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Realtor Spirit: Community Realtors sharing their many talents

Penny Rafferty Hamilton
Volunteer Grand County Board of Realtors

The Grand County Board of Realtors were recently honored by Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR) President, Kit Cowperthwaite, at the annual convention held in Colorado Springs with the state Soaring Eagle award. CAR is composed of 26,500 Realtors and 39 Associations or Boards of various membership sizes and geographic areas.

The CAR President said, “It was an easy decision to recognize Grand County for their community service with this Souring Eagle award. Grand County Realtors have volunteered and sponsored so many important programs to improve the quality of life for their neighbors. The Board sponsors the Habitat for Humanity and Mountain Family Centers with food and school supply drives, and needed funding for better housing programs. I commend your Realtors for becoming active, engaged members of Team Colorado Realtors.”

On behalf of the Grand County Board of Realtors, Janene Johnson of Century 21 Winter Park Real Estate and Katie Riemenschneider of Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties Winter Park, gladly accepted the award. Both are community volunteers and elected leaders of the Grand County Realtors, who participated in the CAR annual convention of continuing education seminars and leadership training.

Leading the way is sponsorship of the Grand Kids Ski Scholarship program is Mara Erlandson of Century 21 Winter Park Real Estate. “I am putting out a plea to our community members,who want to make a big difference in a child’s life for only $120 sponsorship. That amount will sponsor a young child to learn to ski this coming ski season.

“This is a gift, the child will take with them forever. It is also your chance to pass forward your passion for the sport-outdoor experience. In addition to my commitment of one of the $120 Ski sponsorships, Phyllis and Loyal Steube, and Shanna Lalley also of Century 21 and Denise O’Connell of Coldwell Banker in Winter Park are now sponsoring a child,” said Erlandson.

Traci Brammer, Grand Kids Board member, explained, “In the past, we had one major sponsor through the Horace Button Foundation for our 10 children to learn to ski each year. Now that funding is no longer available so we need 10 $120 community sponsors for each child. This is for the entire ski season. They will learn the joy of skiing at SolVista Ski Basin. Realtors have been so helpful to our Grand Kids programs.

“Realtor donors and volunteers for our recent 7th Annual Fall Fest for Grand Kids, which is one of major fundraisers, were Nancy Bjerken of Mountain Properties of Winter Park, Black Diamond Real Estate, Brent Quinn of Re/max Resorts and, of course, faithful Mara Erlandson.” ended Brammer. Grand Kids serves families with infant to pre-school children from eight weeks old to five years. The Fall Fest provided funding for needed educational enhancements. To learn more about Grand Kids or to sponsor a ski scholarship call Grand Kids at (970) 726-4202.

Learning to save lives in Grand County Search and Rescue (GCSAR) is Molly Sutherland of Century 21 and her Rescue dog, Claire. “My partner, Josh Henry, and I found Claire on the side of the road in Byers. She was only about a six-week-old puppy, abandoned to starve. We rescued her. Now, she is certified to rescue on the GCSAR dog team.

“Because Josh and I love outdoor activity, we wanted to find something to do together with Claire. After seeing a local newspaper article about the need for Search Dogs, we decided to start participating in the training. We have all been on the local dog team for over a year. Claire at only two years of age is already fielded in Grand County. This coming spring we hope to have Claire certified for out-of-county searches,” said Sutherland.

GCSAR is always seeking volunteers. No previous training is required. Volunteers are needed all year. You could volunteer to hide for the dogs to find you in the woods or in a snow cave. If you need community service hours, credit can be earned for volunteer time assisting the teams. In the Spring, GCSAR will also be accepting new dogs and handlers. If you want to learn more, call Molly directly at (970) 722-2121.

Volunteering makes a community stronger and the volunteers healthier and happier because they contribute their talents and share their passion.


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