ARLINGTON, VA – Since 2008, when the first of four benefit fundraisers was held, the agents from the Keller Williams Arlington market center have raised approximately $150,000 for the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). With their annual party extraordinaire, the agents have accomplished their mission to help the Arlington Food Assistance Center to pay off the mortgage on its food warehouse and distribution center.
KW Agent, Gayle Fleming with guest speaker Andy Shallal
The event is held each November at the Clarendon Ballroom, a local hot spot. Local and national politicians have attended. Television celebrities such as HGTV’s Sabrina Soto, and The Chew’s Chef Carla Hall have been special guests and auction items have been donated by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Chris Rock. This year they were able to secure tickets to the sold out Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon as one of the live auction items! All this has made the “Pay It Forward Pay It Off!” fundraiser one of the “must attend” events of the year.
Congressman Jim Moran and Redskins legend Gary Clark were in the house this year and the Mistress of Ceremony was the lovely television anchor, Cynne Simpson from ABC7/WJLA. Great food, wonderful live entertainment and serious bidding during the auction kept the party lively from beginning to end. “We had no idea when we started brainstorming about a fundraiser at a KW Cares meeting in the summer of 2008 that a bunch of full-time real estate agents could pull off something so fabulously successful and raise so much money for such a worthy organization.” These are the words of Keller Williams Arlington agent Gayle Fleming, who along with a core group of dedicated agents worked tirelessly to make the event a success each year. The 2011 event on November 10th raised $45,000—the most ever from a single event.
They were rewarded when Beth Kiley Johnson, director of AFAC’s Permanent Home Campaign, said: “We are pleased to announce that our mortgage has been paid and the funds borrowed for the down payment have been replenished.” The Arlington market center has been the largest single donor to the $1 million campaign. “No community partner has worked as tirelessly on this effort as the Community Outreach Committee of Keller Williams, Arlington,” said Moran, in a Congressional Proclamation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in June.
Although this particular goal has been met, the Arlington agents are already thinking about what worthwhile community organization they want to help next year. Serving the community has been an important function of the Keller Williams Arlington market center. It has unified the agents in a common goal and displayed the culture of caring that sets Keller Williams Realty apart from any other company!
Mistress of Ceremonies, Cynne Simpson
KW agent Cristina Sison-Redskin Gary Clark
142 Live, Silent and Raffle items
KW Arlington agent Jowita Klein (right) and friends
Team Leader Pam O’Bryant and agent Kathy Fong