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In Los Gatos, Jim Hamilton, who served as auctioneer, reminded members the money raised will go to needy children for presents during the holidays.

The month of October ushers in holiday festivities, beginning with Halloween. It is also the time when members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) help make sure the holidays are brighter for families in the communities where they work and live.

This week SILVAR’s Los Gatos-Saratoga District topped last year’s proceeds at its annual Pumpkin Auction, raising $7,000 for the Family Giving Tree for Operation Reindeer. California Association of REALTORS® 2005 President and District Chair-elect Jim Hamilton was able to encourage members to be generous this year and think of the children.

“Open your wallets, open your hearts. It’s for the kids,” said Hamilton.

Operation Reindeer, now coordinated by the Family Giving Tree, is a program that distributes gifts, including food certificates, to needy families and seniors in the community during the holiday season. REALTORS® and affiliates of the Los Gatos-Saratoga District have supported the program for more than 20 years.

Toward the end of the auction, Jim Myrick shared his own experience of being grateful as a child for receiving presents through the program. After sharing his story, Myrick invited members to stand up and pledge $10 each and followed with a “Heads or Tails” fundraising game. The generous contributions from members and the pledge of brokers Brian Crane with Intero Real Estate Services, Doug Evans with Coldwell Banker and Mark von Kaenel with Keller Williams Bay Area Estates to double members’ pledges brought the auction to the $7,000 amount.
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Here Greg Boudreau, who served as auctioneer in Los Altos, enticed members to bid by mentioning the prize the next auction item offered.

In Los Altos last Friday, SILVAR’s Los Altos-Mountain View District’s 6th Annual Pumpkin Auction did not disappoint members either. The event was festive with some members dressed in costumes and many auction items donated by local companies and individuals. The crowd was engaged and did not hesitate to raise their paddles when egged on by auctioneer and District Chair-elect Greg Boudreau. The District raised $5,500 for the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, thanks to the generous donors and bidders, including members who donated to the Charitable Foundation without expecting an auction item in return.

The auction items included a wine and dine basket, children’s fun basket, teal hand-blown pumpkin, Dom Pérignon champagne, La Rochere champagne flutes, gourmet food items, Star Wars Steins Collectibles Set of Three and gourmet items, sets of Windsor Village platinum status wine with free wine tasting, an electric LED water vapor effect smoking pumpkin, and more. The top prize was a Tahoe Getaway – two-night stay at Tavern Inn condos in Squaw Valley, plus a $100 gift card for a meal at the Tahoe River Grill and lots of other goodies donated by Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty.
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On top of these donations, at SILVAR’s Oktoberfest Happy Hour to Benefit the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, members raised $4,000, bringing to total amount of donations to $16,000 just this month! The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation thanks everyone who contributed at these events and all the event organizers.

The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation is a trust that makes grants available to organizations from donations by realtors and affiliate members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®. The Charitable Foundation also awards $1,000 scholarships each year to 18 graduating seniors from public high schools in Silicon Valley.

 

 

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A REALTOR® workshop hosted by the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) early this month brought together board directors and representatives of neighboring REALTOR® and multicultural real estate associations interested in strengthening their leadership skills. “Learn to Be a Leader 2” is the second leadership workshop the local REALTOR® association has conducted that was partly funded by a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Diversity Initiative grant.

Key speaker California Assembly Member Evan Low shared his views on leadership and his experiences as a former Campbell City Council member, mayor and state legislator. Low’s talk was followed by the NAR Leadership 300 course facilitated by Steve Francks, CEO of the Washington REALTORS® Association and NAR Leadership Academy instructor.

Low said the concept of leadership is subjective depending on the characteristics one likes, and it can have misconceptions, often bringing leaders in conflict with opposing sides. “We are put on a pedestal that sometimes is unattainable. We are supposed to have all the answers, but we are human also,” said Low.

Whether in a professional or community organization or politics, a leader should be able to communicate. “Make a person feel you are invested in them. It’s a people business that needs a personalized touch,” said Low.

No matter the differences, leaders should have respect. “A leader is someone who gains your respect because you know where his heart is,” added Low.

The California Assembly member indicated engagement is important, particularly in this environment. “We are all Americans, we are all human. We need to create an environment that supports all of us. We must be all together,” said Low.

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