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Realtor® Volunteering Works Program Announces 2013 Mentoring and Grants Recipients

Media Contact: Sara Geimer / 312/329-8296 / Email

Media Contact: Leanne High / 202-383-1290 / Email

WASHINGTON (April 23, 2013) – REALTOR® Magazine and the Good Neighbor Society have announced the recipients of the fifth annual Volunteering Works program, which matches Realtors® who work on small-scale charitable efforts with mentors and awards them grant money.

The five winning Realtors® will receive a $1,000 grant and a year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society, whose members are past recipients of the annual REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Award for volunteer service.

“Realtors® value service and will go the extra mile to improve lives and the communities in which they live,” said National Association of Realtors® President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty, in Villa Park, Calif. “The Volunteering Works program gives Realtors® an opportunity to learn from mentors who will help define their paths for growth and success.”

The Volunteering Works recipients were selected based on their dedication to the community through volunteer work and the potential for their charitable work to be expanded or improved with the help of an expert mentor.

“Volunteering Works enabled me to send more packages to the troops, bring in a public speaker to meet with families on ‘Coping with Deployments’ and invest in raffle prizes that will be used at our annual fundraiser to create more income,” said Jennifer Wiles, a practitioner with Real Estate Showcase, in Wooster, Ohio, and a 2012 Volunteering Works recipient. Wiles and her charity, Golden Bear Brigade, send packages to the men and women in the armed services who serve our country overseas. Her mentors, 2010 Good Neighbor Award winners Wendy and John Rocca, of Keller Williams Realty in Newton Highlands, Mass., implemented a cost-effective way of mailing care packages to the troops, which stretched her $1,000 grant even further.

“Mentors use their years of experience to teach Volunteering Works recipients new fundraising techniques and help prepare them to prosper through any obstacles they may encounter,” said Craig Conant, Good Neighbor Society Advisory Council Chair and a 2001 winner of REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Award.

The 2013 recipients of the Volunteering Works grant and mentoring are:

Robin E. Greenberg, Prudential California Realty, Los Angeles

Greenberg founded the C.A.R.E. Project (Compassion-Acceptance-Respect-Empowerment) in 2011 to encourage Realtors® to become more involved in the community. C.A.R.E serves a different charity each month, providing donations and volunteers to help people overcome their day-to-day struggles with food and shelter. Greenberg will seek guidance from her mentor, 2001 Good Neighbor Craig Conant, Key Realty Inc., Warrensburg, Mo., to implement an effective fundraising plan.

Angel Lubeck, Liberty Realty & Appraisal Services, LLC, Dickson City, Penn.

In 2011, Lubeck founded Finishing the Fight to support U.S. soldiers serving overseas. To date, she has organized two 5K races and has sent more than 450 care packages to troops deployed in Afghanistan. Her mentors are 2010 Good Neighbor Vito Pampalona, Vito Anthony Homes, Rochester, Mich., and 2010 Good Neighbor Honorable Mention Mark Meinhardt, Star One Realtors®, West Chester, Ohio. Lubeck will look for guidance on how to increase public awareness and raise more money through her 5K events.

Joan Rogliano, Rogliano Real Estate Group, Littleton, Colo.

Rogliano founded Wildflower Women’s Foundation in 2010 to improve the lives of women who are struggling through difficult transitions of divorce or widowhood. The organization provides scholarships, legal advice and financial advocacy. Rogliano will seek guidance from her mentor, 2003 Good Neighbor Claudia Deprez, Illustrated Properties Real Estate, West Palm Beach, Fla., to increase visibility and build a stronger network of professionals to support women.

Robert Schwartz, LaRosa Realty, Celebration, Fla.

In 2011, Schwartz cofounded Celebration 34747 Cares, a nonprofit organization that supports 100 local schoolchildren whose families don’t have permanent housing. The organization provides non-perishable weekend food packs and assists families who are transitioning to apartments in Osceola County. Schwartz will seek guidance from his mentor, 2006 Good Neighbor David Sonenberg, The Sonenberg Company, Roswell, Ga. Schwartz hopes to build a stronger network of volunteers and get help in seeking grants to improve fundraising.

Amber Weitzer, Nathan Grace Real Estate, Dallas, Texas

Weitzer, a member of The Princess Alexa Foundation, helps seriously ill children escape their realities of the hospital world by maintaining dress-up/play closets and hosting parties at six children’s hospitals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Her mentor is 2009 Good Neighbor Honorable Mention Diana Croteau, Sun Mountain Properties, Williams, Ariz. Weitzer wants to learn how to access grant money to raise $300,000 to build a universally accessible playground.

Volunteering Works is funded by The Stuart & Jill Siegel Charitable Foundation. To learn more about Volunteering Works or the Good Neighbor Awards, go to www.REALTOR.org/gna.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.