IRRF, NAR aid available to Northern Illinois flood victims

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Illinois REALTORS®, help us share the news that the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation and the National Association of Realtors® Relief Foundation are still offering disaster relief assistance and aid to those affected by July’s severe flooding in Northern Illinois.

Funds are available to assist those living in Kane, Lake and McHenry counties who have been displaced or sustained property damage from record floods.

Please share with your clients and friends in this area. The deadline for flood victims to apply for IRRF funds is Oct. 1. To learn more about the relief assistance and to download applications, go to:

VIDEO – Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation and the 2015 Coal City tornado

When their home was severely damaged by the 2015 Coal City tornado, Jason and Devan Gagliardo discovered the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation was waiting to help them, and families like them.

Established in 2015, the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation can help those living in communities that have been affected by natural disasters.To learn more about IRRF and its mission, click here.


Seniker, ‘REALTOR® community’ help stranded NC colleague and son get to St. Louis

(Story updated 6:45 p.m. Aug. 2)


North Carolina REALTOR® Leigh Brown used social media to find help and to express her gratitude to the “REALTOR® community” that helped ease the stress of a long train delay last Friday in south central Illinois.

Brown posted on her Facebook account that the Chicago-to-St. Louis train she’d taken with her son Timmy had unexpectedly stopped in Carlinville. After a 90-minute delay, she learned that the delay would extend another three hours more because of a train derailment on the tracks ahead. Out of concern for her son, she asked her Facebook friends for advice regarding Uber or another method of transportation in the area.


Within 45 minutes she’d received multiple offers of assistance, but Edwardsville REALTOR® Sarah Seniker was the closest person, and she offered Brown and her son a ride to St. Louis.

“And this, y’all, is the #PowerOfR! Saved by Sarah!” Brown later wrote on her Facebook page.

“I was fixing dinner when I checked my Facebook page and saw Leigh’s message,” said Seniker. “We live in the same county as Carlinville, and I told Leigh I could get there in 25 minutes. I let my husband (REALTOR® Chris Seniker) take over the cooking and I left.”

Sarah Seniker’s awareness of local road construction helped her avoid one route to the Carlinville train station that was closed. When she arrived, passengers were off the train with their luggage, waiting for a resolution. “It really was no big deal (on my part),” said Seniker. “It was an hour out of my day. She would’ve done the same for me. That’s just the kind of person she is.”


As it turned out, Seniker did not have to drive all the way to St. Louis because Missouri REALTORS® President-Elect Nate Johnson met them near Alton and delivered the Browns to their St. Louis hotel. Along the way, they saw the derailed freight train but repair crews hadn’t started yet. That fact made their acts of kindness more valuable to Brown.

While recounting her traveling experience on Facebook video (see below), Brown encouraged other real estate professionals to become REALTORS®.

SIDEBAR: Read about Brown’s May appearance at the Illinois REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Collinsville.

Deeper thoughts

On the following video, Brown reflects on the travel situation and embraces the bigger picture she says she sees as a REALTOR®: “I am a REALTOR® today because I CAN be one and because it allows me to be something bigger than myself. And this summer, with everything that my family and I have been through . . . we have learned nothing less than how amazing it is to be part of a community that not only wants to help but enjoys being asked to help. And I’ve learned to ask and I’m better for it.

“If you’re a REALTOR® who really gets stuck in your own head, like I used to do, like I still do, you’ve got to get out there and get to know other people,” Brown says. “Because it’s bigger than you. It’s bigger than me. But together, we really do change communities, and we do change the world. I would not be anything else but a REALTOR®.”

Remember IRRF can help recent northern Illinois flood victims

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The Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation (IRRF) is accepting applications from northern Illinois property owners who were flood victims in early July.

The foundation is one of the charitable arms of Illinois REALTORS® and provides assistance to disaster victims. The latest outreach is for those who were affected by the storms which swept through the Chicago area.

Who is eligible for IRRF assistance?

Anyone who is a full-time Illinois resident, a U.S. citizen and who meets the criteria of the program is eligible to obtain funds.

  • Relief assistance is limited to $500 per application.
  • Assistance can be used for the applicant’s daily needs and employment.
  • Assistance is need-based and other forms of assistance may be taken into consideration when awarding grants.
  • All grants made through IRRF are based on availability of funds and applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you know someone who was affected, or want to apply for aid, the form is here. Read the original blog post, July 19.

Check out the 2017 Capitol Conference ‘Best of the Best’ photos

(l to r) Gary Clayton, Marsha Clayton, Amanda Wycoff, Jim Kinney and Ed Neaves at the RPAC Pacesetter VIP Event.

Out of hundreds of photos taken during the Illinois REALTORS® Capitol Conference and REALTOR® Lobby Day, these have been chosen as the “Best of the Best.” Take a look and see if you agree.

Photos were taken at the YPN-WCR Networking Reception and RPAC Pacesetter VIP Event Monday, as well as the Luncheon and Legislative Briefing, State Capitol visits and the Reception that followed Tuesday at the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield — a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.