KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Niki Pawlicki, Mark Skibowski and Linda Riley were recognized and honored during the annual Kosciusko Board of Realtors Christmas event at Tippecanoe Country Club Thursday, Dec. 1.
Pawlicki, Syracuse, was given the National Association of Realtors Emeritus member award. Skibowski, Warsaw, was named Realtor of the Year and Riley, Warsaw, was named the Affiliate of the Year.
Pawlicki, with Todd Realty, Syracuse, was recognized by Tom Salomone, 2016 National Association of Realtors President, for her 40 years of deduction in the real estate business. She is one of four individuals in the county association who has received the honor.
Marsha Andereson, the 2015 Realtor of the Year, announced the winners of the two local awards.
Skibowski, Re/Max Lakes, moved to Warsaw in 2000. He grew up in Michigan, received a bachelor of science degree from Oakland University and a masters in business administration from Michigan State. He was president of the Cadillac Coffee Company. He is a member of the Warsaw Rotary Lake City Skiers, Breakfast Optimist Club and Junior Achievement to name a few. He serves on the KBOR board of directors and is a retired U.S. Air Force captain after 20 years of service.
Riley, the Affiliate of the Year, is with Rouff Home Mortgage. The 26-year native of Warsaw was previously in the insurance business before joining Rouff. She is an active participate in KBOR events and the first to volunteer. Riley is said to be the driving force behind committee events. She is in the fourth year of her term on the board and the first affiliate member to serve on the KBOR board. She is active with Sacred Heart, Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels.
Each year at the Christmas party, the Kosciusko Board of Realtors raises funds for a local charity through a silent and live auction. This year, due to the unfriendly events of men and women in blue (and brown) throughout the country, “We felt this was the appropriate year to assure the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department that KBOR honors and appreciates their service,” said Kim Clark, president/director of KBOR. She announced each dollar raised will go toward the purchase of updated tactical vests. Each vest costs approximately $700.
By the end of the evening $5,488 was raised. Clark announced a state agency will be matching one-half of that amount, bringing to total to $8,232. Attendees also brought new stuffed animals for deputies to give to children involved in traumatic situations.
Sheriff deputies Chris Francis, Chris Anderson, Kreg Kuhn and Brandon Hepler were guests for the event. Francis briefly spoke about the sheriff’s department. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to be here and be involved,” Francis said. He reported there are 80 employees in various areas of the department, with 20 patrolmen handling 25,000 to 30,000 calls per year. He noted the hefty budget cuts several years ago.
“Calls are perpetually increasing. We’re not getting slower. The cost of equipment goes up every year and the world is getting a little bit scarier.” He noted the efforts of KBOR for the funds to purchase updated tactical vests is important to “keep us safe” and “instrumental to our survival.”