BizTucson Fall 2022 Special Report-Long

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Caring Time

Long Realty Cares Foundation Marks 20 Years

Twenty years ago, employees with the largest real estate compa ny in Southern Arizona became agents of altruism: Long Realty Company broke new ground –not on a home, but on a foundation that has put millions of dol lars into the community.

Since 2002, the foundation has funneled donations of more than $3.5 million to 300-plus nonprof its of all sizes throughout the re gion.

“The original premise of the foundation was to offer hope to those who needed housing or shel ter,” said Steve Quinlan, who was president of Long Realty when the foundation was established.

“That has evolved over time to

include providing sustenance and comfort and serving other needs in the communities where we work and live. I am thrilled that it has been so successful.”

Beneficiaries over the years have run the gamut − nonprofits that support social services, health, wellness and research, youth out reach, education, animal care and rescue, and arts education and outreach.

The list of grant recipients reads like a “Who’s Who” of regional charities; many are well known while others may be less familiar. All are reflective of the distinctive character of Tucson and South ern Arizona. Funds have also

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been gifted to service organizations, scholarships, schools and school-related foundations, including the University of Arizona Foundation, Rotary and Soroptimist clubs, and other founda tions and organizations that support nonprofits such as Angel Charity for Children, El Rio Health Center Foun dation, TMC Foundation and many more.

Ultimately, Quinlan said, Long Real ty Cares embraces the philosophy that supporting those in need is a longterm investment in Tucson and surrounding communities, including Green Valley, Sahuarita and Sierra Vista, as well as other areas that Long Realty serves throughout southern Arizona.

“It is important for each of us to give back to our community if we can afford to do that. It helps Tucson to be better. When Tucson does better, we sell more houses and it is great for businesses − not only for Long Realty Company, Long Insurance, Agave Title Agency (formerly Long Title) and Prosperity Mortgage (formerly Long Mortgage), but for other businesses and for the economy overall,” said Quinlan, who also recognizes that nonprofits them selves play an integral role in the re gion’s economic health.

In fact, the nonprofit sector is ranked among Arizona’s top five nongovern ment employers. It accounts for 7% of wages and salaries statewide, according to a 2016 study by the Alliance of Ari zona Nonprofits.

A Core of Caring

Long Realty Cares was spearheaded by Quinlan and a core group of for ward-thinking REALTORS® and ex ecutives, including now-retired Diane Weintraub, the late Christine “Wissy” Wendt and Rosey Koberlein, who was general manager of Long Realty Com pany at the time and is now the chair of Long Companies.

The innovative group understood the power of cooperative philanthropy.

“Long Realty had a history of sup port for community organizations, and we thought, ‘How can we leverage this to increase the contributions and ex pand the reach of that support?’ One way to do that was to get even more

agents engaged in the process,” said Quinlan.

After extensive research and plan ning, they implemented a process that enabled agents to contribute to the foundation during closings on sales transactions for homes and properties. Agents can choose to gift a percentage or flat fee from their commissions on sales. They can also opt to make an nual donations. Long Realty Cares then sends acknowledgement to clients that a contribution to the foundation has been made in the client’s name. Long employees also participate by having contributions deducted from their pay checks.

“This is a feel-good situation for consumers,” Koberlein said. “They appreciate that their sales associate is philanthropic-minded and that part of the sales associate’s commission went to the foundation to support nonprofits. Some clients are so impressed that they then make additional donations to the

buying or selling houses or making donations on behalf of clients or on behalf of nonprofits, we strive to make a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Reneé Gonzales CEO Long Realty Companies
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foundation themselves.”

Shortly after it was formed, the foun dation began funding monthly grants − most range between $500 and $5,000 − to local nonprofits. In 2017, it added larger “Annual Significant Gifts” of be tween $20,000 and $65,000 in an effort to “go above and beyond” the monthly grants with high-impact gifts.

