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CA OMREB names Realtors Care Award recipients

Property Here - Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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Recognized for giving back to her community, Maureen Ruscheinsky of Sutton Group Lakefront Realty in Vernon, B.C. is the 2012 recipient of the Realtors Care Award for the North Okanagan Zone of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

For many years she has been an active member and major supporter of the Powerhouse Theatre, serving as director at large, head properties manager for the production team and stage actor for various productions. She has participated in the Re/Max Children’s Miracle Network bike-a-thon for three years, putting in numerous hours of training to complete the rigorous, multiple-day ride. Sutton Spirit fundraising activities hosted by her office to support various community organizations have also benefitted from her volunteer efforts. Over the years, she has also been active in bringing awareness to Turner Syndrome.

Also recognized for making significant contributions to his North Okanagan community is award nominee Shane McMorran of Re/Max Vernon, who has devoted more than 20 years of his time and energy to volunteering for and supporting various community social services and community development activities dedicated to improving the lives of families and youth in the area.

Joe Pearson of Re/Max Vernon was also nominated for his community involvement, particularly the many years he has chaired and served on local economic development and advisory planning committees. He is also acknowledged for his long-time commitment to organized real estate, serving at the board and provincial levels to further professional standards and education for the industry, and advocating for real estate matters that affect the quality of life for B.C. residents.

Charlotte Hutchinson of Re/Max at Mara Lake in Sicamous is the recipient of the Realtors Care Award for the Shuswap Zone of OMREB. Hutchinson is involved in a number of organizations including serving as a town councillor for the District of Sicamous, board member and chair for Community Futures Shuswap, past chair of the Sicamous and District Chamber of Commerce, and a director for Eagle Valley Seniors Housing. She has spent 10 years on the board of the Shuswap Emergency Program, and a decade with Board of Directors for the local curling club board.

Hutchinson also finds time to volunteer with the local food bank and Girl Guides and to assist with the Low Income Tax Program (helping to complete tax returns for low-income residents).

Tied for second place were Raymond Cretelli of Re/Max Revelstoke Realty and Brendan Ginter of Royal LePage Revelstoke. An active fundraiser, Cretelli’s ongoing efforts have been instrumental in achieving the goals of many local projects for various charities. Ginter is a volunteer with the local food bank and devotes much of his time to search and rescue initiatives.

Recognized for his long-time volunteer efforts, Jeff Stacer of Re/Max Shuswap has played an integral part in the success of many local fundraisers and continues to support and sponsor numerous non-profit organizations in the Salmon Arm area. Tara Gallant of Royal LePage Access Real Estate in Salmon Arm was also nominated for her work for seniors in need and donating to the women’s shelter and food bank.

The award recipients in the Central Okanagan Zone are Annette Lipkovits of Century 21 Assurance Realty, Kelowna and Dino Gini of Realty Executives of the Okanagan, Kelowna.

Lipkovits is recognized for donating her time to many volunteer and fundraising efforts, especially the local chapter’s Easter Seals campaigns.  She is also a driving force behind the 24-hour Relay.

She supports The Umbrella Foundation, an organization committed to assisting displaced children in Nepal with their studies and after-school activities, and keeping them off the streets so they can have the childhood they deserve. Last year, Lipkovits and her daughter Kelsey spent three months volunteering in two Umbrella homes, and she returned again this year with her husband for another extended stay. Locally, she hosts an annual Umbrella Golf Classic fundraiser and is planning a charity New Year’s celebration this year.

This is the second time in five years that Gini has received a Realtors Care Award for his commitment to supporting community sports in Kelowna. Recognized for mentoring young athletes and his significant role in financially supporting many sports teams and leagues in the Okanagan, he devoted 15 to 20 hours per week towards the development of up and coming athletes, as well as raising funds through his successful Adopt an Athlete program.