Real estate agents are legendary when it comes to giving back to the communities they serve. No agents are bigger rock stars of community involvement than those who represent Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.
In 2015, our terrific team members volunteered countless hours to help support people and causes throughout Southern California. Some felt a deep personal connection through their own life experiences or those of family members. Others wanted to make a difference in the neighborhoods they are proud to call home. Still others enjoyed the camaraderie of interacting with co-workers and community members as they came together to benefit a deserving charity.
We’ve compiled a list below to recognize a few of our agents who gave selflessly during 2015, and the causes they touched. We salute each contributor, and want everyone to know just how much we appreciate their efforts!
Hundreds of our agents, managers, their families and friends participated in Coastal Cleanup Day, California’s single-largest volunteer event. They hauled off hundreds of pounds of debris to make our beaches, bays, and lagoons sparkled as bright as could be.
San Diego County
- Terri Repetto: A breast cancer survivor, Terri’s mission is to brighten lives by collecting fashion accessories, and then donating them for patients at the David and Donna Long Center for Cancer Treatment at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.
- Maxine and Marti Gellens: Deciding to take to the dance floor in the 2013 San Diego Dancing with the Stars fundraiser literally changed Maxine’s life. She’s now a serious competitor in her newfound sport. Daughter and business partner Marti helped Maxine organize this year’s event, which supported the San Diego Family Justice Center Foundation and the San Diego Police Historical Association’s museum.
- Rosamaria Acuña: This very busy lady mainly spends her free time serving the community. This year, at least three organizations benefited from her volunteer efforts, including the Friends of Scott Foundation, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, and the San Diego Rescue Mission.
- Ben Reed: Ben, an agent with our Rancho Santa Fe-Village office, showed his support for Pedal the Cause and the fight against cancer. The exclusive gathering honored Pedal’s “Top 25” fundraisers, who collectively raised more than $470,000 for lifesaving cancer research in San Diego.
- Chula Vista Eastlake Village: The office’s 55 agents collected woman’s clothing to help support Generate Hope this holiday season.
- Janell O’Meara: This compassionate agent in our Point Loma Village office donates gifts to Rady Children’s Hospital each time she sells a property.
- Susan Neely, Sheri Normandin, and Meghan Sickner from our Laguna Beach office – all board members of the Orange County chapter of The Charitable Foundation – participated in several charitable events, including Ladies Night Out and Seas the Day.
- Also from our Laguna Beach office, Ken Hanzlik, Cheri Romig, Madelaine Whitteman, Suzanne Taylor, and Janelle Hilton are very active with the Laguna Board of REALTORS®, and in 2015 participated in the Taste its Charity, Pet Parade and, Chili Cook-off.
- Wayne Woodyard, San Clemente and Monarch Beach branch manager, and Orange County resource manager, was elected 2016 president of the 14,000-member Orange County Association of REALTORS®.
Los Angeles County
- Pacific Palisades: Agents Jane Fujinaka, Teresa Akerblom, Sue Kohl, and Brett Duffy, and manager John Closson ran through the coastal community’s streets on Thanksgiving Day to raise funds and awareness for the Hearts With Hope Foundation and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
- Sherman Oaks: REALTOR®-Sales Associates Debbie Edwards and Davina O’Donnell organized a Toys for Tots drive. They teamed up with Red Window Coffee, which held the drive at its Studio City store. Debbie and Davina invited friends, family, and colleagues to bring a toy. All donors received a free latte with their contribution.
- Brentwood: The office’s 46 agents raised money to buy presents for families in need during the holiday season. These presents included a stroller, medical assistance devices and car seats. Additionally, agents from this office raised money specifically for two families who had children at Children’s Hospital L.A.
- Beverly Hills: Agent Sheila Rose, a devoted board member of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, made sure residents had a joyous, fulfilling Hanukkah.
- Susan Stearns: Susan, an agent with our Calabasas office, has devoted 30 years to and raised over $2.5 million for New Horizons, a nonprofit dedicated to working with adults who have intellectual disabilities – including her daughter. For that, Susan was named one of five national winners of the Good Neighbor Awards by REALTOR® Magazine, which resulted in a $10,000 grant for New Horizons.
- Santa Monica:
- Encino: Collected toys for Children’s Bureau. These toys were distributed to parents who could not afford to buy gifts.
Santa Barbara County
- The holiday season was merrier and brighter for 15 families spending it in a Santa Barbara County domestic-violence shelter thanks to our Santa Barbara and Montecito office agents. They bought fresh Christmas trees complete with bases, lights, and ornaments, and then donated and delivered everything to the families.
- For the past four years, Luke Ebbin of our Montecito office has served on the board of the Santa Barbara based charity Dream Foundation. He was also on the event committee of the foundation’s November gala at Bacara Resort & Spa, instrumental in recruiting the affair’s entertainment.
- Mary Bahnken of our Santa Ynez Valley office participated in the Fire Ball 2015 gala held by the Santa Barbara Firefighters Alliance to raise funds for safety and firefighting equipment not covered by city and county budgets. She also was active the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Barn Bash, which raised money for the Golden Inn and Village’s housing for low-income seniors.
- Kalia Rork of our Santa Barbara office served as a board member of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper for all of 2015. This was her 11th year on the board. She participated in its signature event, the 2015 Blue Water Ball.
- Randy Glick of our Santa Barbara office is head of a group that supports children’s needs through his involvement with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).
- Phoebe Alexiades of the Montecito office has been volunteering for a year and a half at the Friendship Center, which offers day care for older adults, some with dementia. Phoebe teaches a weekly exercise class and helps out in between whenever needed.
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