All gifts are made possible by more than 500 donors who have contributed at various levels over the years. Bene factors have donated up to $4,999; atrons have gifted from $5,000 to $19,999 and Champions have donated between $20,000 and $49,999. Vision ary Contributors have donated between $50,000 and $100,000 and include Christine and Russell Long − whose grandfather, Roy, founded Long Realty in 1926 − and Koberlein, who is grati fied by the foundation’s momentum. stly had no idea when we started this that 20 years later we would have contributed $3.5 million back to charities in communities around the state. I could not have imagined that it would grow this much,” Koberlein said.

She credits the success to the inher ent generosity of those who make real estate their careers.

“It is within the DNA of REAL TORS® to give back,” she said. “As a REALTOR®, your business base is your community, and you receive in come from your community. Giving back to that community is critically im portant for how you live your life.”

A Testament to Community Commitment

In retrospect, Koberlein is particu larly impressed that the foundation has maintained its mission through decades of local, national and global economic fluctuations.

“For six of the past 20 years, we were in a serious recession during which real estate transactions and average sales were reduced by 50%. Those were challenging financial times, but agents and employees continued to contribute to the foundation to support nonprof its. It is a testament to their community commitment,” Koberlein said.

That commitment was also tested during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The foundation rose to the occasion

by providing emergency grants to non profits that were struggling due to de creases in donations and loss of volun teers while simultaneously experiencing increased need from clients. The quick response by the board of directors filled unique needs through the Commu nity Food Bank of Southern Arizona; YMCA of Southern Arizona, which requested support for development of an after-school care program for first responders; the Educational Enrich ment Foundation, which used funding to provide laptops for students during distance learning; and Mending Souls, which made face masks.

“This was extra funding for these nonprofits when everything was uncer tain and money was tight for everyone,” said Foundation President Thom Me lendez. “Moving forward, we want to ensure that we have reserves so that we continued on page 139 >>>

“I honestly when we started this that 20 years later we would have contributed $3.5 million back to charities in communities around the state.”
Rosey Koberlein Chair Long Realty Companies
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can consider emergency grants if need ed again in times of financial distress.

Changing Lives, Saving Lives

Today, Long Realty Company boasts more than 1,400 licensed real estate sales associates in more than 40 of fices, including 27 affiliate real estate and property management companies statewide. The business ranks in the top 30 of independent real estate com panies in the nation based on the Real Trends 500 Survey, and its affiliation with the Long Realty Cares Foundation is a distinct attraction for many agents and employees, Melendez said.

Melendez joined Long Realty in 2017 after a 10-year career in the non profit sector that included a role as ma jor gifts fundraiser at the University of Arizona. He joined the board of direc tors for Long Realty Cares in 2018.

“I know the gifts from Long Realty Cares Foundation are significant to nonprofits and I like the fact that the foundation gives to so many differ ent organizations in Southern Ari

zona,” Melendez said. “I will never be a millionaire, but I know that my gifts through the foundation have a broader impact because they are combined with the donations of others.”

That impact is facilitated by the di verse 17-member board of directors, each of whom is appointed to a threeyear term. Board members represent offices throughout the region. Board members are also affiliated with offices in Sahuarita, Sierra Vista and Green Valley and corporate, title and mort gage offices.

“Long Realty and the Long Realty Cares Foundation is here to positive ly impact people’s lives: That is our ‘Why,’ ” said Long Realty CEO Reneé Gonzales. “Whether it is in regard to buying or selling houses or making do nations on behalf of clients or on be half of nonprofits, we strive to make a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Long Realty agents represent varied backgrounds and cultures, ages, educa tion levels, religions and economic sta tus. The intent is for the board to open windows into different areas and neigh

borhoods and to better understand the unique needs in the communities that they represent, ultimately proving more effective in the foundation’s mission to provide basic needs, comfort and suste nance.

“When people join the foundation board, there is an enormous sense of pride that they are participating in the distribution of dollars they know their colleagues worked hard to earn,” Ko berlein said. “They are serious about being good ambassadors for those funds so they have maximum impact.”

As president, Melendez is not a vot ing member, but he is diligent about meeting with local organizations to monitor need in the community. He is constantly in search of new nonprofits while promoting awareness about the foundation and encouraging fellow board members to do the same.

