s Place, a nonprofit that offers hope to families impacted by child abuse and neglect. He has leveraged his real estate experience to secure land for a new headquarters, raise half a million dollars, and recruit countless supporters to promote the well-being of more than 4,000 American children.
- Denny and Linda Ellsworth-Moore, Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood-Delta, Lansing, Mich.
Since 2004, Denny Moore and Linda Ellsworth-Moore have volunteered with Child and Family Charities, a nonprofit that supports children in need. The couple has raised $345,000 and collects donations of bikes, school supplies, clothing, and holiday gifts, with special emphasis on bikes for foster children.
- Raymond Siddell, Keller Williams Legacy Group, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Siddell mobilized his community’s emergency response after a violent derecho damaged 90% of the homes and buildings in his hometown. During his efforts, he discovered an underlying food insecurity in the region, leading him to create Together We Achieve. This now permanent food pantry has distributed 1.2 million pounds of food to local residents in one year.
NAR’s Good Neighbor Awards is supported by primary sponsor realtor.com, plus Chase and The Center for Realtor® Development.
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