LEESBURG — One of the largest turnouts for a Kosciusko County Board of Realtors event in its history was held Friday evening at Tippecanoe Lake Country Club. Approximately 185 realtors, affiliates and guests attended the annual KBOR Christmas gathering.
A highlight of the evening was not only the announcements of the 2017 Realtor of the Year and Affiliate of the Year, but also the silent and live auction. Money raised from the auctions are donated to a different cause each year. Fellowship Mission, Warsaw, was chosen as the 2017 recipient.
Eric Lane, founder and executive director of Fellowship Missions, briefly spoke noting the shelter is operating at 95 percent of capacity. In 2016 there were 186 adults and 68 children under the age of 14, come through the doors. “There’s no one cause to why someone walks through the doors. There is not that cookie cutter mold that you can see,” Lane stated. Noting the shelter provides short term or long term stays, “We love on people. We work with them to get through the current circumstance they are in.”
There are five staff members and approximately 130 volunteers. “It doesn’t cost anything to stay there,” he said, adding breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily. “Everything that comes in the door is from in-town businesses, individuals, groups, churches and businesses in our community,” and adding some assistance comes from outside the area. He invited people to stop in to learn more about the facility.
By the end of the evening close to $9,000 was raised through the approximately 15 silent auction items, seven live auction Christmas tree packages, and on the spot donations. Lane was speechless and displayed tears of joy when the total donation was announced. “This is what the community is all about … I don’t have any words,” he said giving a heartfelt thanks from himself and his wife Tammy.
Lori Parrish and Ron Shipley were the recipients of the 2017 Affiliate Of the Year Award and 2017 Realtor of the Year award, respectively.
Fun facts and information about each recipient were read by a past recipient of the respective award.
Linda Riley, 2016 Affiliate of the Year recipient, provided information about Parrish. Her family arrived to present the award. “I have never been so surprised in my life,” she stated.
Marcia Anderson, 2015 Realtor of the Year, presented information she obtained about Shipley. His family also presented his award.
Parrish, who calls Argos home, was a stay at home mom for her two daughters. She obtained her realtors license and worked 14 years in the real estate business before joining Meridian Title. “Our affiliate of the year has a zest for life in general and just plain loves people,” said Riley. It was noted she has been active in KBOR events the past year, has a lot of energy, is good natured and a joy to be around.
Shipley, a real estate agent for 15 years, is considered the great pillar of the Shipley family. “He is a dedicated family person and that includes faithfully volunteering to help his 90-year-old father-in-law harvest soybeans and other crops each fall,’ said Anderson. It was noted he has a degree in civil engineering and has work experience as surveying and heavy construction. He also is a real estate investment property manager and has a home renovation business. Shipley, who is with Pier 13, grew up on Sechrist Lake and has spent the past 27 years on Lake Tippecanoe.