“I learned a phrase in philanthropy that stayed with me: ‘It is about chang ing lives and saving lives,’ ” Melendez said. “My vision is that the foundation will continue to change lives and save lives in our community.”

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Grant Process Values Inclusion

Raffle Raises Thousands Each Year

Since it was formed, the Long Realty Cares Foundation has finetuned a unique dual-pronged process for implementation of the col lective power of caring.

“Many people who are philanthropic-minded have multiple inter ests and give to multiple nonprofits,” said Thom Melendez, president of the board of directors for the foundation. “For agents and employ ees of Long Realty Company who are already supporting charities, giving through the Long Realty Cares Foundation is almost like dou bling or tripling your gifts − and in some cases, even more.”

The foundation collects donations for grants primarily from Long Realty Company sales associates who gift funds through commissions during closings on home or property transactions. The optional gifts are a flat fee or a percentage of select transactions, and real estate agents can choose to have funds distributed per transaction or annu ally. All Long Realty Company employees can support the foundation through direct gifts by credit card, check or cash.

Every donor to the Long Realty Cares Foundation is designated a “member” of the foundation and is then eligible to “sponsor” non profits.

“To be a sponsor, you have to be involved with the charity. For ex ample, if you want to sponsor Youth on Their Own, you have to be a volunteer or perhaps a board member of the nonprofit and then you

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can ‘sponsor’ or request that YOTO become a beneficiary of a grant from the foundation,” said Melendez, adding that financial support to a charity also qualifies one as a sponsor.

Each sponsor submits a written grant request to the board member af filiated with their respective Long Re alty branch office. That board member presents the grant request to fellow board members and serves as a liaison between the sponsor and the board.

Grants are funneled back into the community by the 17-member board of directors comprised of representa tives from Long Realty Company offic es throughout the region, including Sa huarita, Sierra Vista and Green Valley.

Monthly Gif ts that Keep Giving

Grant requests generally range be tween $500 and $5,000 and multiple grants are gifted monthly depending on the funds available. Through August of this year, more than 40 monthly grants

of various sizes have been gifted to non profits to address diverse needs.

“We love the idea that everyone can join in. By making a $25 or $50 dona tion, sometimes people think, ‘What will that do? It will help a little, but will it make a difference?’ When you get a bunch of people contributing and pool the donations, before you know it, your donation has touched 57 different char

ities in just one year,” said Melendez.

The foundation intentionally oper ates with only a small endowment, ac cording to Board VP Ron Sable.

“The board of directors holds back a small amount in case of catastrophe, but we believe it is our responsibility to get donor dollars into the hands of charities the donors actively support and to the programs that are so impor tant. That is why we tell donors that their gifts can be leveraged into larger gifts for their favorite charities,” said Sable.

Amplified Caring through Annual Significant Gifts

The foundation takes gifting to the next level with Annual Significant Gifts − five-figure grants that were imple mented because of the Ticket to Care annual fall raffle.

The raffle, which has been trade marked by the foundation, is the brain child of real estate agent Liz Peckham, board president from 2011-2013. A

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“We love the idea that everyone can join in.”
Thom Melendez Board President Long Realty Cares Foundation
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Ben’s Bells

Both Long Realty Cares Foundation and Ben’s Bells are celebrating milestone 20th anniversaries this year and it was great to be able to partner with them to recreate the ‘I am Tucson’ mural with a new home at the Tuc son Convention Center. Long Realty Cares Foundation stepped in as the lead sponsor for this mural, which we like to call ‘the conveyor belt of kindness.’ We have individuals, businesses and organizations coming in to create hundreds and hundreds of tiles for the mural that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

continued from page 143 seasoned fundraising veteran for Cata lina Foothills School District Founda tion, Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson and Tucson Medical Center We Are Champions (an affinity group of the TMC Foundation), Peckham developed the event in 2008 in response to ongo ing need from local nonprofits.

“We were trying to think of creative ways to fill the need of the community because we had so many grant requests, plus we wanted to gift some larger grants that would have a large-scale im pact,” said Peckham.

To that end, she created a raffle com prised of one-of-a-kind experiences − dinners with Long Realty executives, combination golf/spa days and other attractive prizes − that would appeal to groups of friends and families.

