Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Message from the president: Servant character of EDCAR

By Karen Larson

The true mission of the El Dorado County Association of Realtors is to protect private property rights. By serving our clients with this goal in mind, we maintain professional business practices and provide buyers and sellers quality information to make good real estate decisions. 

However, there is another side to the members of this association. There is a giving, generous side to Realtors and affiliates to serve those in need and benefit the entire community where they work and live. This servant side of our membership begins early in the year, every year. Yearly,  EDCAR members give a great deal of their time and energy to raise funds for many worthy local causes.

Honor Our Troops Committee:  Through the efforts of this committee and the generous support of the El Dorado County community, the HOT Committee has been able to raise more than $40,000 to send care packages to our troops.

Catastrophic Aid to Real Estate: EDCAR joined this group a few years ago. CARE assists those in the real estate community who face catastrophic events and who may be in need of temporary assistance. Since 2004, EDCAR members have donated over $15,000 to this worthwhile cause.

Breast cancer walk: Team EDCAR has participated in this event and raised $3,600 to contribute to breast cancer research.

Sunshine Fund: Through the efforts of the EDCAR Affiliate Committee members, money is raised to send cards, flowers and remembrances to those members who are ill or who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Over the last few years, more than $4.000 was raised through raffles and pancake breakfasts.

Tsunami and hurricane relief: EDCAR Members donated more than $12,400 to these relief efforts. In addition, some El Dorado County business owners matched some of these funds and donated an additional $7,400.

Also, EDCAR has donated to those suffering the effects of catastrophic  fires. In 2007, EDCAR donated $3,000. To the El Dorado Community Foundation on behalf of the South Tahoe Disaster Relief Fund. An additional $1,000 was given to the victims in other parts of the state.

Housing affordability: In an effort to play an active role in the housing affordability crisis, The California Association of Realtors  established the Housing Affordability Fund. EDCAR members have contributed more than $4,500 to this fund.

Servant leadership continues

The goal of each EDCAR committee has been to provide a bigger and better event than the previous year. In 2012, The Golf Tournament Committee members raised $4,280 (each) for New Morning Youth & Family Services and El Dorado County high school music programs, $950 for Habitat for Humanity and $640 for the EDCAR Sunshine Fund. The Fun Run took place in September and raised $640 for the Sunshine Fund. The annual Christmas Can Tree events raised $5,550 for the Food Bank of El Dorado County, $3,750 for Family Connections, $1.650 for Partners in Care, $1,650 for The Center for Violence-Free Relationships, $1,200 for the Upper Room and $1,200 for Community Resource.  The  HOT Committee continued to fill breakfasts and dinners tables to support soldiers care packages and the Top Achievers Committee again granted  graduating high school students with scholarships.

Volunteer efforts

This year, the newly organized Young Professionals Network, (Casey McLoed, committee chair) kicked off the year with a rollicking Easter Bowl, raising $600 for United Outreach. The Golf Tournament Committee (Jeremy Miehe, chair, and co-chairs, Jim Vindler and Kevin Fritz) organized an outstanding and ever-popular event in September, raising more than $15,000 equally divided for United Outreach, Habitat for Humanity, El Dorado County Union High School Boosters and CASA. The Fun Run (chaired by Lauri Clupper-Harry) raised $920 for the Sunshine Fund. The longstanding HOT Committee (Cyndi Romano, chair) organized a January breakfast and just held its annual spaghetti feed on Oct. 10. The focus, planning and plain hard work of all of these committees is outstanding and truly appreciated!

The Christmas Can Tree is officially in full swing for the 2013 holiday season. Linda Riley is 2013 chair for this energetic, dedicated committee. We appreciate the decades of continued efforts of the Can Tree Committee Members. Monies raised will be divided between the Food Bank, CASA, Habitat for Humanity and Sierra Family Child & Family Services (Family Connections). EDCAR members will be donating prizes to be raffled off at our weekly Realtor meetings in Cameron Park and Placerville. We will also be building the annual Can Tree at the Bell Tower on Monday, Dec. 2. (Donations for purchasing the cans of food will gladly be accepted at the EDCAR office in Shingle Springs. )

We look forward to another successful  year of meeting the needs of our community and continued support of the El Dorado County community.  As 2013 president of this outstanding group of Realtors and affiliates, I am filled with gratitude for their continued dedication to our El Dorado County community!

Special to the Democrat


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