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BGCALearn how REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations are involved with their local Clubs, and hear uplifting success stories from REALTORS® about how their experience as a local Club Kid positively impacted their life.


Billings Association of REALTORS®

Club: Boys & Girls Club of Yellowstone County
Years Involved: 10

BillingsEach year, the Billings Association of REALTORS® selects area nonprofits to benefit from its two annual charitable organization fundraisers – a road race and a casino night. As luck would have it, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County was selected as the beneficiary of the 2016 Quality of Life Casino Night even before NAR President Tom Salomone announced the nationwide partnership with the Clubs.

Quality of Life Casino Night was held Tuesday, April 26, and featured Texas Hold ‘Em and live and silent auctions. With thanks to all the volunteers, donors and participants, the Billings Association of REALTORS® (BAR) was able to donate $20,000 to the Club – the most ever for our Casino Night.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County applied to partner with the BAR in order to receive funds to provide summer scholarships for Club members in need of financial assistance. The Club was chosen from a pool of 23 applicants.

Since 2004, the Billings Association of REALTORS® has donated more than $443,000 to area nonprofits through its Quality of Life activities. The Association’s next event -- the Quality of Life Run, slated for August 13 -- will benefit Billings’ Tumbleweed Runaway Program.

Laguna Board of REALTORS®

Club: Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach
Years Involved: New Involvement

LagunaOur local association, the Laguna Board of REALTORS®, has been a fundraising partner to our local Boys & Girls Club for years. President Salomone's challenge to move beyond just fundraising... well... it moved us! We reached out to our local Club and their volunteer coordinator to find out what needed doing, and we created our first ever LBoR Day of Love.

More than 30 volunteers (5% of our membership) descended on the Club and we painted and raked our little hearts out. The final count... 4 picnic tables rebuilt and repainted, 5 planter boxes fixed or painted, a playground hillside made beautiful, nursery furniture refurbished, and ONE agent with newly painted blue hair (nice shade of royal).

This will be a new annual tradition for our association, and we're working on on-going ways to keep our REALTORS® involved with the Club!

Sunflower Association of REALTORS®

Club: Boys & Girls Club of Topeka
Years Involved: New Involvement


CEO, leadership and staff members of the Sunflower Association of REALTORS®, Inc. reached out to Dawn McWilliams, CEO and Krystal Wiltz, Director of Development and Marketing at the Boys & Girls Club of Topeka. We asked them to meet with us to determine what their needs were and how our association could best fill the need.

The final plan involved a yearlong program devoted to educating our members on the various needs and services provided by the organization, providing support for the nutrition and academic success.

The first event was a kick-off reception held at the Club for all association members. Members were divided into groups for presentations on services and needs after which tours of the Club were given by BGC staff and members. Association members attending then served dinner to the Club members.

The Sunflower Association coordinated the planting of a salsa/pizza garden in April. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs will be grown and implemented into the nutrition program for the children.

On the last day of the school year this past May, Club members were treated to an "End of School Pizza Party with pizza and servers provided by the Sunflower members.
In the fall, a back to school kick-off will be held with Club members and parents to announce the Sunflower Honor Wall. Students that meet academic requirements for their school honor roll will have their photo displayed and be entitled to special activities as a reward for their achievement.

The Sunflower Association of REALTORS®, Inc. has added this to our strategic plan for the next 3 years as one of our community outreach projects and plans to continue our dedication and support for the BGCA.

More Association Stories

Arizona Association of REALTORS®

Club: Various Arizona Boys & Girls Clubs
Years Involved: New Involvement

ArizonaIn an overwhelming response to National Association of REALTORS® 2016 President Tom Salamone’s request for members to become involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), Arizona REALTORS® from five local associations answered the call on April 27.

Reading to young BGCA members on National “Tell A Story” Day was a real treat for adults as well as children. “Before I was a REALTOR®,” said Dani Lawrence, president of the Northern Arizona Association of REALTORS®, “I worked with kids and I’ve always missed it.”

Between Lawrence, Denny Birkland, Valerie Caro, Stacey Ehrenreich, Judy Jackson, April Knapp, Noel Martinez and Ventrice Sykes, they read to children at two BGCA branches and even helped create “dream homes” out of construction paper. “They all wanted a slide to leave the house,” Lawrence added, “No stairs, just slides!”

At that same time, some 140 miles south of Flagstaff, Cesar Aleman watched a room full of children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix. “Our second and third graders really enjoyed listening to Monica (Schulik, Christa Lawcock and Kerry Melcher) reading books about houses,” said Aleman, program manager at the Harry & Sandy Rosenzweig Branch which serves more than 200 youth.

REALTORS® from the Northern Arizona, Phoenix, Western Pinal, White Mountain and Yuma associations read and donated dozens of books. There are two more BGCA events scheduled in Arizona this year.

South Tahoe Association of REALTORS®

Club: Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe
Years Involved: New involvement

Volunteers from the South Tahoe Association of REALTORS® began volunteering for an afternoon mentoring program for teen-aged kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe to work on homework assignments, or if they don't have homework to do, to engage in an activity that challenges them mentally.

The hope is that this will be the start of a beautiful friendship between the South Tahoe Association of REALTORS® and the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe. All STAR members are encouraged and welcome to participate in this volunteer program on Thursday afternoons. STAR’s Community Service Committee also has plans to support the club in other ways, such as promoting Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe fundraising events, soliciting donations and working with the Club to determine where other hand-on help is needed.

Doc Reese and the Port Angeles Association of REALTORS®

Club: BGC of the Olympic Peninsula – Mount Angeles Unit
Years Involved: Three

I first became aware of the Boys & Girls Club as a member of the Planning Commission when they were involved in the redevelopment of their neighborhood and their plans for a new facility. We approved the subdivision application.

A fellow Rotarian serves on their board and asked me to join it. I did for several months until time constraints would not allow me to continue.

As the current president of the Port Angeles Association of REALTORS®, I scheduled our monthly meeting at their current clubhouse this February and we enjoyed the presentation of their new building plans and a discussion of their needs. 

We subsequently published an article in our tab section that reaches their ideal audience, families in our area. We have also written a letter of support for them and both were used in their grant application process. We stand ready to assist as we can and they know to call upon us when they have a need. The Boys & Girls Club is vital to the health of our town.


Barry Upchurch, St. Louis Association of REALTORS®

Club: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
Years Involved: 12

Barry UpchurchI just received the G. Duncan Bauman Cabinet of Life Trustee for my involvement in the Club over the last twelve years. I have been on the Board that entire time and had roles as Chair of the Finance, Resource Development and Board Development Committees. Vice President and Treasurer, Chairman of the Board, past Chairman, member of the Board of Directors and Executive committee member. I also received the Richard H. Amberg Outstanding Service Award for my service to the Club back in 2008.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis over this twelve years have grown from one location to six, including its most recent location at Ferguson Middle School. Its budget has grown from about $1.2 million to $3.5 million over this twelve years. The Club will have its 50 year anniversary in 2017, the same year the St. Louis REALTOR® organization will have its 140th birthday. St. Louis REALTORS® was one of the founding Boards of the National Association of REALTORS®. The Association recently participated in the Table of Four Event for the Club which raised money for the Club's Smart Moves Programming for girls.


Success Stories, May, 2016 >