REALTOR® AGM Celebrates Success and Community

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® held its 2014 Annual General Meeting on April 21, 2015 at the London Convention Centre.

Representing the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) was its President, Pauline Aunger, while Patricia Verge was on hand to represent the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) as its President, along with OREA Past President (and previous LSTAR President) Costa Poulopoulos, its Western Area Director Karen Cox and its Commercial Director Eavan Travers, also a Londoner. The Ontario REALTORS Care Foundation was represented by Barb Whitney, also an LSTAR Past President, and the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) was represented by Kate Murray, CEO, Glenda Brindle, Chair, as well as Director Peter Hoffman, another former LSTAR President. CMHC was represented by Judy Binder.

London Mayor Matt Brown delivered greetings from the City of London. Also in attendance were Paul King, Ford Keast, Chartered Accountant, the London Home Builders Association's President, Ted Melchers, and its Executive Officer, Lois Langdon as well as Joel Shears and Armand Chinapen representing ListCENTRAL, LSTAR's MLS® provider, Evelyn Paar, representing Touchbase, Chris Butler, Theresa Corindia and Phil Share, representing Teranet/GeoWarehouse.

LSTAR's Quality of Life Award, intended to recognize and honor an individual's outstanding contributions to the community in accordance with one or more of the five Quality of Life Principles espoused by LSTAR – ensuring economic vitality, providing housing opportunities, preserving our environment, protecting home owners and building better communities – was presented to REALTOR® Mary Johnson for Kindness Above Everything (KAE), a charity she founded that connects with local agencies to determine what people living in shelters or transitional housing need and then to provide them with those necessities.

A second Quality of Life Award was presented to a team made up of LSTAR Members Debbie Collins (another Past President of LSTAR), Dan Grantham, Warren Shantz, Barb Whitney, Peter Whatmore and LSTAR's Director of Business and Promotions and the Chair of the Hockey Helps the Homeless London Committee Tracy Marino for outstanding work organizing the 2014 Hockey Helps the Homeless London tournament. The 2014 tournament raised a total of $120,000 – $40,000 each for Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre, Youth Opportunities Unlimited and the Unity Project. Special Guest Gary Scullion, CEO of Hockey Helps the Homeless, was also on hand to receive a cheque for $5,000 to cover LSTAR's sponsorship of this year's tournament, scheduled to take place May 9, 2015 at the Western Fair District Sports Centre.

LSTAR Bonspiel Committee Chair Glen Gordon was on hand to present Mission Services of London's Executive Director Peter Rozeluk, its Director of Fundraising, Ericka Ayala Ronson, and its Donor Relations Coordinator Stefanie Joseph with a cheque for $12,341, representing the funds raised by this year's Bonspiel and LSTAR's Homes for Hope pins.

This donation raises the total that LSTAR has donated to Mission Services since 1992 past the $300,000 mark to stand at $311,014.

LSTAR Quality of Life Chair Heather Arnott presented Marisa Kanas, Director, Community Engagement and Development, St. Joseph's Hospice, with a cheque in fulfillment of LSTAR's 2013 pledge to donate a total of $50,000 over two years towards the establishment of the first residential hospice in our community. The funds came from a number of sources, including the proceeds from our Slo Pitch tournament and Ontario REALTORS Care Foundation grants.

Finally, 2014 Christmas Gala Chair Michelle Orsini presented Andrew Young and Debbie Collins, both Directors on the Board of Merrymount Family Crisis and Support Centre, with a cheque for $26,785 raised by the 2014 LSTAR Christmas Gala, bringing the Association's total donation to Merrymount to $51,431.