ABoR Press Release
Best of the Best Honored with Industry Awards
The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) is pleased to announce the winners
of the 2008 industry awards. Members will be recognized in the following categories: REALTOR®of the Year; Affiliate of the Year; Rookie of the Year; Community Service; and Cultural Awareness.
Community Service: Russell Lewis, AvenueOne Properties
Russell Lewis has been an ABoR member for more than 15 years. In that time, he has donated his service to numerous volunteer organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the Boy Scouts of America, the Blood Center of Central Texas, the Eanes School District and Mobile Loaves and Fishes.
I have to admit that this was a very gratifying surprise when I learned from the press release above that I had been honored and I was humbled by the experience. I am no saint; just ask the person I adore more than anyone in the world, my wife of 22 years or my children or my partners and associates at work. I have my "days" and often I am not the pinnacle of patience or reason and I tend to be rather intense when involved in negotiating (though I have improved immensely over the years.) People ask me, where I get the time and honestly, it does not take much One thing I have done with some regularity over the years is pitch in when asked or when I see a need. I know in advance when am going to participate in many of my endeavors and it's no more than a couple of hours at each project and maybe a couple of times a month. Since this is the Christmas season and a time of giving, I thought I would take the opportunity to show you some of the groups I enjoy helping and some of the people involved.
Habitat for Humanity - I have been actively involved with Habitat since my first project in 1996 and wrote a blog about this wonderful organization here:
Troop 5-Boy Scouts of America - I have had the great pleasure of helping with my son's Scout Troop, as one of a number of Assistant Scout Masters since he was 11 years old until he achieved the rank of Eagle last year. This is a picture of a small group of us (the kids were 12) along with his second Scoutmaster and family friend, Tom Martinec, at the South Rim of Big Bend National Park. We were so proud that they had backpacked all of their gear on their first strenuous trek (especially at that young age). The young man in the green vest is my son! This troop has offered a lot of fun and learning and has been a great ride through the years taking him to the jungles of Costa Rica, the mountains and rivers of Canada, The Caribbean and to camps all over the USA. I even had the chance to go along on several myself!
Eanes School District Volunteer Since 1994, I have served as a parent volunteer, parent reader, fund raiser, committee member and health education educator with many of the Eanes elementary schools, West Ridge Middle School, and Westlake high School. The picture is part of a costume that I still wear a couple of weeks every year and I will probably write a blog post about it when I can figure out a way to not appear too crazy for doing so...Stay tuned!
Mobile Loaves & Fishes A charity group dedicated to feeding the homeless and bringing dignity to those in such poor circumstances. The group was started here in Austin Texas ten years ago by Alan Graham. Please read more about them on the blog I posted awhile back: No One Goes Hungry-Giving back - An Austin Texas Solution The picture at right is from a newspaper article a couple of years ago. A friends daughter went along to see what it's like to help out!
Central Texas Regional Blood & Tissue Center In 1994, I decided I wanted to try and get over an un-natural fear of needles that I had carried with me from childhood. It had gotten so bad that when my wife would bring home flu shots, I was beginning to frighten the children and wanted to be a better example. I can say that it took a long time for me to stop being squeamish about it all and now I am a regular "Platelet" donor. I just passed the 25 gallon mark in donations last year and I am pretty much over my fear of needles... Learn more about this excellent organization here:
I was hesitant to write about this award because I did not want to "toot my own horn" but was reminded that this award would give me a means to bring these groups to the attention of others and maybe help generate more volunteers and donations.I hope it does because every time I show up to help in some way I get an huge sense of gratitude. Not only from helping out but knowing that whatever problems I may have or any resentments that I might want to harbor, it's all good. No really, trust me on this, we are all better off when we see the world from the vantage point of those in lesser circumstances. I am reminded every day how fortunate I am to be alive and doing well in spite of any self indulgent "wants disguised as needs". It's the season for giving and it's a gift you give to yourself!