The fundraiser was an instant success and has evolved to include more than 100 offerings each year with a grand prize of $5,000 and two $1,000 prizes, as well as gift cards to local restaurants, golf packages, art and jewelry, gift bas kets from local businesses and much more. Since the onset of COVID-19, prizes have included $5,000 in gift cards from local restaurants purchased by the foundation in an attempt to offset the fi nancial hardship experienced by small, locally owned businesses during the pandemic.

Ticket to Care 2022 Raffle ticket sales are open to the public and begin online Oct. 10 and continue through Nov. 2.; tickets are one for $15, two for $20, 12 for $100, 65 for $500 and 110 for $750.

Ticket to Care presents an affordable opportunity for the community to come together with a common goal of car ing while raising funds for projects with far-reaching impact, according to Long Realty Cares Foundation Administrator Michelle Salvagio.

Dedicated to spreading intentional kindness and reminding people to practice kindness daily.

“For only $15, you could potentially win a grand prize of $5,000, so this is truly a win-win because that money is going toward programs that continue to improve the places where we work and live,” said Salvagio.

Since 2017, the foundation has gifted a total of six Annual Significant Gifts in amounts ranging from $20,000 to

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− Helen Gomez, Executive Director of Ben’s Bells
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Haven Totes

Long Realty Cares Foundation has blessed us so that we can bless others and ‘grateful’ doesn’t begin to describe how we feel. They are helping so many dif ferent organizations that support people and families who are out there trying to better themselves but have run into hard times. Everyone has hard times now and then, and Long Realty Cares Foundation helps to give people something to fall back on.

The all-volunteer nonprofit has received monthly grant funding to purchase nonperishable food staples for those from low-come families. Haven Totes serves more than 200 families monthly through its food bank at 701 S. Kolb Road and food pantries at Amphithe ater Middle School, Apollo Middle School, Catalina High School, and several other local schools. It also offers emergency “Kid Totes” with weekend meals for students and emergency family food bags through 15 schools on the east side of Tucson.

continued from page 144 $65,000. Chosen by members of the board of directors, the diverse grants have served as vital seed money for projects such as the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th for LGBTQ+ youth; El Rio Health’s Cherrybell Health Center; the Healing the Healer Patio at Tucson Medical Center; the Habitat for Hu manity Tucson Connie Hillman Urban Construction Knowledge (CHUCK) Center, and the Ben’s Bells “I am Tuc son” Mural at Tucson Convention Center. Additionally, one grant provid ed an accessible van for Esperanza en Escalante, which provides transitional housing and other services for homeless and near-homeless veterans.

A Pulse on Local Philanthropy

Ultimately, the entire grant process for Long Realty Cares Foundation is de signed to monitor the pulse of the everexpanding nonprofit sector in Southern Arizona and respond to needs through gifts both small and large. The grants are frequently accompanied by handson, personal support from members of the Long Realty Cares Foundation in the form of supply drives, in-kind gifts and volunteer hours.

The net result is increased public awareness about the array of nonprofits serving the region.

“REALTORS® encounter so many different people throughout their days and it gives them opportunities to re ally connect with different nonprofits,” Peckham said. “We deal with clients from every walk of life who know of organizations that many people have never heard about. Through the Long Realty Cares Foundation, we are in the perfect position to help get the word out and provide support.”

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Reaching Out

Foundation Finds the Underserved and Lesser-known Nonprofits

This year, Long Realty Cares Foun dation marks a 20-year crusade of caring, a movement that has impacted 200-plus regional nonprofits.

“This is a long list of local charities that represents countless individuals, families and lives in our community,” said Michelle Salvagio, foundation administrator for Long Realty Cares Foundation.

Through monthly grants and fivefigure Annual Significant Gifts, the foundation has touched virtually every aspect of the nonprofit sector − social services, health, wellness and research, youth outreach, support for seniors and veterans, education, animal care and rescue, and arts education and out reach.

Development of partnerships with nonprofits and communication with potential grant recipients has been key to the process, according to Salvagio.

