Belvidere REALTORS® help family of 7 through community project

Belvidere REALTOR® tree decorators included (l to r): Kierstyn VanCleave, REALTOR® LeeAnn Sackett, REALTOR® Angie Wait-Weber and Alivia Hyder.

The Belvidere Board of REALTORS® donated more than $600 in gifts and decorations to a local family in need during the Belvidere Hometown Christmas event last week.

The sponsored family consisted of a father, mother and five children ranging from 6 to 18 years old, says Belvidere Association Executive Karen Thomas.

The family received Christmas gifts and gift cards from the Belvidere REALTORS® as well as a live Christmas tree with lights, decorations and a tree skirt. The gifts and decorations were purchased using donations from Belvidere members.

Belvidere-area REALTORS® Leann Sackett and Angie Wait-Weber decorated the tree for the family using a cookie and candy theme.

The Belvidere Hometown Christmas project is a community-wide event that includes a Christmas parade and family activities.

Belvidere officers in 2018 are: President Ron Taylor of Century 21 Affiliated in Rockford, Vice President Steven Niemczyk of Century 21 Affiliated in Rockford and Treasurer Christi Steines of Dickerson & Nieman in Belvidere.

(This is the sixth in a series of blog posts about the way local REALTOR® associations give back to their communities during the holiday season. See the previous stories about the: Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®, Heartland REALTOR® Organization, Logan County Board of REALTORS®, Illinois REALTORS® staff in Springfield and the Egyptian Board of REALTORS®.)

Egyptian REALTORS® collect $2,100 for area homeless families

For the third consecutive year, members of the Egyptian Board of REALTORS® showed their holiday spirit with a donation to the Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless (SICH) in Marion so Christmas gifts could be purchased for children served by the nonprofit organization.

A total of $2,100 was collected from Egyptian members through a variety of drawings during the year, said Egyptian Association Executive Charay Palmer.

In addition to the local association’s contribution, one local office, Realty Central in Carbondale donated 18 “Welcome Home” baskets to the Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless. The baskets included home cleaning products, towels, shower curtains and paper products to help smooth the transition for low income families that are placed in housing. The nonprofit serves homeless in the 24 southernmost counties of Illinois.

Egyptian’s 2018 officers are: President Suzanne Wood of Coldwell Banker Allen & Geary in Centralia, President-elect Cynthia Bevis of RE/MAX Elite in Mount Vernon, Treasurer Brian Wood of Cross Davidson Real Estate in Mount Vernon and Immediate Past President Teresa Camarato of Property with TLC, LLC, in Carbondale.

(This is the fifth in a series of blog posts about local associations giving back to their communities during the holiday season. See the previous stories about the: Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®, Heartland REALTOR® Organization, Logan County Board of REALTORS® and the Illinois REALTORS® staff in Springfield.)

Register to vote in March 20 primary

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Visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website to make sure you’re registered to vote, find information about available voting options and the names of candidates for public office. The general primary is 99 days away.

Illinois voters will elect candidates for Illinois governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer as well as candidates for U.S. Congress, Illinois senate and state representative, circuit judges, appellate judges and more.

If you’re not registered, use the online voter registration. Find out where to vote by selecting your election authority. The site also provides information about early voting (starts Feb. 8), absentee voting, temporary and permanent locations for polling places, precinct maps and more.



Illinois REALTORS® staff helps local family

A group of Illinois REALTORS® staff members wrapped Christmas gifts bought for a needy Springfield-area family, including: (l to r) Aniya Lathan, Laurie Clayton,Kim Buscher, Brandi Moore, Kelli Jessup and Michelle McAnarney. Missing is Chris Barnes.

A Springfield-area mother and her three elementary school aged children will receive all the gifts on their wish list this Christmas thanks to the efforts of the Illinois REALTORS® staff and Contact Ministries of Springfield.

The charity provided REALTORS® with wish lists for the mom, son and two daughters through the Adopt-a-Family program. The lists included ages, clothing sizes and toy preferences for each family member.

The staff and the association combined to donate a total of $1,450, then staff members shopped for the gifts and wrapped them for the family. Staff members will drop the gifts off at Contact Ministries and workers there will present the gifts to the family.

The REALTORS® have an ongoing relationship with Contact Ministries.

(This is the fourth in a series of blog posts about the way local associations give back to their communities. See the Logan County, Heartland and Three Rivers stories.)

Several Illinois REALTORS® staff members pitched in to help wrap Christmas gifts, including: (l to r) Kim Buscher, Kelli Jessup, Aniya Lathan, Laurie Clayton, Michelle McAnarney and Brandi Moore.

Illinois REALTORS® offers housing ideas at Grundy County growth conference

Illinois REALTORS® Sharon Gorrell addressed concerns about housing supply and affordability at the Grundy County Community Foundation’s annual Growth Conference on Dec. 1 in Morris.


Gorrell and other expert panelists talked about jobs, housing and roads addressing the theme, “2027: What will Grundy County look like in 10 years?”

“There is a lot of discussion around the influx of intermodal and freight warehousing,” said Member Outreach Manager and Local Governmental Affairs Director Gideon Blustein, who represents the area for the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® and helped organize the conference. “While job growth is promising, it raises questions about the condition of area roads and if there is enough housing supply.” 

In 2018, for the first time, renters will need to earn more than $20 an hour – or more than $43,200 annually – to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Grundy County, said Brent Newman, Executive Director of the Grundy County Housing Authority. A resident making minimum wage – $8.25 an hour – would need to work 100 hours a week for 52 weeks to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Grundy County.  

Using REALTORS® Property Resource, Gorrell presented solutions to the situation in a non-confrontational format. She focused on the demographic makeup of the community, used ideas from the audience and then discussed regulatory hurdles and incentives from the state.  


When participants in the conference were asked for their parting thoughts, Blustein summarized to the audience: “There is a housing supply issue, which is driving up costs. The easiest way to solve this problem is to identify and remove hurdles to new housing.”