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Realtor® Good Neighbor Award Winners Improve Lives, Build Strong Communities

WASHINGTON (October 1, 2013) – One of the many ways that Realtors® strengthen communities and the lives of their neighbors is through volunteer work, and for 14 years the Good Neighbor Awards program has recognized Realtors® who do just that. The five individuals named as this year’s REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Awards winners demonstrate how Realtors® value helping those in need and that many of them are committed to selfless service.

The 2013 Good Neighbor Awards winners are Kenneth W. Davis from Welcome Home Realty, Boca Raton, Fla., for The Rotary Club of Boca Raton, Tomorrow’s Promise Community School, Cat Island Orphanage and Palm Beach State College Rotaract Club; Bernice Helman from Coldwell Banker Troy Helman Realtors®, Terre Haute, Ind., for United Way of the Wabash Valley; Tina McDonough from RE/MAX Select, Renton, Wash., for Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Joel Pratt from J.L. Pratt Realtors®, Canton, Mass., for MatchingDonors.com; and Kristina Rhodes from F.C. Tucker Emge Realtors®, Newburgh, Ind., for Make-A-Wish.

“This year’s Good Neighbor Awards winners are not only a tremendous inspiration to others for their dedication and passion, but also they remind us of Realtors®’ commitment to building communities and helping those who need it most,” said National Association of Realtors® President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty, in Villa Park, Calif. “Realtors® understand that a strong community is crucial to a person’s quality of life. These members have invested their time, money and effort to improve the quality of life for their neighbors around the country; I am proud and honored to recognize the winners and look forward to watching them grow their efforts.”

The Good Neighbor Awards have been granted annually since 2000 and are presented by NAR’s REALTOR® Magazine. Winners receive a $10,000 grant for their charity, and are profiled in the November-December issue of REALTOR® Magazine. The recipients will be presented with crystal trophies on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

Davis, a long-time member of The Rotary Club of Boca Raton, has spent more than two decades reaching out to underprivileged youth. Over the past two years he raised more than $100,000 for Tomorrow’s Promise Community School, a county charter school for at-risk students; where he mentors the students and helps them obtain college scholarships. A supporter of the Cat Island Orphanage in the Bahamas, Davis has inspired members of the Palm Beach State College Rotaract Club to volunteer and lead fundraisers for the children. Last year, he inspired college students to donate a truck to the orphanage, create a pen pal program and help raise money for Christmas gifts.

For 18 years, Helman has served the United Way of the Wabash Valley, an organization dedicated to achieving community-wide change by improving the education, income and health of its residents. Her community was dealt a hard blow when a large pharmaceutical company left, taking with it jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate donations. Helman overcame the challenge through her tireless efforts, which included soliciting donations from rural counties that had typically only received donations. As a result, United Way surpassed its fundraising goal of $1.8 million last year.

McDonough serves as captain of the Valley Girls & Guys! 3-Day Team and has raised more than $1.4 million to fund research and raise awareness for breast cancer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Starting with a team of four walkers in 2007, she has grown the team to more than 168 walkers and became the number-one fundraising team in the U.S. The 3-Day Team gives cancer survivors a place to feel at home and as part of a second family while taking their next step into surviving and celebrating life. Seventy-five percent of McDonough’s walkers return each year because of her passion and commitment.

Pratt has raised more than $1 million in nine years for MatchingDonors.com, a nonprofit website that connects patients who need organs with living donors. MatchingDonors.com has cut patients’ wait time from seven to 10 years for a deceased donor organ to about six months for a living donor organ. As the director of business development, Pratt raises money by seeking out donations such as cars, boats, real estate and corporate surplus and sells them for cash. MatchingDonors.com’s connections have successfully helped more than 500 transplant patients.

Rhodes is a dedicated volunteer with Make-A-Wish, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Rhodes is credited with spearheading the Make-A-Wish mission in an area of the country where it wasn’t well known, and since then has helped make wishes come true for 80 children. She has engaged hundreds of local supporters and corporate sponsors and has raised nearly $500,000 dollars. Rhodes also launched the first regional council in the area, which has become a model for Make-A-Wish organizations throughout the country.

In addition to the winners, five Realtors® have been recognized as Good Neighbor Awards honorable mentions and will each receive $2,500 grants. They are Brenda Breit from The Empowered Team, LLC, Scottsdale, Ariz., for Lost Our Home Pet Foundation; Brad Coleman from Metro Estates, Newport Beach, Calif., for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County; Susanne Crenshaw from Keller Williams of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Okla., for Daily Living Centers Inc.; Nick Manis from Manis Realtors®, Dayton, N.J., for The G.I. Go Fund; and Rebecca Moniz from Weichert, Realtors® Cress & Company, East Greenwich, R.I., for The Rhode Island Military Family Programs.

REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards is sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Nominees were judged on their personal contribution of time as well as financial and material contributions to benefit their cause. To be eligible, nominees must be NAR members in good standing. More information about the Good Neighbor Awards winners is available at www.REALTOR.org/gna.

Liberty Mutual Insurance (http://welcome.libertymutual.com/nar/) is one of the world’s leading and most trusted insurance carriers. For more than 100 years, their mission has been to provide comprehensive, quality insurance products that help their customers live safer, more secure lives. Liberty Mutual has worked hard to develop personal insurance programs that provide long-term benefits to their customers, and constantly strives to improve their products and services. Equally important, is their legacy of working for the public good through philanthropy, safety research, and educational outreach. For that reason, Liberty Mutual is proud to be the 2013 and 2014 primary sponsor of REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards, expanding their partnership with NAR.  For more than a decade, as part of the REALTOR Benefits® Program, Liberty Mutual has been NAR’s exclusive partner for auto, home and renters insurance. Through this program NAR members are eligible to receive special savings and insurance benefits.

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.