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Realtor® Volunteering Works Program Announces 2015 Grants and Mentoring Recipients

Media Contact: Jane Dollinger / 202-383-1042 / Email

WASHINGTON (May 7, 2015) — REALTOR® Magazine and the Good Neighbor Society have announced the recipients of the seventh annual Volunteering Works, a program that matches Realtors® who work on small-scale charitable efforts with grant money and mentors to help expand the reach of their charities.

The five Volunteering Works recipients will receive a $1,000 grant and a year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society, which comprises past recipients of the annual REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Award.

“Realtors® work tirelessly to help their clients achieve the American Dream of homeownership,” said National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron, executive broker of 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark. “The Volunteering Works program provides an opportunity for Realtors® who serve their communities through volunteer work to engage in one-on-one relationships with mentors who will help them impact their communities in even greater ways.”

The Volunteering Works recipients were selected based on their dedication to their communities and the potential for their charitable work to be expanded or improved with the help of an expert mentor. Mentors are past winners of the Good Neighbor Awards, the highest honor that NAR awards to Realtors® who are involved in community service.

2014 Volunteering Works recipient Laneta Goings, Welles Bowen Realtors®, Maumee, Ohio, says the Volunteering Works experience has benefitted her charity in many ways: The $1,000 grant enabled her to update her charity’s website and to receive matching funds to buy Books4Buddies bookplates. “The challenges of running a nonprofit often seem insurmountable; however, talking to my mentor and other Good Neighbor winners has been invigorating and inspiring,” said Goings.

“Our goal is for the mentors to share the skills and knowledge they’ve obtained after years as volunteer leaders,” said Victor Kee, principal broker of Pete Anderson Realty in Astoria, Ore., and Good Neighbor Society Advisory Council Chair. "Their experience can help provide insight and guidance that can shorten the learning curve for Volunteering Works recipients."

The 2015 recipients of the Volunteering Works grant and mentoring are:

Kerry Constantine, Power Brokers Real Estate, Inc., Ft. Myers, Fla.
Since 2012, Constantine has provided homeless outreach and advocacy in Southwest Florida. She works closely with churches to provide blankets, toiletries, clothes and other emergency items to ensure that the homeless have all the necessities. Constantine will seek guidance from her mentor, 2002 Good Neighbor Cynthia Shafer, Lahaina Realty, Inc., Ft. Myers Beach, Fla., to develop an effective fundraising plan so she can expand her reach.

Jennifer Hodge, Century 21 Results Realty Services, Cumming, Ga.
Hodge has raised thousands of dollars for addiction recovery facilities through agent commission donations and has had four mobile homes donated to house recovering addicts. She founded Realty4Rehab in 2013 to encourage others to help fund treatment for people who can't afford rehab. Hodge will seek guidance from her mentor, 2010 Good Neighbor Cathie MacGregor Critchlow, Better Homes & Garden Real Estate Franklin Group, South Ogden, Utah, to build a strategic plan.

Kristin Joyner, Designer Realty, Dacula, Ga.
For 15 years, Joyner has served the Sawnee Women’s Club on many projects, most recently providing backpacks full of weekend food to schoolchildren in need. She plans to start a vegetable garden at a local high school to provide fresh produce for struggling families. Joyner will seek guidance from her mentor, 2013 Good Neighbor Kristina Rhodes, FC Tucker Emge Realtors, Newburgh, Ind. Joyner will look for guidance on seeking grants and increasing community involvement.

Sandra Rubolotta, Realty Executives-Exceptional Realtors®, Pompton Plains, N.J.
In 2008, Rubolotta founded the Greater Pompton Area Chapter of Deborah Hospital Foundation to raise awareness and funds for a local hospital that treats patients regardless of their ability to pay. Her mentor is 2010 Good Neighbor Honorable Mention Janice Mueller, RE/MAX Creative Realty, Lexington, Ky. Rubolotta will look for guidance on building a stronger network of volunteers and grooming new leadership.

Patti Gray Whann, Glens Falls Area Realty, Glens Falls, N.Y.
Whann is founder and president of the Glens Falls Collaborative, a community organization that promotes cooperation among businesses and nonprofits through events, fundraisers and neighborhood cleanups. Whann tries to attract and retain residents and bring tourists to her small city of 15,000 people. Whann will seek guidance from her mentor, 2001 Good Neighbor Craig Conant, Key Realty, Inc., Warrensburg, Mo., about how to recruit and engage more partners.

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.

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