Realtor® from Rochester Hills, Mich. Wins National Award for Raising Millions to Help People with Disabilities
WASHINGTON (September 30, 2015) – Realtor® John Kersten with Century 21 Town & Country in Rochester Hills, Mich., is one of five winners chosen by the National Association of RealtorsÒ for REALTORÒ Magazine’s Good Neighbor Award. Kersten was selected for raising $15 million for Easter Seals Michigan to support children and adults with disabilities.
"This year's Good Neighbor Award winners work tirelessly to increase the quality of life for so many individuals and families, while also enriching communities across the country," says NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker of 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark. "The passion, dedication and commitment shared by this year’s winners serve as an inspiration to us all. I am proud to honor John’s incredible success in fundraising for this important organization.”
For 24 years, John Kersten has volunteered his time and talent raising funds for Easter Seals Michigan. He started out organizing rubber duck races but quickly found a way to maximize fundraising by using his business and marketing skills. Today he runs six annual car and cash raffles, which net more than $1 million a year. The $15 million he has raised over the years supports children and adults with disabilities, including the Miracle League baseball team for children with disabilities and the Agrability program, which serves farmers with injuries, illnesses or aging conditions.
For the last 15 years, Kersten’s brokerage has led the country in fundraising for Century 21, an official sponsor of Easter Seals. Lately, his office has raised nearly $1 million a year, which is about one-third of what Century 21 raised for Easter Seals across the entire country. “It’s become like my business,” says Kersten, who has worked in real estate for 48 years.
Randy Rutta, president and CEO of the national Easter Seals operation notes: “John’s impressive fundraising formula places his efforts into a bracket of its own. Not only have his efforts helped thousands of families in Michigan but he has also mentored people around the country to help them replicate his fundraising success.
Kersten has the additional distinction of being named the Web Choice Award winner. Of the 10 finalists, he got the most fan votes, and will receive an additional $1,000 donation to Easter Seals Michigan.
To read Kersten’s full story and watch his video, go to realtor.org/gna. Kersten and the other four Good Neighbor Award winners will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity and will be featured in the November/December issue of REALTOR® Magazine. The recipients will be presented with crystal trophies on Saturday, Nov. 14, during the 2015 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Diego.
The Good Neighbor Awards have been granted annually since 2000 and are presented by NAR’s REALTOR® Magazine. More than $1 million in grants have been awarded to the winners’ charities since the inaugural award.
REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards is sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance and realtor.com®. Nominees were judged on their personal contribution of time as well as financial and material contributions to benefit their cause. To be eligible, nominees must be NAR members in good standing.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.