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2007-03-04 09:00:00

For REALTORS® It Pays to Be a Good Neighbor

The National Assn. of REALTORS® is seeking nominations for its eighth annual Good Neighbor Awards, which recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to volunteer work has enhanced and improved their communities.

The five winners will be announced in November in REALTOR® Magazine and recognized at the 2007 REALTORS Conference and Expo in Las Vegas. Each winner will receive travel expenses to the conference, national media exposure for his or her community cause, and a $10,000 grant. In addition to the winners, five honorable mentions will each receive a $2,500 grant. Last year’s program drew more than 300 entries.

“The Good Neighbor Awards program highlights the volunteer work that REALTORS® across the country are quietly doing to help others in their communities,” said NAR President Pat Vredevoogd Combs, of Grand Rapids, MI, and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt. “These people don’t expect any recognition, but they certainly deserve the spotlight. I’m proud that the Good Neighbor Awards allows NAR to honor some of the many REALTORS® who strengthen their communities through volunteer work.”

Last year’s winners contributed a combined total of nearly 7,000 hours to their causes. The 2006 winners were Ernest “Chuck” Ayala, Ayala Real Estate, San Francisco, founder of Centro Latino de San Francisco senior center; Rob Cronin, Coldwell Banker, Conklin AND Co., Hailey, Idaho, the driving force of the American Cancer Society’s Camp Rainbow Gold; Sharon Friend, Las Vegas Realty, Las Vegas, president of The Children’s Service Guild; Lolita Junk, Diversified Real Estate Services/GMAC, Galesburg, IL, founder of Knox County Teen Court; and David Sonenberg, The Sonenberg Co., Roswell, GA, president of North Fulton Community Charities.

“We hope the magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards will inspire all of NAR’s 1.3 million REALTORS® to help improve the quality of life in their communities,” said REALTOR® Magazine Editorial Director Pamela Geurds Kabati. “This award program is fundamentally about calling attention to how one person can make a difference.”

Good Neighbor Awards winners say their charities benefit from much more than the grant money. “When I received the Good Neighbor Award, it immediately brought attention to both of the projects I was working on,” said Craig Conant, Warrensburg, MO, a 2001 Good Neighbor Awards winner. “The publicity let people know about the needs of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and brought a great deal of attention to the Children’s Memorial Park. We received other donations and new volunteers from the publicity.”

REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards is sponsored by eNeighborhoods Inc., Fannie Mae, and LandAmerica Financial Group Inc. Additional support comes from Phillip McGinnis, McGinnis Commercial Real Estate, Dover, DE.

“I get energized by what REALTORS® are accomplishing at the grassroots level in their communities,” says Stu Siegel, CEO of eNeighborhoods Inc. and founding sponsor of the Good Neighbor Awards, who also personally contributes to the program through his family’s charitable foundation. “What I find most incredible about the Good Neighbor Awards recipients is that despite the tremendous amount of time they devote to their projects, they unanimously feel that they would be less successful without integrating community service into their businesses. These people are truly role models for all Realtors®.”

Good Neighbor Awards entries must be received by May 25, 2007. For more details and a nomination form, call 800/874-6500, go to and click the Good Neighbor button, or see the March 2007 issue of REALTOR® Magazine.

Since 1997, eNeighborhoods Inc., the nation’s premier compiler of home and neighborhood information, has been providing real estate professionals with a comprehensive set of tools and services to attract and retain home buyers and sellers with the most up-to-date, localized information about properties, neighborhoods and schools. eNeighborhoods is a REALTOR BenefitsSM partner.

Fannie Mae is a private, shareholder-owned company based in Washington, DC, that provides financial products and services that make it possible for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families to buy homes. Since 1968, Fannie Mae has helped more than 63 million families achieve homeownership.

LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc., headquartered in Richmond, Va., is a leading provider of real estate transaction services. Through its many subsidiaries, LandAmerica serves residential and commercial customers with more than 1,000 offices and a network of 10,000 active agents throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. LandAmerica is recognized on Fortune magazine’s 2006 list of America’s most admired companies and is ranked as a Fortune 500 and Forbes Platinum 400 company.

REALTOR® Magazine is the award-winning magazine of the National Association of Realtors®, Chicago.

The National Assn. of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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