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ERA Real Estate has honored ERA Wilder Realty, Inc., with its award for philanthropy, the 2017 Ed Bilinkas Memorial Award, in recognition of its fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The announcement was made at the recent 2018 ERA International Business Conference.

“Eddie Wilder exemplifies ERA Real Estate’s core belief that commitment to community is imperative,” says Sue Yannaccone, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. “Since we announced our brand’s commitment to send 1,000 children to MDA Summer Camp, Eddie and his team have gone above and beyond to meet that challenge. We are inspired by their continued philanthropy and engagement driven by their desire to do good.”

Presented annually, the Ed Bilinkas Memorial Award recognizes the ERA system’s top fundraiser for the MDA. ERA Real Estate 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 achieved 100 percent of its goal to date, raising over $1 million in the process.

“The spirit of compassion that this program brings to ERA Wilder is something that is hard to deny—the magic and wonder these kids have is infectious,” says Eddie Wilder, president of ERA Wilder Realty, Inc. “For many of these kids, going to camp is their only chance to experience a sense of normalcy and see the possibilities for a full life. I’m so proud of the many creative ways that ERA Wilder has raised funds to help these kids realize their full potential and live their best life. Two of the kids we sent to camp nearly a decade ago are now freshman in college.”

As the top fundraiser for the ERA MDA Summer Camp Challenge, Eddie Wilder and his team raised more than $75,000 in 2017 and more than $22,000 in 2016 to send nearly 100 children to camp. In 2017, ERA Wilder offices across South Carolina hosted numerous fundraisers, including Classic Car Shows in Sumter and Columbia, S.C.; a dance event called Shag Night; as well as numerous car washes, raffles and more. In addition, Eddie Wilder was recognized as the South Carolina MDA Ambassador of the year in 2017.

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 the MDA. 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.

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