LEESBURG — Kosciusko County Board of Realtors annual Christmas event raised the most money this year for a community organization. Realtors and affiliates gathered Friday, Dec. 7, at the Tippecanoe Lake Country Club for the annual event.
This year there were more than 150 realtors, associates and guest affiliates attending, with this group raising $9,350 for the Kosciusko County Senior Services organization.
Each year KBOR chooses a charity organization to receive funds raised that evening through the sale of silent and live auction items, purchases of “mystery boxes,” donation of gas cards, and donations in general. There were 16 Realtor and/or affiliates who provided silent auction items and seven who decorated themed Christmas trees for the live auction.
While the silent auction and live auction are the highlights of the evening, there is always the anticipated announcement of the Affiliate of the Year and Realtor of the Year.
Susie Wert and Jan Orban were honored during the annual Kosciusko Board of Realtors Christmas event at Tippecanoe Country Club Friday, Dec. 7.
David Neff, executive director, along with Pernell Bailey and Carol Smith, participants of the programs offered, and William Smith, board member, were present for the evening. Neff breifly spoke of the three programs offered by KCSS – home delivered meals, transportation and senior activity center, providing numbers and a few stories, including a small sampling of how KCSS has helped Bailey and Carol Smith. It was noted many of the Realtors in the county help deliver mobile meals to those participating in the program.
Neff noted a total of 34,250 meals delivered throughout the county by the 300 volunteer drivers, who also do wellness checks when the meals are delivered. There have been a number of occasions, these drivers have saved a life. Neff stated the average meal cost $4.50 and the cost per person is based on income. While some pay the full price, “A lot cannot afford the full price,” Neff stated. Those meals are subsidized.
Transportation is provided throughout the county to those needing rides to medical appointments, shopping, even out to eat. During the last fiscal year 15,525 rides were given. Additionally the transportation service is a door to door program. The driver helps the rider from the door to the vehicle, in any way that is needed and even carries in the groceries.
The final program noted was the senior activity center at the Pete Thorn Center, Warsaw, where 408 seniors one time visitors during the year. This is also a REAL Services nutrition site.
Wert, Milford, was recognized as the 2018 Affiliate of the year and Orban, Warsaw, was named the Realtor of the Year.
Fun facts, by the numbers and information about each recipient were read by last year’s winners. Families of both recipients were present to present the respective awards.
Wert, who grew up in Kosciusko County and graduated from Warsaw Community High School, started her career in the title insurance business while a senior in high school at Kosciusko County Abstract. She currently works with Fidelity National Title, where she has been for the past 15 years. Wert, who has been a Kiwanian for the past 29 years, started her photography hobby 29 years ago taking photos at New Paris Speedway, at KBOR general and business meetings. She is the mother of three children, all of whom were present that evening, to present the award; and eight grandchildren. It was also noted she is the oldest of five brothers and one sister.
Orban, an associate broker with Brian Peterson Real Estate Company, has an associate degree in finance and started as a service representative for Associate Finance, which led her into the real estate residential and commercial business area. She is the adult league manager for United States Tennis Association, a league official for 18 years and assistant Warsaw High School girls tennis coach. She has been married for 37 years and is the mother of one daughter, and has four grandchildren.