Realtors recognized for service to community

The New Jersey Association of Realtors (NJAR) presented three members with NJAR Good Neighbor Awards during an awards session at the Triple Play Realtor Convention and Trade Expo in Atlantic City recently. The awards recognize individuals who have made extraordinary commitments to community service programs throughout the state.

“Realtors are known for the time and effort they allocate to increasing the quality of life in their communities,” said NJAR 2012 President Gary Large. “This year’s winners have gone above and beyond their duties in helping others. I am extremely proud of their involvement and feel very honored to present them with the 2012 NJAR Good Neighbor Awards.”

The 2012 winners are as follows:

First Place

Roberta Butera Cooper

Award: $2,500 for Central Middle School PTA in Parsippany

Cooper is a member of the North Central Jersey Association of Realtors and a Realtor at Prudential Horizon Realty in Mountain Lakes. She is the president of the Central Middle School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and she is actively involved in this organization and increasing the PTA’s awareness and funds.

Cooper spends a significant amount of time organizing various events for the students, parents and teachers of Central Middle School. Her involvement includes organizing school fairs, collecting school supplies and donations for families in need, planting trees, arranging walk-a-thons, supporting the school’s teacher appreciation week and reading incentive programs, and hosting tricky trays. A recent walk-a-thon that she hosted raised more than $11,000 for the PTA.

Cooper dedicates approximately 25 volunteer hours a week to the Central Middle School PTA and approximately 1,900 individuals have been affected by her efforts.

Second Place

Diane K. Disbrow

Award: $1,500 for the Atlantic City Rescue Mission in Atlantic City

A Realtor with BayShore Agency in Tuckerton, Disbrow is a member of the Ocean County Board of Realtors. Since 2008 Disbrow has been involved every month in some capacity with the Atlantic City Rescue Mission (ACRM). ACRM meets the physical, emotional and other basic needs (through the provision of shelter, clothing, food, counseling, referral and structured programs) of those in need in Atlantic City and the surrounding communities.

As an ambassador for the ACRM, Disbrow has spent countless hours collecting various items to help feed, shelter and clothe the homeless. By engaging the Girl Scouts and activating others, she has brought awareness to the community by arranging coat and clothing drives, donating baked goods and Girl Scout cookies, preparing and serving hot meals, setting up gift bags and treats for children during holidays, and more.

Third Place

Nick Manis

Award: $1,000 for the G.I. Go Fund in Newark

A Realtor with Manis, Realtors in Dayton, and member of the Hunterdon/Somerset Association of Realtors, Manis is active in his local community.

As the cofounder and a board member, Manis has been involved with the G.I. Go Fund since 2006. The G.I. Go Fund is a nonprofit charity that helps returning servicemen and women transition back to civilian life. Manis’ roles in this organization include: organizing and attending G.I. Go Fund career fairs; being involved in the Annual Homeless Stand Down that provides food, medical care, haircuts and clothing to homeless veterans; fundraising; offering real estate advice to veterans facing foreclosures or evictions; and assisting in the preparation for the G.I. Go Fund’s Annual Gala.

Manis’ efforts and The G.I. Go Fund’s involvement with the veteran community have obtained national exposure as they were featured the season premiere of ABC’s “Secret Millionaire” this past summer and highlighted at the National Association of Realtors’ Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla. in November. The Fund’s “Midnight Missions,” a program in which volunteers help homeless veterans find shelter and register with Veterans Affairs (VA), will be transitioning into other states and cities as well.

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