10 Good Neighbor Finalists Are a Force for Good
August 28, 2019
Ten REALTORS® are being recognized for their charitable contributions that have stretched beyond their real estate businesses and made a lasting impact within their local communities and beyond. For the past 20 years, the National Association of REALTORS® has honored a select group of REALTORS® each year through its Good Neighbors Awards, recognizing those who’ve made a positive impact on their communities through volunteer service.
This year’s honorees are being recognized for everything from responding to a wide range of causes, from homelessness to health care needs.
“We are honored to have this group of extraordinary people representing the Good Neighbor Awards as we celebrate the 20-year milestone,” says NAR President John Smaby. “They inspire us and epitomize ‘who we are’ as REALTORS®.” Over the 20 years with the program, $1.3 million in grants has been awarded to more than 200 nonprofits led by REALTORS® in 40 states and 15 countries, as well as Puerto Rico.
On Oct. 2, five winners will be named among the 10 finalists for 2019. Those five winners will receive a $10,000 grant and national media exposure for their charitable causes. The winners will also be featured in the November-December issue of REALTOR® Magazine and honored during the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The remaining five finalists will be named honorable mentions and receive a $2,500 grant in recognition of their work.
Vote for Your Web Favorite
The overall five winners of the 2019 Good Neighbor Awards are selected by a panel of judges, but you can still have a say for Web Choice honorees.
The top three vote recipients will earn bonus grants of either $2,500 (for the top vote getter) or $1,250 for the remaining two. The grants will go toward their nonprofit organizations. Last year’s Web Choice Favorites generated more than 165,000 votes.
The 10 Good Neighbor Awards Finalists for 2019
The Sabrina Cohen Foundation
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Miami Beach, Fla.
Fourteen years after Cohen suffered a spinal cord injury, she founded a nonprofit dedicated to funding adaptive fitness and recreational activities for people with disabilities. She created Miami Beach’s first inclusive playground, runs monthly Adaptive Beach Days, and spearheads a $10 million capital campaign to build a state-of-the-art adaptive recreation center.
Dutter House Inc.
Century 21 Affiliated, Beloit, Wis.
To honor her beloved grandson who died at age 12, Dutter gives parents of severely disabled children a break from their daily challenges, transforming a local house into a safe, cheery, and kid-friendly place. While she lovingly cares for these children each evening, their parents have time to run errands, spend quality time with their other children, or simply take time for themselves.
Bruce Johnson, ABR, CRS, GREEN
SickKids Foundation/Children's Miracle Network
RE/MAX of Wasaga Beach Inc., Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
In memory of his daughter Alyssa, who died in 1998 at 20 days old, Johnson has traveled more than 37,000 miles across North and South America on his motorcycle. Johnson has raised more than $600,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, which benefits the SickKids hospital in Toronto where his daughter was treated, and a network of children’s hospitals.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Alexandria, Va.
Partlow began supporting the neighborhood medical clinic when she noticed patients waiting in her coffee shop. As the daughter of immigrants, she understood the great need for affordable health care. Her greatest contribution is her ability to connect donors, patients, and volunteers. In 21 years, she has raised $550,000 and recruited hundreds of supporters.
Fostering Sweet Dreams Foundation
Keller Williams, Edmond, Okla.
As a foster parent, Payne learned about the needs of families who may suddenly be asked to care for a child who is removed from a relative's home. She provides necessities like beds and car seats to help bridge the gap for families working to collect all the resources required for placement. Since 2016, Payne has helped 2,000 children across 31 Oklahoma counties.
Veterans Community Project
Keller Williams, Kansas City, Mo., and Longmont, Colo.
Solomon co-founded a nonprofit to eliminate veteran homelessness through a “tiny house" development. The neighborhood includes an outreach center where any veteran can access medical and mental health referrals, employment assistance, and addiction counseling and treatment. With the Kansas City location nearly complete, Solomon is helping to expand the cause nationwide.
Angel City Sports
Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Soomekh and her husband founded a nonprofit to help people with physical disabilities stay active, renew their spirits, and connect with a supportive community. Inspired by her son Ezra, who uses a leg prosthesis, Soomekh runs athletic clinics and competitions for adults and children with disabilities. The 2019 Angel City Games drew 1,500 spectators to cheer on 430 athletes.
Schurig Center For Brain Injury Recovery
Coldwell Banker, Mill Valley, Calif.
Strub leads a nonprofit that improves the lives of people with brain injuries and their families through therapy, support groups, and social and recreational activities. In a decade, she has raised $1 million, tripled both the annual budget and the number of people served, and helped set up a concussion protocol for children in the Marin County schools network.
Dale Taylor, ABR®, GRI
South Suburban PADS
RE/MAX 10, New Lenox, Ill.
For 19 years, Taylor has spent nearly every Monday night with the 35 homeless men who gather at the shelter site he manages just south of Chicago. From serving food and mopping floors to making decisions as a board member and raising nearly $3 million, Taylor calls his volunteerism a “divine calling.”
Paul Wyman, ABR®
The Wyman Group, Kokomo, Ind.
When he saw his community struggling with opioid addiction, Wyman called a countywide summit to find solutions. This summit led Wyman to found a nonprofit that connects people affected by addiction with the services required for recovery. Instead of red tape, people now find a central resource to access help. Turning Point helped 1,400 clients during the last year.
Updated: September 20, 2019