“Our board of directors is commit ted to cultivating relationships with both new and established charities through our Long Realty Companies donor members to give our grant dol lars the biggest impact,” said Salvagio.

Partnerships that empower

Fittingly for an organization founded by a real estate brokerage, a longterm partner over the years is Habitat for Humanity Tucson, which is dedicated to facilitating home ownership for lowincome families that earn 40% to 80% of Pima County’s median income.

The foundation has been instru mental not only in helping to establish

HabiStore Tucson, but in coordinating volunteer teams to assist with building homes and, most recently, in providing $20,000 in seed funding for the Connie Hillman Urban Construction Knowl edge (CHUCK) Center slated to open in January 2023.

“We use the term ‘game-changer’ in reference to Long Realty Cares Foun dation and the support it has provided for Habitat for Humanity Tucson and the CHUCK Center,” said Charlie Bu chanan, CEO of Habitat for Human ity Tucson. “We are excited about the bright opportunities that this facility will present to Habitat and the com munity. Currently, we close between 12 and 15 homes per year, and our goal is to increase that to 20 homes annually with the CHUCK Center.”

The 14,000-square-foot center seeks to solve complex issues surrounding the construction labor force. In col laboration with Pima Community Col lege, the facility will offer a hands-on learning lab to facilitate construction of homes and modular housing com ponents while providing training in the plumbing, carpentry, framing and elec trician fields. Warehouse space at the center will also allow Habitat to capture cost savings by procuring construction materials in bulk while minimizing sup ply chain issues.

Buchanan emphasized that support from the foundation will help address the ongoing shortage of affordable homes in the current housing market, in which home prices have doubled and rent prices have increased by 60% over the last five years.

“There is a dire need for skilled labor in construction and the trades across Arizona, and we will offer training in both construction and home repair,” Buchanan said. “The goal is to accel erate production and preservation of

reference to Long Realty Cares Foundation and the support it has provided for Habitat for Humanity Tucson.”
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affordable housing within Southern Arizona. We are trying to provide more opportunities for home ownership, which is a permanent solution to the stabilization of families and neighbor hoods.”

Support for the most vulnerable members of the community

Potential stabilization of vulnerable populations was also the impetus be hind the foundation’s $65,000 Annual Significant Gift to Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) in support of the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th.

“The Long Realty Cares Foundation has been an amazing, longtime sup porter of SAAF. The foundation’s con tribution to our capital campaign for the Thornhill Lopez Center played a huge part in providing an affirming and safe space for LGBTQ+ youth,” said Monique Vallery, director of develop ment for SAAF.

Opened in 2017, the center provides an array of support and services for LG BTQ+ and allied youth ages 13 to 24, including a learning lab and computer center; performance space; a kitchen; laundry and showers; a bodega that supplies food, clothing and other basic needs, and common space for meetings and other activities. Vallery said it is a vital resource for marginalized commu nity members, particularly since LG BTQ+ youth experience higher rates of homelessness, family estrangement, bullying and suicide.

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to be recognized for their authentic selves,” Vallery said. “It offers a healthy and safe environment that can help with finishing school, assist with work force development and build positive life skills so youth can continue forward and become contributing members of the community.”

Promoting healthy alliances and awareness for nonprofits

Development of healthy alliances with lesser-known nonprofit partners is also a priority for Long Realty Cares Foundation, according to foundation board President Thom Melendez.

“The foundation does more than give grants. It also provides education and information to members about amaz ing charities and services available in the community that they might not be aware of,” said Melendez.

Sol Food Initiatives is one such ben eficiary. Dedicated to the elimination of food insecurity through collaboration, the nonprofit community kitchen was

established through Saguaro Christian Church three years ago. It fed up to 100 families weekly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to supply 40 meals for the homeless each Wednesday at Saguaro Center, 8302 E. Broadway.

Long Realty Cares Foundation has supported the efforts with monthly grants and emergency funding during COVID.

“There is a real food desert on the east side of Tucson that many people don’t know about. These are lower in come people that need help,” said Ker ry Swindle, board chair for Sol Food Initiatives. “It is our goal to help them, and we are grateful that the foundation supports that vision. It has been a bless ing for our program and so many oth ers.”

