“We have a speech center for young children that have Down syndrome or autism. There are 5-year-olds that have never spoken a word. [With our center] they learn to say hello to their moms for the first time. That is what your money goes toward,” said Michelle Cox of Villa Esperanza.
The money, and support, came from the Pasadena Foothills Association of Realtors (PFAR) at an event that was held Saturday night at the Dilbeck home.
The foundation is a volunteer organization that is comprised of Realtors and affiliate members of the Pasadena-Foothills Association of Realtors. Their mission is to support local charities that are active in the community. Realtors serving these areas have a long history of philanthropy.
In 1907, Pasadena’s real estate men met to discuss the formation of a realty board to promote good fellowship and fair dealing in the industry. The Pasadena Realty Board was established from that meeting and for over 100 years have kept that foundation of doing good for others at its center.
On Saturday members of PFAR gathered at the Dilbeck home in La Cañada and had a chance to see the faces of those their charitable efforts help. Members handed a representative of each chosen organization a check.
“Each year the foundation donates $100,000 to local charities,” said Lynell Woodward of Dilbeck Realtors and a PFAR member.
“Those organizations have given presentations explaining what they do in the foothills,” said Brandie Belangeri of Inter Valley Escrow and vice chairperson of PFAR.
“[Our committee] then decides which applicant we will donate to. Sometimes it is the same organization as [years prior] but not always,” said Nick Cacarnakis, PFAR chairperson.
Robin McCarthy appreciated the support from the realtors for her organization, Women at Work.
“Sometimes the only solace we can offer is the hope of a job,” McCarthy said.
In the troubled economy getting a job and keeping it has been very difficult for many women.
“Some don’t know where to turn….Looking for a job can be very lonely,” McCarthy said.
Her organization helps women, and now men, connect with those companies that are hiring. Her clientele is growing and this money will help her help more, she said.
“It’s heartwarming to here stories of how we can help,” Woodward said.
Cacarnakis said that the perception might be the economy has affected their charitable efforts but the events continue to grow and the Realtor members continue their generosity.
“Doing an event like [Saturday night] gives us an opportunity to meet the people from the organizations. To have [the representatives] get up and speak about what their organization does…it is overwhelming,” Cacarnakis said.
The evening was primarily about honoring those organizations and handing them that ever-important donation but it was also in an amazingly elegant setting, with non-stop gourmet food.
The location was the Dilbeck home and the chef was Kirk Dilbeck. An ongoing procession of homemade pizzas came out of the oven and fresh pasta filled bowls.
Dilbeck, who is obviously home in the kitchen, has been perfecting his pizza sauce since his college days, he said.
The way those in attendance were enjoying the pizzas it is probably safe to say he has perfected his sauce.
Door of Hope
Harambee Family Center
Rosemary Children’s Services
The Hathaway – Sycamores
Foothill Unity Center
Tierra del Sol
Union Station Foundation
Casa de Amigos
Ronald McDonald House of Pasadena
Aids Service Center
Villa Esperanza Services
The Almansor Center
Neighborhood Urban Family Center
Women at Work
Pasadena Education Network
The First Tee
Pasadena Child Development Association