Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Keller Williams Inspiration luncheon

Ken Gandy and Sta Niemczyk. Photos by Val Simon

Ken Gandy and Sta Niemczyk. Photos by Val Simon

By Val SImon

Keller Williams recently held its Third Annual Inspiration Celebration. The event is potluck-style with each agent bringing an item. But it’s so much more than the sharing of food. It’s about appreciating the inspiration others give. This year’s theme was INSPIRE-to be the change you want to see. Sonia Telusnord, Volunteer Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity kicked off the slate of speakers by thanking the agents for over 350 volunteers hours they logged working at Habitat for Humanity. The house built by their effort was given to a Collier County resident, a single mother caring for a 7 year old son

Sonia Telusnord.

Sonia Telusnord.

and a 64 year old father. Another speaker, Lourdes Araujo, from the Naples Shelter of Abused Women and Children assisted the home owner in speaking to the audience by translating for her. Her message was clear, she is very thankful. Sonia added, “It’s not homes that are built, but families that are helped.” Lourdes also spoke on behalf of the shelter, thanking Keller Williams for all of their assistance. She explained the shelter has grown from 20 beds to 60 beds for both Naples and in Immokalee.

Mary Schouw was recognized for Operation Gratitude, whereby items were collected and shipped to the military overseas.

Phil Rogers.

Phil Rogers.

Sandi Simms was recognized for her countless hours working with seniors. Phil Rogers was honored for his work with Camp Able, a camp for kids with disabilities. Mike Doerhoefer was acknowledged for his work with Kids with Cancer. He has worked at the camp for the past 16 years.

There was a moment for remembrance: Donna Cottrell explained that at a time she was looking for someone the agents might be able to assist, Beth Sayer came into her path. Beth had a young daughter Lexie and she had terminal cancer. The agents made a huge impact in Beth’s final months not only assisting

Donna Cottrell.

Donna Cottrell.

wherever they could, but in helping out with Lexie. Beth and her sister wondered how a group of people like those at Keller Williams could come together and love her! Beth passed away this year and Lexie now lives with her aunt.

One of the most enjoyable moments was the presentation of the ‘Turkey of the Year’ award. Nominees were Chris Evensen, Rob Cashin and Ken Gandy. The lucky recipient was Ken Gandy. One reason noted for the distinction, creating endless paperwork! This once in a lifetime achievement was presented by last year’s winner, Stan Niemczyk.

Each attendee was reminded; the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.

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