Marysville Windermere office tops food drive

MARYSVILLE The local Windermere Realty office came out on the top of the pile for a fundraising contest for Snohomish County and Camano Island realtors, pulling in more than $12,000 for three local causes.
The Marysville office led all challengers in the 2006 food drive held from Sept. 14 to Oct. 15 of this year. Results released last week showed the Marysville office on top with the equivalent of 44,100 pounds of food collected; the Everett and Everett Mall Way Windermere offices took place and show with 22,412 pounds and 20,065 pounds, respectively.
Measured by the amount of food per agent collected, the Arlington John L. Scott office garnered 709 pounds of food per agent; Marysvilles Windermere was next with 613 pounds per realtor and the Everett Mall shop followed with 448 pounds.
The Marysville Windermere office also led with the amount of cash raised, doubling the nearest competitor with $7,350. The next three fundraisers were the Windermere Everett Mall Way office with $3,585, the Windermere Everett office with $2,955 and the Century 21 All Stars with $2,064.
According to Marysville Windermere agent Deirdre Kvangnes, her office didnt just write checks but earned their way to the top. The locally-owned office has an in-house auction that is as wacky as it is effective. Each agent has to donate an item or service for the auction; and workers then bid on that; the cash total for this year was $12,275. That was split three ways, with $1,500 to the Marysville YMCA, $2,000 to the Marysville Community Food Bank and $8,775 to an Arlington boy who needs a heart transplant. Karl Bielser will be presented with a check at the offices weekly meeting on Wednesday, Kvangnes said.
That was just the results of the Marysville office auction, she noted. The office food drive raised the $7,350, which is extrapolated to equal more than 44,000 pounds of food, due to the food banks ability to buy in bulk.
We were very, very proud that we got the most money collected for the association of realtors, Kvangnes said. We took on the realtor challenge. The association of realtors helps with the food bank.
This is the Marysville offices third year holding their auction; the first year netted $5,000, and last year doubled that total. Last year the realtors spent $4,000 for some special tricycles for handicapped children and donated them to the Marysville School District. The rest was donated to the food bank; that was about $7,000, according to Kvangnes.
The food bank can really leverage their dollars, Kvangnes said. They are amazing. They can make one dollar equal six pounds of food and I dont think any of us can do that as well as they can.
She stressed the creativity her fellow agents used to raise the funds; according to their own rules the agents must bring something of their own, or offer a unique service. Kvangnes has a classic 1965 Ford Mustang and offered lunch in the ragtop; others were even more creative.
The point of the matter I find is the nature of our giving, Kvangnes explained. We dont want our agents to go out and buy a lamp to do this little in-house auction. We give just really odd things. So somebody donated that they would put your Christmas lights up. Hey, did I bid on that? Yeah. See, just things like that.
You can say that we are just really an awesome group.

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