REALTORS® Who Care
Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS® do more than list or find a buyer for your home. They are your children’s coaches, the Sunday school teachers and community volunteers.
Most of our members participate in community service, but there are some who go above and beyond.
Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS® has a special recognition called the William J. Neary, Jr. Community Service Award in honor of the late REALTOR®, Bill Neary who wanted to spotlight those members who give back to the community.
Here are a few of the recent William J. Neary, Jr. Community Service Awardees
Martha Witte Suss, Office Manager with Long and Foster 2019 Care Award Recipient
Martha serves on the Talbot County Short Term Rental Board that approves licenses and hears complaints. She is on the Town of Easton Business Alliance and on the towns Tourism Board. Volunteers with the Talbot Humane Society and participated in a fundraiser called Dancing with Dogs that raised funds for the shelter. Helps with Habitat for Humanity Choptank and Co-Chaired a fundraising event where decorators and REALTORS teamed up. Volunteers with The Talbot Interfaith Shelter and the Neighborhood Service Center in Easton where she sponsors a family to make sure they have a Christmas.
Merrilie Ford, Associate Broker with Long and Foster 2018 Care Award Recipient
Volunteering is a passion and this REALTOR has been a Character Counts Coach for 15 years and was bestowed the honor of “Queen of Character Counts”. Also, for 15 Years this agent has been a Talbot Mentor and has three mentees as of April 2018 and served on the Talbot Mentor Board of Directors for 4 years. Is a current member and is on the steering committee for Easton’s Plein Air Festival for 12 years; and volunteers with Hospice’s Festival of Trees; Plus, is a member and on the Board of Directors of the Easton Club Community Association. In her spare time, she sells real estate and lots of it. She is admired by her fellow colleagues; especially the new crème of the crop which she is always willing to help and mentor. This REALTOR has accomplished a Lifetime of Achievements and is also a Mid-Shore Lifetime Achievement Recipient.
Duane Hilghman, Sales Agent with Benson and Mangold
Many REALTORS© have lost loved ones to cancer, but not many have started foundations in their loved ones names to help others. In 2004, Duane’s wife, Bonnie died of Breast Cancer at the age of 51. The following year, Duane set up a foundation as a way to keep her spirit alive and provide financial assistance to cancer patients in our community.
As one Wellness Director stated, There are so many costs that creep up when you are fighting cancer, patients are deluged with costs that can be overwhelming. Or they can be so sick that they cannot go to work, this is when they need help with rent payments or electric bills. And this is where the Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund helps.
The Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund helps those in the five county region, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent Queen Anne’s and Talbot to off-set the financial costs associated with cancer and to purchase equipment to detect and treat cancer. The fund strives to provide cancer patients with the extra support, often not covered by insurance so they can focus on fighting their disease.
For the past 11-years this foundation has helped over 160 cancer patients and raised close to $100,000.00. These $250.00 checks to the cancer patients accomplish two things, help with a few bills and expenses but most importantly they let the patients know others care and are aware of what they are going through.
Duane was recognized with the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS Community Service Award in 2016.
Mike Allison, Associate Broker with Long & Foster
Mike Allison has worked with Habitat for Humanity Choptank for over 7 years. Every Tuesday, during the winter cold and humid summers; this REALTOR has volunteered on the construction crew-that’s over 1,728 hours!
He also chaired the ReStore Building Committee that helped find the REStore a new location. Nancy Andrew, the Executive Director of Habitat said: “This REALTOR believes in the Habitat mission; can always be counted on and arrives in good spirits. Sometimes, will show up, even when not scheduled; knowing the ReStore is short staffed especially on Saturdays. This person will take the leadership role on a home project; to keep the work and volunteers moving forward.”
Mike was recognized with the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS Community Service Award in 2015.
Tim Kagan, Associate Broker with Benson and Mangold
Through Rotary International, Tim Kagan assisted in the administration of vaccinations to approximately 900 children to combat polio when he traveled to New Delhi, India. He had plans to go to Pakistan in 2014 to vaccinate an additional 600 more children, but was unable due to illness.
Through this effort and other outreach efforts, no new cases of polio have been reported in the communities where the polio vaccinations were administered. It is estimated that approximately 1,200 to 1,500 children have received polio vacations.
Tim has devoted over 1,200 hours on this project just in the past few years alone; traveled to India at his own expense and spent thousands of his own money to assist children with polio vacations. Tim was recognized with the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS Community Service Award in 2011 and the MRIS Adam Cockey Community Service Award in 2013.
Jim Bent, Associate Broker with Benson and Mangold
Jim has served on the Town of Easton’s Affordable Housing Board since 2010 and volunteers with the Waterfowl Festival since 1990; and the American Heart Assoc. for over 10-years. Jim has been a member and volunteer of the Easton Elks Lodge since 1976 and the Easton Kiwanis Club since 1980. Jim was recognized with the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS Community Service Award in 2009.