The beat goes on with Downs in Kankakee County

Jerry Downs with wife Kathy and grandson Fordyce.

Jerry Downs with wife Kathy and grandson Fordyce.

No one gives a voice to children, the disabled, military veterans, first responders, the disadvantaged and the sick in Kankakee County quite like Bradley-area REALTOR® Jerry Downs.

Downs, who began his real estate career about 12 years ago, enjoys helping several area charities and non-profit organizations, and he is one of two lead singers for the rock and roll cover band named the Kankakeeland Silhouettes. The seven-member group has been performing together for 34 years and has performed at fundraisers for numerous charities over the years, including the Salvation Army, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, local hospitals, the Knights of Columbus, the American Cancer Society, Pause for Patriotism and National Night Out.

In his most current project, Downs is leading the effort of the Kankakee Iroquois Ford Association of REALTORS® to raise funds for the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno. Their goal is to provide residents there with two of their favorite snacks – Hershey’s candy and potato chips – once a month. Downs says he’s volunteered at the home several times in the past and he knows the veterans there appreciate the kindness shown to them. As to why he became involved with the veterans’ home, he says: “I wasn’t a veteran but I had two older brothers who served in the military, one was a Vietnam War veteran. I just wanted to give back to the veterans for all they’ve done for us.”

In general, Downs enjoys helping charities that benefit children and the disabled, and that’s why he supports the Knights of Columbus in Kankakee County, the Bradley Moose lodge which supports Mooseheart Child City & School.  He’s been involved in National Night Out for the last 10 years, fostering positive relationships between police officers, youths and other members of the community. Downs is the entertainment chair for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life committee in Kankakee County and for the annual Bourbonnais Friendship Festival.

“Our family likes to do things and to get involved,” says Downs, who enjoyed a career as an electrician before retiring and taking up real estate as a second career. “Also, I thought with my background as an electrician and my ‘gift of gab,’ I might be able to help our children when the time came for them to find a home.

“But the fact is that working as a REALTOR® is a great opportunity to meet people. It’s a pleasure to help people find their first home, their ‘forever’ home or to sell their home,” says Downs, who is the cantor in the church choir at St. Martin’s church in Kankakee County. “I feel so blessed to be a REALTOR® and to have a beautiful wife (Kathy) who lets me get involved in a lot of things.”

Downs works for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Bradley.

Read the Illinois REALTORS® blog for weekly stories about the community involvement of Illinois REALTORS® during the association’s 100th anniversary year. If you have an idea for a REALTOR® to highlight with an article, please send it to: To read more stories like this one, go to: #MemberMonday

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