March 23, 2017 // Franchising.com // MADISON, N.J. - ERA Real Estate, a leading global real estate franchisor, recently recognized ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate, a franchise affiliate company with offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, for its outstanding corporate social responsibility efforts over the past year. The company, led by brokers/owners and brothers Doug and John Van Nortwick, was awarded the 2016 Ed Bilinkas Memorial Award for the second consecutive year. The honor was announced at the 2017 ERA® International Business Conference in Dallas, Texas.
“Commitment to community is an ERA Real Estate core belief, and ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate certainly exemplifies that value,” said 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, Doug, John and company have gone above and beyond to meet the challenge. To date, they have sent nearly 100 children to summer camp and have committed to sending many more in 2017. We are grateful for their philanthropy, in awe of their engagement and inspired by their passion to give children with muscle disease the experience of a lifetime.”
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 104 percent of its goal in year two of the challenge.
“To receive this honor for a second year in a row is humbling,” said broker/owner Doug Van Nortwick. “We went out with a goal and our incredible independent affiliated sales associates exceeded that goal. Our company thrives on helping others. For us, the only thing more rewarding than watching our group come together for a common good is knowing that more deserving children are enjoying a week of barrier-free fun at summer camp.”
As the top fundraiser for the ERA MDA Summer Camp Challenge, ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate raised $46,000 in 2016 and more than $52,000 in 2015 to send 97 children to camp. As a way to raise funds this year, the El Paso office hosted an old-fashioned cookout and the company’s Albuquerque office raised more than $20,000 during their second annual fundraising raffle.
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.
“We admire Ed’s persistence in helping the families who benefit from the MDA,” said broker/owner John Van Nortwick. “We follow a similar approach but are also very fortunate to have tremendous support from our local community to help us fundraise for this extremely worthy cause. It is important that real estate sales professionals give back to the communities they serve and we are honored to be able to do just that.”
ERA Real Estate is an innovative franchising leader in the residential real estate industry with nearly 45 years of experience in developing consumer-oriented products and services. The ERA network includes approximately 37,000 affiliated brokers and sales associates and more than 2,300 offices throughout the United States and 30 countries and territories. Each office is independently owned and operated. ERA Real Estate is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global provider of real estate services. ERA Real Estate information is available at: ExploreERA.com.
SOURCE ERA Real Estate