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News & Information: Orlando REALTOR® magazine - Special Feature

ORRA Good Neighbor Awards

Wednesday, July 09, 2014  
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Orlando REALTOR® | July/August 2014

ORRA's first volunteerism awards program acknowledges the tremendous services that
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.

$1,000 Good Neighbor Awards Winners

Jennifer Cannon, 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 well.

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 sustainability.

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 Tree Properties
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 their lives.

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 students.

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.



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