Kevin Spina, at front, shows his paddle board style while traveling from Bimini to Palm Beach as part of the Piper’s Angels Foundation’s 2018 Crossing for a Cure. He and his brother Kraig, in the background, helped raise more than $26,000 to fight cystic fibrosis.
PALM BEACH, Fla. – Kevin Spina is no stranger to athletic competitions. He’s is an avid runner and cyclist, having completed over 20 marathons and numerous triathlons. Most of the competitions raised money for different charities.
“I’ve been involved in different fundraising groups when I did marathons years ago, such as the Achilles Foundation and the Leukemia Foundation,” says Spina, of the Keyes Company’s Spina Group in Palm Beach. “You’re lucky in life, so you give back.”
However, the biggest challenge was the one he recently completed in the summer of 2018. Along with a fleet of stand-up paddle boarders, kayakers and board enthusiasts, Spina, accompanied by his brother Kraig, crossed the Gulf Stream in the middle of the night to help raise $26,390 to help fight cystic fibrosis during the Piper’s Angels Foundation’s 2018 Crossing for a Cure. The team exceeded their goal by more than $6,000.
In just 15 hours, the Spina brothers completed the 75-nautical mile journey from Bimini to Palm Beach on stand-up paddle boards. Crossing for a Cure was started by Travis Suit, whose daughter, Piper, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of four. This year, the event raised more than $250,000 towards inspiring action and improving the lives of those impacted by the disorder.
Spina says, “I met Travis when I was in the Bahamas last year at the time this event was taking place. I’ve become friends with him and am proud to raise money for such a good cause.”
So, how does one go from running and biking to paddle boarding?
“I was looking for something new, because I’m not able to run like I used to, so I started paddle boarding,” Spina says.” My brother and I trained. Every weekend, we did a long paddle of 30 to 38 miles. However, we didn’t have to deal with a lot of currents like we did during the actual event.”
His brother, Kraig, isn’t in real estate. “He is a water person though,” adds Spina. “He (Kraig) surfs and rides bikes on dirt courses.”
“Our Keyes family is about more than just real estate,” said Mike Pappas, president and CEO of The Keyes Company. “It’s always great to see members of our family raising money and awareness for important causes, and Kevin’s dedication to Crossing for a Cure perfectly epitomizes our company values.”
The Keyes Company holds several philanthropic Keyes Cares initiatives throughout the year to give back in the six counties where the brokerage operates. With a variety of events on different scales, such as the Keyes Cares Walter Reyes Memorial Golf Tournament, the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, partnering with Move for Hunger, the Wounded Warrior Project and Over the Edge event, Keyes hopes to spark innovative, passionate ideas to encourage community service among its 3,500 associates.
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MANALAPAN, Fla. – “If you don’t give these kids somewhere to go, the gangs will take them.” Spoken by Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw at a Boys & Girls Club of America event, that statement resonated with Kathryn Gillespie, a Realtor with Illustrated Properties in Manalapan, Fla.
“It really saddened me because the children he was talking about are pretty wonderful,” she says. “That was the real hook for me to get involved with the Boys & Girls Club.”
Since then, Gillespie and numerous other Illustrated Properties Realtors have gotten involved with club events. She’s immediate past-chair of the Boys & Girls Club of Boca Raton (which she chaired for four years); has headed up organizational fundraisers in both Broward and Palm Beach counties; and either chaired or helped support fundraising events like Casino Night and Concours d’Elegance, the latter of which raised more than $10 million for the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County.
In real estate for 29 years, Gillespie transitioned from commercial to residential about five years ago because she “loves bringing people to properties.”
Working with Illustrated Properties’ agents Pat Evans, Nicolette Goldfarb and Marley Goodman – all of whom chaired a recent fundraiser event, the Wellington Dinner Dance at the International Polo Club – Gillespie enjoys becoming a part of the fabric of her community. She says every personal connection she makes has a special meaning.
“As Realtors,” she says, “it’s just better when we all work together.”
Virginia M. Spencer, general manager of Illustrated Properties in Palm Beach County, says, “Our entire company does a lot for the organization, with specific agents taking on and participating in various causes that support the Boys & Girls Club.” Spencer served on one of the club’s grant committees that established its “Keyboards for Kids” group piano classes.
Through her charitable work, Gillespie says she’s learned just how giving the Boca Raton community is.
“This is where I live, where I go to church, and where my children attended school,” she says. “It’s a community that cares about everyone, and not just the top 1 percent.”
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JUPITER, Fla. – Being the wife of a professional baseball player wasn’t easy. “We moved so frequently, and it was hard on us,” says Holly Meyer Lucas, a sales associate and leader of the Meyer Lucas team at Compass Real Estate in Jupiter. In fact, when her husband Ed Lucas got called up to the big leagues, Meyer Lucas was pregnant with her first son.Read More »
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Actor G.W. Bailey, from the TV show Major Crimes, is pictured with Naples Realtor Rick Fioretti at a recent event for the Sunshine Kids Foundation.
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Realtor Tamara Williams, shown in the back row, center, is pictured with several participants in the local Pace Center for Girls program, along with other organizers and volunteers.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Tamara Williams, broker/owner of Sweet Life Realty Group in West Palm Beach, is a giver. “I come from a family that gives back. From the time I could drive myself, I would go to nursing homes (to visit the elderly residents),” she says.
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SARASOTA, Fla. – Fifteen years ago, Sally Rackey didn’t set out to be the person monitoring cell-phone use during listing meetings at the Sarasota Association of Realtors® (now known as the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee) but, says the broker/owner of Sally Rackey Realty in Sarasota, “someone had to be the bad guy!” After all, when someone’s phone went off at the weekly meeting, she would collect $5 from that person –and all the money went to charity.Read More »