Marla Martin, Communications Manager, or Jeff Zipper, Vice President of Communications 407/438-1400, ext. 2326 or 2314
Jacksonville Realtor® Honored As 2011 Humanitarian of Year
ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 31, 2011 -- Florida Realtors® has named Richard “Rick” MacDonald, a member of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors ®, as its 2011 Humanitarian of the Year. The award was presented during the state association’s recent 95th annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.
This year’s Humanitarian of the Year award winner proves that Realtors make a difference in communities. MacDonald, a Realtor with The Legends of Real Estate, has devoted numerous volunteer hours to Metro Kids Konnection, a community effort he first heard about in 2002. That year, MacDonald and his children visited an after-school program in a low-to-no-income housing project suffering from poverty and crime; what he saw there inspired him to become personally involved.
After that 2002 Kids Konnection visit, MacDonald helped to substantially grow the organization and how it helps children in desperate need. For the past nine years, he has led the way in fundraising for the program; he’s also been chairman of its volunteer board for the past several years.
In 2010, MacDonald broke ground on a 4,200 square-foot facility and playground for Metro Kids Konnection. Children now benefit from tutoring, sports, recreation, hot meals and a variety of activities designed to help them dream beyond their circumstances and achieve success.
Since the 1996 founding of Metro Kids Konnection, juvenile arrests in the community have dropped 79 percent, according to organizers. Before Metro Kids Konnection existed, almost none of the children made it to high school, much less graduation – and less than 60 percent were even promoted to the next grade. Today, more than 93 percent of Metro Kids participants are promoted and the kids realize that college can be in their futures.
The accomplishments of Metro Kids Konnection are highly positive due in large part to Rick MacDonald, Florida Realtors’ 2011 Humanitarian of the Year.
Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 115,000 members in 64 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.