Unite, Act and Create Hope

Feb 17, 2016 4:11:45 PM

Every year, Family Reunion concludes with the Inspirational Brunch hosted by Vice Chairman of the Board, Mo Anderson. The theme of this year's 17th annual Inspirational Brunch was Unite, Act and Create Hope. And that is exactly what happened.

On February 17, 2016, the program kicked off with the prayers of Keller Williams associates representing popular worldwide faiths. “Today we extend hospitality to the many faiths represented by our global family,” said Mo Anderson, Vice Chairman of the Board, Keller Williams. “Together we learn so much from each other.”

McClain's Adventure

At 2015’s Inspirational Brunch, McClain Hermes, the teenaged founder of Shoes for the Sole, which serves the homeless through shoe donations, was gifted a trip to Italy courtesy of Build A Sign, Stevens Van Lines and Office Depot.

Hermes was toured Italy in 2015 with Angelo, a world-renowned tour guide to the stars. As a surprise during Inspiration Brunch this year, Angelo flew from Italy to award Hermes as his client of the year.

“There are no dreams that cannot become a reality,” said Anderson.

Hope in Teamwork

During the Inspirational Brunch, Ben Martinsen and Hudson Bradley shared with the Keller Williams’ associates a story about how the two made a difference in the lives of a team of young athletes.

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Last year, Martinsen and Bradley selflessly decided to create fan support for a visiting boys basketball team from a Gainesville juvenile detention center.

They knew the visiting team couldn’t bring any fans and asked their crowd to split in half and have one side cheer for the visiting team.

Anderson surprised Martinsen and Bradley with a $10,000 donation given to the coach of the Gainesville School Basketball team, which will help with team travel, meals, and a sports banquet. It will also help pay for the transportation costs to bring some of the student’s parents to the school for visitation.

The program continued with inspirational stories and guests on stage sharing what they are doing to make the world a better place.

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Faith, Griffin and their mother, Robin Russell delighted the audience with their story of big hearts and big goals.

In response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Griffin had asked his mother to adopt children from Haiti. In response, Robin found a more feasible way to help put a smile on the faces of some children, Operation Christmas Child, which focuses on sending shoeboxes filled with small gifts to Haitian children.

In their first year, Griffin was able to donate a couple boxes. Then, in 2013, his sister Faith wanted to donate 50 boxes. And, with the help of her congregation, the family sent 150 boxes.

The goal for 2016:  20,000 boxes.

The Russells are doing more than sending boxes of love to Haiti. Faith has participated in 22 races that each raise money to help the family adopt a child from Haiti. Her team is called “Team Faith for one less.”

Today at Inspirational Brunch, their fundraising came to an end as Mo Anderson presented the family with the remaining funds they needed to finance the adoption.

“It is amazing how you have taken a shoebox, a simple gift, and turned it into something so beautiful,” Anderson said.

The event concluded with the Bob Carter Inspirational Award, which was given to Dianna Kokoszka, the creator of BOLD and the BOLD Laws.

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BOLD is not only changing people’s production,” Anderson said. “It is changing people’s lives.”

With not a dry eye in the room, the Inspirational Brunch was a perfect heartwarming conclusion to the largest Family Reunion ever.