If real estate professionals know how to do something well, it’s handle competition. For the last 16 years, hundreds of local brokers worked year-round to raise donations for charity. Then, they set aside five hours of from their busy schedules to really tough it out in bouts of jumbo Jenga and bocce ball.
On Feb. 7, 600 brokers, agents and industry supporters competed in a picnic game Olympiad at Tempe Beach Park. This year’s event, hosted by Active 20-30 Club of Scottsdale, included bocce ball, football toss, basketball shootouts, jumbo Jenga and corn hole. Finalists in the commercial and residential divisions squared off in a dodgeball tournament, with the winners taking home bragging rights until next year.
The real estate community is resilient. Even amidst the financial meltdown, when many teams were downsizing, going bankrupt or couldn’t afford to participate, and charity was among the least of their concerns, Brokers for Kids participants managed to raise $100,000. For the first time since the event was founded 16 years ago, the annual Olympiad has included residential agents (whose similar annual fundraiser, Agents Benefiting Children, has rolled over into BFK). Event chairman Mike Coy said the idea occurred to organizers about two hours after the 2013 event wrapped up.
“We immediately started talking about next year’s event,” Coy said. “Operationally, [Agents Benefiting Children] is very similar to what we’re already doing. It was a natural evolution.”
The economy has picked up, and it’s evident in the finally tallies. Teams raised $366,000. Fifty commercial teams competed, and 10 company teams represented the residential side of the business.
Commercial fundraising benefited Boys Hope Girls Hope, which places intelligent kids in less fortunate family situations into supervised homes and enrolls them in preparatory schools. Residential fundraising benefited The Care Fund, which will use 100 percent of the event donations to grant mortgage or rent to Arizona families with children with extended illnesses or injury.
The Care Fund reported DPR’s Kyle Keller’s team raised more than $10,000 this year, which also saw 80 new competitors from residential real estate brokerages. A spirit award for Agents Benefiting Children was awarded to Ty Lusk of Keller Williams, who raised more than $4,000 in a raffle mixer and auction. On the commercial side, Caretaker Landscape’s Dena Jones and Mischelle White took home the award for raising $9,147 by hosting an “all in for kids” charity poker tournament.