RAFV members spread their charity around

Although the REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley (RAFV) has completed one holiday initiative and is still working on another, several individual offices have spearheaded campaigns, too.

In the first project, about 20 RAFV volunteers helped pack food and personal care items for several hours on Nov. 5 at the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva. The group packed 5,720 pounds of food or the equivalent of 4,766 meals. The food bank serves 13 counties in northern Illinois.

Also, RAFV members are collecting money and gift cards to benefit the non-profit charity, the Renaissance Foundation in St. Charles, IL. The Annual Spirit Gift Drive is part of the foundation’s joint project with the Educational Equal Chance Program to purchase winter clothing and holiday gifts for homeless children and teens in Kane and DuPage counties, as well as the greater Chicago metropolitan area. Peggy Brown of Sevenoaks Realty in Batavia helped bring the charity’s needs to the RAFV’s attention.

Other charitable projects initiated by individual offices are:

  • Collecting personal care items for the Lazarus House, which provides needy or homeless families in St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and western rural Kane County with shelter, food and support services (Managing Broker Donna McQuade of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Geneva);
  • Collecting donations of Meijer and Target gift cards through Dec. 8 for TriCity Family Services, which provides counseling and mental health services for individuals and organizations of central Kane County (Lori Linkimer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeService in St. Charles);
  • Collecting clean, reusable winter coats through Nov. 28 at the office for Royal Real Estate of Illinois in St. Charles, using the resources of the organization One Warm Coat to connect with local service agencies (Broker Elyece Miller of Royal Real Estate); and
  • Collecting new and unwrapped toys for the local Toys for Tots campaign at the Royal Real Estate of Illinois office (Broker Elyece Miller).

Fox Valley officers include: President Bobbie Gerbrecht of St. Charles, President-Elect Barbara Schori of Elgin, Treasurer Betty Ebert-Rylko of Hampshire, Secretary Mark Coleman of St. Charles, Association Executive Ann Hammerstad of Geneva and Association Executive Chris Studebaker.

(This is one part of a series of stories that shine a light on charitable community work performed by local Illinois associations and their members.  To see all of the stories published so far, search for “charitable giving.”)

Ruling OK’s release of fracking rules


A preliminary injunction to stop the publication of rules for horizontal hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in Illinois was denied by a judge in Madison County Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

A group of southern Illinois residents had filed a lawsuit and requested a preliminary injunction after the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) voted to approve rules for permits on Nov. 6. The group contended that allowing the rules to be released would cause “irreparable harm” to their land if fracking were to begin. In rejecting the injunction, the judge noted residents failed to show that “irreparable harm” would happen, the Tribune reported. (The lawsuit challenging the rules has not been decided yet.)

The judge’s decision allows oil and gas companies to apply for fracking permits in Illinois after registering and paying a fee, according to previous news reports.

Prior to the JCAR vote, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources had collected more than 30,000 comments from the public before proposing a set of rules to JCAR, previous news reports stated.  Among the details companies may have to disclose during the permit process are: when and where they want to drill and precautions they will take for preventing groundwater pollution.

Fracking is a method of extracting oil and natural gas from shale deposits deep underground through the use of chemicals, water, sand and pressure.

CAR gives 49 reasons to help homeless children and moms

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) is supporting the fourth annual coat and toy drive for the nonprofit organization, Advocates for Adolescent Mothers.

The charity gathers outerwear and toys to help 49 young mothers and their children during the holiday season.

CAR has set up collection bins at several locations – including its downtown Chicago and Cicero offices – where members can deliver coats, toys or monetary contributions until Dec. 5. In addition, trustees for the CAR Education Foundation have pledged $1,000 for the purchase of new outerwear and toys. CAR has shared information about the drive with individual members, association leadership, staff members and industry leaders.

Acceptable items include:

  • New, unwrapped toys (except stuffed animals);
  • New or clean, gently used outerwear and coats for young women;
  • New or clean, gently used outerwear for infants and toddlers; and
  • New toiletries and bath products for young mothers.

During three previous years, Advocates for Adolescent Mothers has collected and donated more than 600 toys and 300 coats to three charitable organizations that support homeless Chicago teens and their children, CAR says.

Advocates for Adolescent Mothers was founded by Lillian Harris, a woman who was homeless as a child and as an adolescent mother.  She has since earned a master’s degree in social work, and is now using a two-year, $10,000 CAR Education Foundation scholarship to earn a master’s in business administration with a focus on real estate.

CAR Education Foundation officers are: Coby Hakalir, Chair; Heather Gustafson, Vice-Chair; and Zeke Morris, Secretary/Treasurer. CAR officers include: President Hugh Rider, President-Elect Dan Wagner, Secretary/Treasurer Matt Silver and Association Executive Ginger Downs.

(This is one part of a series of stories that shine a light on charitable community work performed by local Illinois associations and their members.  To see all of the stories published so far, search for “charitable giving.”)

Heartland collects ‘Toys for Tots’ in McHenry County

On Dec. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Heartland REALTOR® Organization will conduct its Toys for Tots drive at Sideouts Bar & Eatery in Island Lake, Ill., to benefit less fortunate children in McHenry County.

Retired local Marines will be there to collect new unwrapped toys – worth $10 or more – for donation.  Those who register by Nov. 28 may attend a pizza party that will feature door prizes donated by affiliate sponsors.

It is the fourth consecutive year that Heartland members have supported the Toys for Tots drive.

Association Executive Jim Haisler, who is also the CEO of Heartland, says, “Every year we have this event, more than 120 people attend, and we collect several hundred toys.”

Jim Haisler

Heartland officers include: President Casey Meyers of Woodstock and Association Executive Jim Haisler.

(This is one part of a series of stories that shine a light on charitable community work performed by local Illinois associations and their members.  To see all of the stories published so far, search for “charitable giving.”)