The foundation has championed other distinctive nonprofits such as the Angel Heart Pajama Project, which has gifted 38,000 pairs of pajamas and books to children in crisis since 2013. The nonprofit serves kids who are

homeless, abused, neglected, ill and low-income through 80 social service agencies predominantly in Tucson, Si erra Vista, Marana, Yuma and along the I-19 corridor. It also serves refugees and kids in shelters and the foster care system.

Both the foundation grants and the exposure the nonprofit has received as a result of Long Realty Companies’ re cent pajama/book drive are invaluable, according to Patti Lopez, executive di rector of Angel Heart Pajama Project.

“The support is phenomenal. When we combine the foundation grants with the pajamas collected by Long Realty Companies, we will reach at least 1,500 kids,” said Lopez. “Many of these kids have never had a pair of pajamas. They just sleep in underwear or clothes. We understand the stress and difficulties that children face due to displacement and traumatic situations, and we are happy give them something special and to make a difference in their lives.

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Diverse Board Addresses Diverse Needs

Foundation Board Focused on Helping Those Who Need It

– 2016

The Board of Directors for Long Re alty Cares Foundation harness a wealth of knowledge and life experiences to leverage home commerce into caring.

“Diversity is one of many strengths of the board of directors for Long Re alty Cares Foundation,” said Pat Jes sup, a real estate agent with the Oro Valley office who served as the second president of the foundation from 2005 to 2008. “The community of Tucson and Southern Arizona is culturally, eco nomically and ethnically diverse. The board reflects that and so do the chari ties that the foundation supports.”

Foundation board members boast backgrounds in government, private industry, education, health care, mar keting, small business ownership, tech nology, and many other fields. Jessup emphasized that a large percentage of REALTORS®, himself included, have segued into real estate from other ca reers.

“When you come to real estate as a second career, you bring a whole set of valuable experiences, goals and skills that affect how you practice real estate, how you live, and how you give,” said Jessup, a native Tucsonan and Univer sity of Arizona graduate who worked in aviation and fire management prior to earning his real estate license.

Jessup believes that REALTORS®’ life experiences are enhanced by the time, talent and treasure that many dedicate to nonprofits, resulting in unique insight into the needs in South ern Arizona.

That shared insight is fortified by a dedicated culture of caring, said An thony Schaefer, president of the Long

Realty Cares Foundation from 2019 to 2021.

“There is a beautiful spirit of service within the culture of Long Realty Com pany. All branches of the organization proudly join to empower the Long Re alty Cares Foundation mission,” said Schaefer, who leads the Schaefer Team at Long Realty.

A Spirit of Service

The success of Long Realty Cares Foundation illustrates the elements of giving and caring that go hand-in-hand with careers in real estate, according to Jessup.

“My feeling about the foundation is that the path traveled should be a bit better for you or I having traveled over it,” said Jessup. “I also think that if you have achieved some level of success, it is important to share it: We are paying back the future.”

Jessup did his part guiding the young foundation through its first major gift − and largest single gift to date − for $200,000 in seed money to establish HabiStore Tucson in 2006. The venue offers the public low prices on home building supplies, appliances and furni ture, while also providing the opportu nity for local businesses, home builders and individuals to recycle new and gen tly used items and surplus materials.

“HabiStore and Habitat for Human ity are a natural fit with the founda tion. In the hierarchy of basic needs, a safe and comfortable shelter are at the top of the list,” said Jessup, who is also a long-time supporter of Ott Family YMCA, the Community Food Bank, and the Arizona Daily Star Sports

men’s Fund, which sends children from low-income and military households to summer camp.

In a sense, the foundation itself has taken on the role of a philanthropic first responder, said Ron Sable, VP of the board for Long Realty Cares Foun dation.

“We are about responding to need. That is the critical criteria,” said Sable, who paired up with his wife, Patsy, a Tucson native, to form the Patsy Sable Team for Long Realty Company in 2004. Prior to relocating to Tucson, Sable enjoyed a 50-plus year career in aerospace defense − a highlight was working for the National Security Council under President Reagan.

