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ERA Real Estate recently recognized two of its companies for their outstanding corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts over the past year. ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate was awarded the 2015 Ed Bilinkas Memorial Award and ERA King Real Estate was awarded the 2015 ERA Circle of Light for Community Leadership Award. The award winners were announced at the 2016 ERA International Business Conference in Orlando, Fla.

“Commitment to community has long been one of our core values at ERA,” says Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. “It is my honor to recognize such outstanding examples of that commitment with this year’s Ed Bilinkas Memorial and Circle of Light for Community Leadership award winners. ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate and ERA King Real Estate truly embody the essence of giving back to the communities in which we operate, and thus are extremely deserving of this recognition.”

Ed Bilinkas Memorial Award Winner: ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate

Presented annually, the Ed Bilinkas Memorial Award recognizes the ERA system’s top fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). ERA as a network has partnered with MDA for more than 35 years and in 2014 created the ERA MDA Summer Camp Challenge: to send 1,000 children to MDA Summer Camp over the next three years. The network has already achieved more than 60 percent of its goal in year one of the Challenge.

As the top fundraiser for the ERA MDA Summer Camp Challenge, ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate, led by brokers Doug and John Van Nortwick and based in El Paso, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, raised more than $52,000 to send 51 children to camp. As a way to raise funds, the El Paso office hosted an old-fashioned cookout, featuring an office tour, local fire engine visit, live music, raffle prizes and lunch. They rallied local volunteers and more than 20 local sponsors to raise over $9,000. The company’s Albuquerque office raised more than $20,000 during their fundraising raffle, doubling their goal and sending 20 children to MDA Summer Camp.

“We are honored and humbled to receive the Ed Bilinkas Memorial Award,” says broker Doug Van Nortwick of ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate. “It was extremely rewarding to see the tremendous response and support from our local community to fundraise for such a worthy cause.”

The Ed Bilinkas Memorial Award honors the memory of ERA broker Ed Bilinkas who spent the last 15 years of his life tirelessly raising funds and support for a cause he held dear to his heart. Often quoted as saying: “I never met a stranger I wouldn’t ask for a donation for MDA,” Bilinkas helped raise more than half a million dollars for the organization.

Circle of Light for Community Leadership Award Winner: ERA King Real Estate

ERA King Real Estate of Anniston, Alabama is the 2015 Circle of Light for Community Leadership Award Winner because of its extraordinary commitment to community service and engagement

The Circle of Light for Community Leadership Award recognizes ERA companies who give time, raise funds and provide resources to worthy causes. Circle of Light award winners create a culture of civic service within their companies and establish themselves as a philanthropic leader in the areas they serve.

In 2015 alone, ERA King Real Estate, led by Everett and Anna King, donated nearly $50,000 to 48 worthy causes and organizations. Through its 12 Months of Giving initiative, the ERA King team gave back to its local community on a monthly basis throughout the year. From hosting a golf tournament to raise $17,000 for United Cerebral Palsy, to supporting youth sports teams, to volunteering at local soup kitchens and food pantries, the team spent more than 700 hours supporting its community.

“On behalf of my team of 115 agents and 24 support staff, we are thrilled and honored to have been awarded the Circle of Light for Community Leadership Award this year,” says broker/owner Everett King. “I am so proud of our team and their continued commitment to helping our friends and neighbors. Service is truly a part of our day-to-day life at ERA King, and it is wonderful to be fortunate enough to give back the way that we do.”

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