PLATTSBURGH - Though they're normally in the business of selling homes, one group of real estate agents continues to make it their business to help organizations that helps others.
Representatives from the Clinton County Board of Realtors presented Kent W. Brooks, executive director of Hospice of the North Country, with a check for $29,379 Dec. 4. The record setting donation was the annual contribution the Board of Realtors makes to Hospice.
The donation, said Brooks, is two to three times more than the average amount the organization has raised for Hospice in the past.
"This amount just represents to us that the Board of Realtors really put a lot of effort this year into supporting our cause and our new building," said Brooks. "They've always been excellent in what they've raised but they wanted to step it up and they really, really did well this year."
Laura J. Burns, executive officer for the Board of Realtors, said the money was raised from a recent auction night at Olive Ridley's in Plattsburgh. Burns said she was surprised herself of the amount raised from the event, which was only open to realtors and their guests.
"We didn't advertise it to the public, so, for the most part, this is realtor money in this check," said Burns. "It's just amazing that everyone opened their wallets so wide and that we raised all this in one night."
The items auctioned were donated by local businesses, said Burns, who credited the donors for their support.
"It took a lot of running around town asking for donations and a lot of preparation, but we got a lot of community support," said Burns.
Mary K. Fry, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Whitbeck Associates, said she was impressed with the variety of donations received, including what were considered "big ticket" items.
"We had a house for a week [stay] in Florida, Yankee tickets, Miami Dolphin tickets, Montreal Canadiens tickets. There were some really big items," said Fry, who also credited Olive Ridley's owner Matt Spiegel for his generosity toward the event.
"He was wonderful to us," she added.
"This community is always really good about helping raise money," added Mary Kay Penfield, also a realtor with Coldwell Banker Whitbeck Associates.
Overall, the event was a resounding success, said Burns.
"I'm really proud of them," he said, "because it's been a really tough year for realtors. The most we've ever raised is around $13,000. This was just amazing."
Brooks said the money will be divided among Hospice's annual Light up a Life campaign, which raises money to help the organization provide end-of-life care to its patients, and Hospice's building project. The organization recently broke ground for a new administrative facility on Tom Miller Road.
"This kind of community support allows us to provide services to our patients above and beyond the bare minimums and it also allows us to address special upgrades and special projects that need to be done so we can move forward with the kinds and the amounts of services that we provide," said Brooks. "We're really honored they continue to support us year after year.