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NAR Doubles Grant Awards for REALTORS® who Transformed Communities through Volunteer Efforts

November 13, 2019 in KCRAR

CHICAGO (November 12, 2019) – During its annual
convention from November 8-11, the National Association of Realtors® celebrated
the 20th year of the Good Neighbor Awards program, which honors
Realtors® for their achievements as volunteers who improve the
lives of people in need around them.

To further commemorate the 20th year
celebration, NAR doubled the grants awarded to the winners’ nonprofit
organizations from $10,000 to $20,000 – with the assistance of sponsors and Wells Fargo – an announcement which
came as a surprise to both the winners and the hundreds of people attending the
commemorative ceremony in San Francisco.

Nearly 70% of Realtors® volunteer in their
communities each month, according to NAR’s Community Aid and Real Estate report. NAR’s
Good Neighbor Award winners represent the most accomplished of that group –
each devoting hundreds of hours a year and raising huge sums of money for their
respective causes.

“We are incredibly proud of the cumulative impact that Good
Neighbors have had in the U.S. and across the globe,” said NAR President Vince
Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco. “The individuals
recognized this year and annually for the past two decades represent the best
of America’s Realtors® – those who sacrifice so much time
and talent so their neighbors can live better, more fulfilling lives.”

As part of the 20th year celebration, NAR
and the Good Neighbors collected toiletries to benefit low-income seniors and
adults with disabilities. A total of 32,000 personal care items, such as
toothbrushes, shampoo and lotion, were donated and packed in holiday gift bags
for 1,500 clients of the nonprofit Centro Latino de San Francisco, which was
founded by 2006 Good Neighbor Award Winner Ernest “Chuck” Ayala.

Each year, five Good Neighbor Award winners and five
honorable mentions are recognized. Good Neighbor stories and videos generate
considerable local and national media attention, which drives additional
donations, volunteers and support to each recognized nonprofit organization.

Over the past 20 years of Good Neighbor recognition:

  • $1.3
    million has been granted to Realtor®-led nonprofits.
  • More
    than 200 nonprofit organizations have been funded.
  • Good
    Neighbors’ impact has been felt in 40 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries.
  • More
    than 4,000 Realtors® have applied for NAR’s Good Neighbor

The 2020 Good Neighbor Award winners have:

  • Volunteered
    more than 1.4 million hours.
  • Served
    more than 41 million meals to the hungry.
  • Sheltered
    more than 276,000 people in need.
  • Raised
    hundreds of millions of dollars for various types of charitable causes,
    including $104 million for healthcare and medical research alone.

“Realtors® are
more than people who sell houses and go home to their families at night. We
invest in our communities, and because we work with all kinds of people we
are able to identify where needs are within the neighborhoods we see every
day,” said 2018 Good Neighbor Necia Freeman, Old Colony Realtors®,
Huntington, W.V., who founded Backpacks & Brown Bags to reduce the pains of
poverty and opioid addiction. “The Good Neighbor Award encourages us to continue
making a difference where we live and work.”

This year’s Good Neighbor Award winners – each of whom had
their grants doubled from $10,000 to $20,000 – are:

Bruce Johnson, RE/MAX of Wasaga Beach, Inc.;
Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada,
who has raised more than $600,000 for
the Children’s Miracle Network to date. Watch Bruce’s video here.

Mark Solomon,
Keller Williams 1st Realty
; Kansas
City, Mo., and Longmont, Colo.
, co-founder
of Veterans Community Project, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Kansas
City dedicated to fighting veteran homelessness. Watch Mark’s video here.

Kimberly Strub, Coldwell Banker; Mill Valley,
volunteer president of the Schurig Center for
Brain Injury Recovery. Watch Kim’s video here.

Dale Taylor, RE/MAX 10; Lenox, Ill., board
member and long-time volunteer at South Suburban Public Action to Deliver
Shelter. Watch Dale’s video here.

Paul Wyman, The Wyman Group; Kokomo,
founder of Turning Point, a nonprofit that helps people
struggling with addiction. Watch Paul’s video here.

The five Realtors® recognized as 2019 Good
Neighbor Award honorable mentions and had their grants doubled to $5,000


  • Sabrina Cohen, Coldwell Banker Residential
    Real Estate; Miami Beach, Fla.
    ; founder of The Sabrina Cohen
  • Rosemary Dutter, Century 21 Affiliated,
    Beloit; Wis.
    ; founder of Dutter House, Inc;
  • Nora Partlow, Coldwell Banker Residential
    Brokerage; Alexandria, Va.
    ; volunteer at Neighborhood Health;
  • Kristy Payne, Keller Williams; Edmond,
    ; founder of Foster Sweet Dreams Foundation; and
  • Bahar Soomekh, Nourmand & Associates;
    Beverly Hills, Calif.
    ; co-founder of Angel City Sports.


Fifty current and past Good Neighbor Award honorees were in
attendance at the celebration this past Saturday, including the four living
2000 Good Neighbor Award winners. Those original “Good Neighbors” are all still
leading their nonprofits 20 years after being recognized by NAR. To acknowledge
the ongoing impact they have had to make the world a better place, their
nonprofits were awarded $2,400 grants, funded by Good Neighbor Award
sponsors and
Wells Fargo.

The 2020 Good Neighbor Award entry deadline is May 8. Go to to apply or to recommend someone who is deserving of this
valuable recognition. The Good Neighbor Awards is funded by primary
sponsors and
Wells Fargo Home Lending.

The National Association of RealtorsÒ is America’s largest trade
association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects
of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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