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Hometown Hero
Helping At-Risk Youth Achieve Their Dreams

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Broker's Efforts Benefit Boys & Girls Clubs

As a mother of five, Marnie Allen knows children need a safe place in which to learn and grow. For the past six years, she’s dedicated her free time to volunteering for the NFL YET (Youth Education Town) Center/Lester H. White Unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. In her role as an advisory board member and current president of that unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs, she’s helped raise funds, plan holiday parties for the children (who range in age from 7 to 17) and acquire donations to benefit the Club.

“It’s the least I can do,” says Allen, broker for RE/MAX Alliance in Fort Lauderdale. “Real estate professionals are in the business of ‘creating’ homes. Being a mother and a broker, I think it’s important that we nurture the youth of today. It’s tough to be a kid now, especially with all the pressures of peers, drugs, gangs and broken homes.”

Allen explains that the Lester H. White Unit of the Boys & Girls Club, which was built with funds from the NFL YET, is like an oasis for the more than 1,000 kids who are members. “I’m just trying to help enhance their quality of life,” she says. “We provide educational tutoring services, gymnasiums and after-school activities for children who are often from single-parent families. It not only helps the area but also helps the children. It’s just amazing to see.

“Basically, my job on the board and as president is to coordinate [our events] and keep the relationship with the NFL going,” she adds.

Each fall Allen spends countless hours helping to plan the Signature Grand Ghoul, an annual fundraising gala presented by UNICCO Integrated Facilities Services Co. that raises money for the Boys & Girls Club. 

What started out as a fundraising party with about 200 guests has grown to a big-time event held at the Signature Grand, a Pembroke Pines mansion that has become a popular setting for weddings, graduation parties and other celebrations. In recent years, more than 1,000 revelers, many of whom come decked-out in spectacular costumes, have attended.

Guests pay $100 for admission, which includes a gourmet buffet and unlimited cocktails, as well as the opportunity to meet their favorite Dolphin players. Previous Dolphins attendees have included Sam Madison, Zach Thomas, Jay Fiedler, Patrick Surtain, Shawn Wooden, Ricky Williams, Jason Taylor, Olindo Mare, Junior Seau and Randy McMichael.

There is also a silent auction, where guests can bid on everything from sports memorabilia to exotic travel packages.

Last year’s event, held on Oct. 30, was hosted by former Dolphin great and sports radio personality O. J. McDuffie. Organizers say the event netted a record $110,000 for the Boy’s & Girl’s Club of Broward County and McDuffie’s Catch 81 Foundation for local children.

Want to Contribute?
Contact the Lester H. White Unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward at (954) 585-6351. Or, to find a Boys & Girls Club near you, visit www.bgcbc.org.
Realtors® Help Build "House in a Box"

Hammer in hand, Florida Realtors® recently went to work framing the walls on a house in Tampa, which would become home to a family that lives in the Gulf Coast region. After the frame was built, the “house in a box” was loaded into shipping containers and sent to the storm-affected area for final construction.

Joining forces to make the wall-raising event possible were the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors®, Habitat for Humanity-Hillsborough County, the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR), the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Habitat for Humanity International. The build was part of the Realtor-Habitat Partnership for Gulf Coast Recovery program, also known as Operation Home Delivery. Special guests in attendance included FAR 2006 President Mike Dooley and 2007 President Nancy Riley; NAR 2006 President Tom Stevens; Mike Lehrman of NAR’s Regulatory and Industry Relations division; and Neil Jackson, regional vice president.

Through Operation Home Delivery, each of the nation’s 54 state and territorial Realtor associations is sponsoring and building a new home in the Gulf Coast region. FAR contributed $70,000 to the Realtor-Habitat Partnership for Gulf Coast Recovery project to sponsor and build a new home. In addition, FAR’s 13 district vice presidents raised money for the one home to be sponsored by the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Realtor organizations. Through local associations, they raised more than $90,000 for that effort—for a total of more than $160,000 contributed through FAR to help with the recovery and rebuilding of homes in the Gulf Coast.

As part of Operation Home Delivery’s 54 homes, 27 “homes in a box” will be built across the nation and shipped to the storm-affected area, while the remaining half will be built on the ground in the Gulf Coast region, including seven homes in Musicians’ Village in New Orleans. All 54 homes will be under construction throughout 2007.

New Face at FREC

Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Denver “Denny” Stutler Sr., president of DJS Diversified Holdings Inc. in Plant City, to the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC).

Stutler succeeds Marilyn Guevara on the commission. His term began Sept. 22, 2006, and will end on Oct. 31, 2009.