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RISMEDIA, April 6, 2011–Thirty-five offices within the Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie network, including their joint ventures with J F Finnegan Realtors, Highland Partners and Tri-Valley Realty, donated time and resources to complete designated projects for some 25 charities in their local communities for the company’s second annual companywide “Giving Day” on Saturday, March 5th.

“Thirty-five offices were tasked with choosing a project in which everyone could participate, and each office partnered with a local community organization for that day,” said Kathy Ollerton, director of charities and training for Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie. “We are pleased to say that we had 575 sales agents and staff give a total of 2000 hours of service to those in need.”

Here is a list of the projects that Better Homes and Gardens agents and their families and clients participated in on March 5th:

Acres of Hope
Alameda County Food Bank
ARH Parisi House
Blue Star Moms
C.A.L.L. Primrose
Chaparral House
Education Foundation
Food Bank
For the Daughters
Fresh Start
Friend of Mountain Lake Park
Greater Richmond Interfaith Project
Habitat for Humanity
Healdsburg Education Fund
Lake Merritt Institute
Park Clean Up
Community Church
Project Mana
Rainbow House
Senior Reach Out Program
Serving Seniors
Shelter, Inc.
Tur for Life Children Services
Women’s Shelter

Janet Cristiano, Broker/Owner of Better Homes and Gardens Tri-Valley Realty, who helped refurbish a home in Livermore said, “We had over 80 volunteers during the two days who worked on the project, supported the workers, and/or obtained donations. Starbucks donated the coffee both days, Pepsi donated drinks, and Better Homes & Gardens Tri-Valley Realty supplied the food for all the participants. We also received numerous cash donations in the amount of $1285.  We were advised that the donation of our physical labor Friday and Saturday equaled over $13,000 in labor costs.  Together, as a team, Better Homes & Gardens Tri-Valley Realty, their families and many members of our headquarters team donated through this project an unbelievable amount of time and money for the betterment of families in our communities.”

Susan Welch, manager of the Roseville office said, “I know it sounds silly, but I think the common remark I heard from everyone was…’This is so cool!’ When I think back to the day, the word that comes to mind is ‘happy.’  Everyone was working diligently with great big smiles on their faces.  I don’t know if I have ever experienced a day like this year’s Giving Day.  The spirit of giving was so alive!  It is difficult to put into words the magic that took place on Giving Day.”

“All of our agents were totally engaged in this endeavor; they carefully chose organizations that are close to their heart and truly made a difference in their communities. In total $35,720 cash was contributed and 5450 pounds of food was donated to local food banks. We appreciate the commitment of these great real estate agents and employees,” said Ollerton.

About Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate
Our heritage began with the founding of Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in 1887. In 2010, the company was named the 19th largest real estate services firm in the nation, and Number One in the San Francisco East Bay. The company provides comprehensive solutions to home buyers and sellers, and handled more than 7,300 transactions in 2010, generating $2.9 billion in sales. Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate is independently owned and operated and includes joint ventures with partners J F Finnegan Realtors, Highland Partners in Piedmont, Wine Country Group in the north bay, and Tri-Valley Realty in Pleasanton-Hopyard and Ruby Hill. The organization is comprised of more than 2,000 sales professionals in 40 offices. For more information, go to