ORRA Good Neighbor Awards
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Orlando REALTOR® | July/August 2014
ORRA's first volunteerism awards program acknowledges the tremendous services that$1,000 Good Neighbor Awards Winners
Orlando REALTORS® provide
to our community
Pictured: ORRA Good Neighbor Award Winners (back row, l-r) Jennifer Cannon, Susan Logan, Heissam "I'm in" Jebailey, Deneth Shiver; (front row, l-r) Cathy Marino, Victoria McVay-Froom; (not pictured) Linda Anderson
Orlando REALTORS® don’t just help people realize their dreams of homeownership, they help build communities. Now seven of those community-building REALTORS® have been honored for their efforts by the first-ever Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association Good Neighbor Awards.
“REALTORS® contribute countless hours to making their communities a better place for all to live in,” says ORRA Chairman Zola Szerencses, RE/MAX 200 Realty. “The ORRA Good Neighbor Awards recognize those REALTORS® who have made an impact on their communities through volunteer work.”
The ORRA Good Neighbor Awards is a project of the ORRA Community Relations Committee, which also is responsible for organizing community service activities and events for all ORRA members to participate in.
“The breadth and depth of our REALTORS®’ community service efforts is truly inspirational, and we wanted a program that recognized those amazing efforts,” adds committee chairman Tansey Soderstrom, The Real Estate Firm of Orlando. “REALTOR® volunteerism touches every aspect of community, from people to plants to pets.”
According to finalist Susan Logan, Logan Land and Homes, community service may well offer professional rewards and personal fulfillment, but there’s an obligation as well. “As REALTORS®, our success comes from the very community in which we live,” she points out. “It is only right that we try to give back to that community.”
Good Neighbor Award finalists were presented by the ORRA Community Relations Committee to the membership at large for a final vote. The ORRA membership voted for three out of seven ORRA Good Neighbor Awards finalists to each receive a $1,000 donation from ORRA to their charity; the remaining four each received a $500 donation to their charity.
Keller Williams Advantage Realty
Organization: Chaps Center, Inc.
Jennifer Cannon brought together Helpful Hands with the
Chaps Center, Inc., in Sanford to create a five-week program for 50 at-risk
youth who reside at The Grove in Seminole County. The program provided at Chaps
is called The Power Tools for Living and teaches (utilizing horses) essential
life skills. The participants learned how to be more compassionate to others,
make better choices, and respect themselves and others.
Cannon not only served as a volunteer for the program, but
she also personally recruited volunteers who contributed more than 150 hours
for it. The Cannon family has donated supplies, equipment, and resources as
Heissam “I’m in” Jebailey,
Royle Realty Group
Organization: BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation
Heissam “I’m in” Jebailey not only volunteers at BASE Camp
Children’s Cancer Foundation, but he also created an annual fundraising event
for the organization. BASE Camp provides a year-round base of support for
children and families who are facing the challenge of living with cancer and
other life-threatening hematological illness.
During the past five years, Jebailey has continued to
contribute numerous hours to each year’s Annual Black and White Party for
Charity, recruiting volunteer workers to help plan the event and creating awareness
throughout the community. Funds raised through ticket sales help fund a dozen
programs for BASE Camp kids annually
Victoria McVay-Froom, The Real Estate Firm of Orlando
Organization: Children’s Home Society of Florida
Vicky McVay-Froom is a staunch supporter of the Children’s
Home Society of Florida’s Perinatal Program. This program works to stop the
cycle of child abuse by teaching positive parenting skills to young mothers,
many of whom were victims of child abuse themselves. Vicky has taken the
initiative to develop multiple fundraising efforts to ensure the program’s
In addition to her own financial contributions, McVay-Froom
has developed the Stork Club to generate monthly donations among her sphere of
influence for recurring support, and hosted a baby shower in her home to both
elevate community awareness and generate funds and gifts for the program. She has
also convinced acquaintances to hold their own baby showers.
The four remaining ORRA Good Neighbor Awards finalists each received a $500 donation from ORRA to their charity:
$500 Good Neighbor Awards Winners
Linda Anderson, Palm
Organization: Matthew’s Hope
Linda Anderson became involved as a volunteer with Matthew’s
Hope after learning how the organization helps families secure housing and jobs.
The organization, which receives no government support, is staffed by
volunteers and funded solely through donations from the surrounding community.
As an Advocate for the Homeless, Anderson helps men and
women set both large and small goals, from something as simple as working and
saving for a bicycle to planning for a new career. She works with a team of
volunteers to assist the local homeless population in regaining their health,
perspective, and dignity as they build a new foundation for the next phase of
Susan Logan, Logan
Land and Homes
Organization: South Seminole Sertoma Club
Susan Logan has made a difference in the lives of thousands
of school children through her more than 20 years of work with the South
Seminole Sertoma Club. The club’s mission is to provide community service to children
and families in Seminole County, assisting the hearing impaired and encouraging
character growth in small children.
In addition to single-handedly spearheaded the South
Seminole Sertoma Club’s Super Student Recognition Awards, which recognizes outstanding
students from local schools, Logan also handles coordinating the Feed the
Families holiday food gifting program for five area schools each December.
Logan also chairs the annual National Heritage Essay Contest, entitled “What
Freedom Means to Me,” which honors inspirational entries from local fifth grade
Cathy Marino, Cathy
S. Marino Realty, Inc.
Organization: Greater Orlando Winter Park Kiwanis Club
Cathy Marino has been a member of the Greater Orlando Winter
Park Kiwanis Club — a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing
the world one child and one community at a time — since 2007 and has served as
secretary for the past two years. She is the driving force behind Fern Creek
Elementary School selection as the 2014 recipient of a $10,000 Florida Kiwanis
Foundation grant to purchase a Scholastic America Reading Oasis Room. Before
the room’s grand unveiling, Marino was busy securing donations of paint and
planning a volunteer renovation day.
Marino also organizes the Greater Orlando Winter Park
Kiwanis Outstanding Student of the Year Award Dinner. She coordinates with 17 local
elementary, middle, and high schools to select a student who best exemplified
the characteristics and traits symbolized by Kiwanis. Marino plans every detail
of the event, from contracting for the food, making the salad herself for those
with dietary concerns, to handling the seating arrangements.
Deneth Shiver, Lou Haubner Realty, Inc.
Organization: Zellwood Community Center
Deneth Shiver is the volunteer president of the Zellwood
Community Center, a place for the community to gather for meetings and to play
on the center’s playground, tennis courts, and basketball courts. His self-assigned
duties range from mopping the floors to arranging for facility rentals to planning
fundraisers and applying for grants.
Shiver’s eight years of volunteerism with the center is punctuated
by producing a monthly newsletter and by planning of two rummage sales and a
golf tournament each year. In 2012, Shiver’s grant writing earned center a new
playground, which was built by 400 volunteers in a single day. Shiver also helped
the center purchase adjacent land and donated his commission to the
organization for closing costs.