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For Realtors, It Pays to Be a Good Neighbor – Applications Open for $10,000 Grants

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RISMEDIA, Feb. 28, 2007-The National Association of Realtors(R) is seeking nominations for its eighth annual Good Neighbor Awards, which recognizes Realtors whose extraordinary commitment to volunteer work has enhanced and improved their communities.

The five winners will be announced in November in Realtor Magazine and recognized at the 2007 Realtors Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Each winner will receive travel expenses to the conference, national media exposure for his or her community cause, and a $10,000 grant. In addition to the winners, five honorable mentions will each receive a $2,500 grant. Last year's program drew more than 300 entries.

"The Good Neighbor Awards program highlights the volunteer work that Realtors across the country are quietly doing to help others in their communities," said NAR President Pat Vredevoogd Combs, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt. "These people don't expect any recognition, but they certainly deserve the spotlight. I'm proud that the Good Neighbor Awards allows NAR to honor some of the many Realtors who strengthen their communities through volunteer work."

Last year's winners contributed a combined total of nearly 7,000 hours to their causes. The 2006 winners were Ernest "Chuck" Ayala, Ayala Real Estate, San Francisco, founder of Centro Latino de San Francisco senior center; Rob Cronin, Coldwell Banker, Conklin & Co., Hailey, Idaho, the driving force of the American Cancer Society's Camp Rainbow Gold; Sharon Friend, Las Vegas Realty, Las Vegas, president of The Children's Service
Guild; Lolita Junk, Diversified Real Estate Services/GMAC, Galesburg, Ill., founder of Knox County Teen Court; and David Sonenberg, The Sonenberg Co., Roswell, Ga., president of North Fulton Community Charities.

"We hope the magazine's Good Neighbor Awards will inspire all of NAR's 1.3 million Realtors(R) to help improve the quality of life in their communities," said Realtor Magazine Editorial Director Pamela Geurds Kabati. "This award program is fundamentally about calling attention to how one person can make a difference."

Good Neighbor Awards winners say their charities benefit from much more than the grant money. "When I received the Good Neighbor Award, it immediately brought attention to both of the projects I was working on," said Craig Conant, Warrensburg, Mo., a 2001 Good Neighbor Awards winner. "The publicity let people know about the needs of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and brought a great deal of attention to the Children's Memorial Park. We received other donations and new volunteers from the publicity."

Realtor Magazine's Good Neighbor Awards is sponsored by eNeighborhoods Inc., Fannie Mae, and LandAmerica Financial Group Inc. Additional support comes from Phillip McGinnis, McGinnis Commercial Real Estate, Dover, Del.

"I get energized by what Realtors are accomplishing at the grassroots level in their communities," says Stu Siegel, CEO of eNeighborhoods Inc. and founding sponsor of the Good Neighbor Awards, who also personally contributes to the program through his family's charitable foundation. "What I find most incredible about the Good Neighbor Awards recipients is that despite the tremendous amount of time they devote to
their pro jects, they unanimously feel that they would be less successful without integrating community service into their businesses. These people are truly role models for all Realtors(R)."

Good Neighbor Awards entries must be received by May 25, 2007.

For more information, call 800/874-6500, go to http://www.REALTOR.org/Realtormag and click the Good Neighbor button, or see the March 2007 issue of Realtor Magazine.

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