“Tucson is an amazing place. I don’t think you can watch a sunset here or look at the clouds over the mountains without recognizing how special it is,” said Sable. “However, it also has special needs, and there are a lot of them. That is where Long Realty Cares Foundation comes in. We may never address all the needs, but we can certainly do our part.”

Many board members find the foun dation’s support of nonprofits close to home particularly compelling, said Susan Barry, board president from 2008 to 2011.

“When I took over in 2008, the hous ing crisis was at its peak. Obviously, that affected the foundation, but agents and employees of Long Companies contin ued to give because they felt it was im portant to support local organizations and the local community,” said Barry, who has been an agent with Long Re alty for 22 years. She is based at the Oro Valley office with her partner and hus band, Dr. Jim Levi, a retired orthopedic surgeon from Tucson Orthopedic Insti tute. “We also tried to make sure that small nonprofits doing necessary work received help to keep them from going under.”

Barry finds the foundation’s contin ued support of deserving nonprofits beyond gratifying.

“During our lifetimes, I think it is im portant to support organizations we feel strongly about and help them maintain their strength in the community,” said Barry, who has served on the board of directors for the Phoenix Arthritis Foundation and supports the University of Arizona Arthritis Center.

Thom Melendez Paul Oelrich Sherry Ulasien Reneé Gonzales Martha Staten Katherine Zellerbach Peter DeLuca Jeni Hisko Jacque Torres Nancy Hennessey Deidra Spinks Matt Rivera Debbie Goodman-Butler Jennifer Anderson Doreen Roush Karen Barrera Ron Sable Vice PresidentPresident SecretaryTreasurer BOARD
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Promoting Awareness, Empowering Nonprofits

Foundation grants not only fund an array of worthy organizations, but also help to tell their stories to the public, said to Paul Oelrich, a seven-year vet eran of the board and current treasurer.

“We hear about so many deserv ing organizations centered in Tucson and surrounding areas that shore up so many factions of the community, whether through supporting children, diversity, veterans and seniors, or even by speaking kindness through the world. It is wonderful to give these recipients exposure,” said Oelrich, who began his career as a REALTOR® in 2012. His prior experience includes a 20-year ca reer with American Airlines and nearly a decade as VP of marketing for Execu tive Development Systems in Dallas.

Oelrich said he appreciates the op portunity to serve with the foundation after years of volunteerism, including stints as a board member for nonprofits such as IMPACT of Southern Arizona.

“There is a difference between serv ing on the board for a charitable orga nization and serving on the board for a foundation,” Oelrich said. “Charities are always in need of money and ser vices, so it feels like such a blessing to be involved with the foundation, which is able to fund grants to charities. It is really a blessing to be able to give back to the communities that we serve as REALTORS®.”

Secretary of the Board Peter DeLuca agrees that most realtors are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to those in need.

“I think that the majority of REAL TORS® feel fortunate to be in this business at the time we are in it,” said DeLuca, a graduate of Marana High School who became a REALTOR® in 1987 after careers in construction and massage therapy. “They are a really good group of people who are all try ing to do the right thing and are very inclusive with the nonprofits that they support.”

Visionary Stewardship into the Future

The ability of Long Realty Cares Foundation to distribute dollars across the nonprofit spectrum makes it a force for good now and in the future, said Schaefer.

“Many foundations and nonprofits have a specific area of focus. In this instance, Long Realty Cares Founda tion is working for the greater Tucson community by accumulating dollars and support to distribute to a variety of philanthropic organizations,” said Schaefer, a Tucson native who has been active with numerous organizations and fundraising efforts including El Rio Foundation, El Rio Vecinos, the 2022 American Heart Association Heart Ball Campaign and Social Venture Partners. “This ensures the entire community is taken care of, not just a specific subset.”

With explosive growth in Southern Arizona corresponding to increased need, Schaefer believes the Long Real ty Cares Foundation is more vital than ever to the health of the region.

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Youth On Their Own

Long Realty Cares Foundation has been supporting Youth On Their Own consistently for many years. The foundation has given YOTO well over $33,000 in grants over the years and many employees with Long Realty Companies have also made contributions and supported in-kind drives to collect supplies for students.

