SOURCE: National Association of Realtors

National Association of Realtors

November 10, 2009 16:37 ET

Realtor® Good Neighbor Awards Winners Committed to Helping Those in Need

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - Volunteers are often the backbone of an organization, and in uncertain times their roles become more important than ever. The five individuals named as this year's REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Awards winners have remained committed to helping others, even when times are tough -- from renovating homes for the needy and advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, to supporting the hungry with hot meals, protecting abused and neglected children, and improving living conditions in Central America.

The 2009 Good Neighbor Awards winners are Greg Adamson, Prudential Utah Real Estate, American Fork, Utah, for Utah Heart 2 Home; Cindy Johnson, Dona Christensen Realty, Woodbury, Minn., for The Arc of Minnesota; Helen Marotto, EXIT Homeplace Realty, Hampstead, N.C., for Cape Fear Guardian Ad Litem Association; Regina Ragon, Prudential Realty Center, Flintstone, Ga., for Latin American Community Development; and Samuel Thomas Jr., Imani Realty & Associates, Willingboro, N.J., for QUEST Community Outreach.

"Like many others, Realtors® are working harder than ever in this challenging economy, yet many of them, just like these Good Neighbor Awards winners, still find time to volunteer to help those in need," said National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas. "Shining a spotlight on the Good Neighbor Awards winners will hopefully inspire others to volunteer and get more involved, which is so important to the quality of life in our communities."

The Good Neighbor Awards have been awarded annually since 2000 and are presented by NAR's REALTOR® Magazine. Winners receive a $10,000 grant for their charity and a $1,500 Lowe's gift card, and are profiled in the November-December issue of REALTOR® Magazine. The five winners will also receive a crystal trophy and the right to use the Good Neighbor Awards logo on their Web site and in promotional materials. The recipients will be presented with their awards on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the 2009 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Diego; 20,000 Realtors® and guests are expected to attend the conference.

Greg Adamson is the president and cofounder of Utah Heart 2 Home, a volunteer organization that gifts home renovations to families in need. Inspired by a national home makeover television show, Adamson has led 12 local home makeover projects for needy families since 2004, generating $2.5 million in donations and materials from the community. Adamson also converted a 31-foot trailer into a mobile medical unit, which has provided health care services to thousands of people without insurance. He also spearheaded bone marrow testing drives that have added more than 2,000 people to the national registry and found a donor match for a 16-year-old girl.

For more than 20 years, Cindy Johnson has volunteered and lobbied at the local, state and national levels for The Arc of Minnesota, an organization that advocates on behalf of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Motivated by her own experience as the mother and sister of people with disabilities, Johnson's passion is enabling people to live, learn, work, and play in their own communities rather than be resigned to life in an institution. Johnson successfully lobbied to prevent $50 million in cuts to services for 57,000 disabled Minnesotans. Her role as national public policy chair impacts 15 million people nationwide.

Helen Marotto, a volunteer court-appointed advocate for more than 10 years, has been the voice of more than 152 abused, neglected and abandoned children in family court. She serves as the eyes and ears for judges, recommending a permanent placement plan for children in the foster care system. She has helped fulfill each child's individual needs by reuniting children with parents, persuading relatives to take custody, or hunting for long lost relatives by scouring phone books and cemetery records.

After witnessing villagers' stark living conditions during a 2004 mission trip to Nicaragua, Regina Ragon founded Latin American Community Development to help find ways for local residents to become more self-sufficient. This year, Ragon built and staffed a medical clinic in the Nicaraguan village of Calishuate, obtaining more than $40,000 worth of used medical equipment from the U.S. She also supports the local school by providing electricity, computers and books, and even secured bars on the windows and doors so the students would not have to carry their desks back and forth to prevent them from being stolen. In addition, Ragon created a sewing cooperative to help local women earn an income.

Samuel Thomas Jr. is the founder and volunteer executive director of QUEST Community Outreach, a nonprofit that serves the hungry and poor in the Philadelphia suburb of Burlington, N.J. QUEST provides hot meals and emergency food assistance to 200 people each Monday, for a total of 10,000 meals a year. In addition to the soup kitchen and food pantry, QUEST provides 700 families with holiday "Love Baskets" filled with turkeys and all the trimmings; delivers meals to shut-ins and the homeless; and provides furniture, toys, clothing and outreach to the families of prison inmates.

Five Realtors® have been recognized as Good Neighbor Awards honorable mentions; they will each receive $2,500 grants and a $500 Lowe's gift card. They are Margaret Pruitt Clark, Ken Meade Realty Inc., Surprise, Ariz., for Eve's Place; Diana J. Croteau, Sun Mountain Properties, Williams, Ariz., for Williams Needs an Angel; David E. Dalzell, Dalzell REALTORS®, Abilene, Texas, for FaithWorks of Abilene Inc.; Michelle M. Phaup, Clarkston Realty Inc., Clarkston, Mich., for Lend a Helping Hand Inc.; and Jeffrey Davidson Schrager, Realty Blue Inc., Fresno, Calif., for Community Housing Council of Fresno.

"The 2009 REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Awards winners should take pride in knowing that they play such an important role in the lives of others. By stepping up to the plate to help individuals and organizations address their most challenging problems, they really are helping to make a difference," said NAR Vice President of Publications Pamela Geurds Kabati, REALTOR® Magazine's editorial director.

REALTOR® Magazine's Good Neighbor Awards is cosponsored by eNeighborhoods, which has supported the program since its inception in 2000,, Lowe's and HouseLogic.

Nominees were judged on their personal contribution of time, as well as financial and material contributions to their cause. To be eligible, nominees had to be NAR members in good standing. For more information about the Good Neighbor Awards winners, visit

eNeighborhoods ( has been an NAR REALTOR Benefits® Program partner offering unique marketing solutions to Realtors® since 2002. As the nation's premier compiler of home and neighborhood information, this Dominion Enterprises company provides real estate professionals with a comprehensive set of marketing tools to deliver current and comprehensive information on local neighborhoods, demographics, schools and more. (, a division of Dominion Enterprises, is a leading provider of real estate marketing and media services, including brand advertising, property listing exposure, website development, search engine marketing and lead generation solutions. More than 4 million homebuyers visit each month to search more than 1.8 million homes for sale, and to locate top local real estate professionals.

Lowe's ( has been working with customers to maintain and improve their homes for more than 60 years. Lowe's is proud to help support the Good Neighbor Awards and similar community efforts through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity International and as underwriter for Habitat's Women Build program. In 2006 and 2007 Lowe's funded 52 Habitat builds nationwide. Lowe's remains dedicated to educating future homeowners through Lowe's Toolbox for Education program, which awarded $5 million in grants to nearly 1,000 public schools nationwide. Lowe's and the National Association of Realtors® have partnered to bring Realtors® exclusive benefits to help build relationships with their customers, build referrals and build their client base. The benefits program is featured on

HouseLogic ( is NAR's soon-to-be-launched consumer Web site. When it goes live on November 12, 2009, the site will help homeowners maintain, enhance, and protect the value of their homes and build vibrant communities.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at This and other news releases are posted in the Web site's "News Media" section in the NAR Media Center.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.

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