They have helped so many youths who are experienc ing homelessness to graduate from high school with our suppor t.

“We need to continue to build out our donor base and our supporters within the organization while also seeking out side supporters who can be confident that their dollars will be stewarded with responsibility and intentional focus,” said Schaefer.

The foundation has worked diligently to raise its public profile through events such as the annual Tickets to Care raffle and other avenues, said Trudie Penta, who was board president between 2013 and 2016.

Penta, who has been an agent with Long Realty since 1996, encourages the public to consider gifts to the founda tion in honor of or in memory of oth ers.

“I did this recently when my friend’s husband passed away and she loved it. It is a great way to honor someone’s memory and raise money for the foun dation,” Penta said. “All the money we raise goes right back into the commu nity. The foundation has done so much, it is unbelievable.”

Ultimately, the leadership, commu nication and commitment of current and former board members inspires the confidence necessary for a contin ued legacy of giving, said past president Barb Moylan, a 10-year veteran of the board and president from 2016 to 2019. Under Moylan’s guidance, the founda tion established the “Annual Significant Gift” which has continued over the years.

“The board members are fantastic. They have always had lively discus sions as to the merits of the charities,” Moylan said. “When they review each grant request they look at how it will di rectly impact the charity and the clients each charity supports. I don’t remem ber a time I ever walked away from a meeting when I didn’t wish we had more money to give because the causes are so worthwhile.”

Board President Thom Melendez has no doubt that the viability of the foun dation is enhanced by the generosity and varied skills of its many members.

“I think all of us recognize that phi lanthropy is made more powerful by the opportunity for people with different strengths and talents to come together to give back now and in the future,” Melendez said.

− Bethany Neumann, Director of Development & Communications for YOTO
YOTO will support 1,500 middle-school and highschool youth in Pima County during the 2022-2023 school year as they pursue graduation and continued success.
158 BizTucson < < < Fall 2022

Agent of Philanthropy

Diane Weintraub Leads Foundation to Fruition

As an avid volunteer and successful real estate agent, Diane Weintraub rec ognized the need to support the efforts of fellow real estate agents who were gifting time and talent to local charities.

Weintraub had been with Long Re alty for more than 20 years when she approached Steve Quinlan, who was president of Long Realty at the time, and then General Manager Rosey Ko berlein with a proposition to establish what became the Long Realty Cares Foundation.

“I said, ‘I want to do something for the company. We need to acknowledge the REALTORS® who are spending their time helping others.’ I did some research and we formed a board and then a foundation. The effort just grew and grew,” said Weintraub, who was the founding president when the foun dation was formed in 2002.

Quinlan credits Weintraub with working tirelessly to bring the concept to fruition.

“Diane was an innovator, and other agents really embraced the vision,” he said.

Weintraub particularly appreciates that the process provides both REAL TORS® and their clients with oppor tunities to become stakeholders in non profits, essentially pulling more people into the circle of giving.

“There are so many people in need and they appreciate the help so much,” Koberlein said. “If a REALTOR® gives part of their commission to an or ganization that they love, certainly the organization is going to talk about that REALTOR® and refer that REAL TOR® to others.

“For REALTORS®, this improves business, and it boosts awareness about the nonprofit. It also shows the REAL TORS®’ commitments to the commu nity. They aren’t just buying and selling houses; they are building community by helping others.”

Starting the foundation was a gratify

ing experience for Weintraub, a former psychologist, who arrived in Tucson at age 12. She graduated from Tucson High School and went on to attain a bachelor’s degree in sociology followed by a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Ari zona.

She counts Long Realty Cares Foun dation among her greatest achieve ments in real estate and philanthropy.

“It was a priority,” she said. “I loved being a REALTOR®, but I loved the foundation even more.”

Ultimately, Weintraub is optimistic that the Long Realty Cares Foundation tradition of caring will endure and that the public will continue to embrace the mission.

“Some people want to make money and keep it in their family. I think that is selfish,” she said. “There are so many ways we can help others, and I en courage everyone to think about their legacies.”

160 BizTucson < < < Fall 2022 Biz

Years of Community Giving
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