Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Lending a Helping Hand

Submitted Photos
| The crew from the Keller Williams Realty Marco Island RED Day project assemble for a much-needed break.


A nurse who’s on the front lines caring for people stricken with COVID has been rewarded with a no-strings-attached, from-the-heart gesture that is a true difference maker. 

Fritzi Holmes, left, Michele Rose and Dina Johnson make sure the side-yard is ship-shape.

The Marco resident’s home recently received some sorely needed refreshing from a team of spirited volunteers and the source of that gift was Keller Williams Realty Marco Island. The project represented the office’s 2021 observation of Keller Williams Realty International’s annual RED Day global day of service. Held the second Thursday in May, “RED” is an acronym that stands for Renew, Energize and Donate.

In the past, the office has observed RED Day with such things as trimming brush and branches at Marco Island Academy’s campus, beach cleanups, blood drives, food drives and assisting on erecting a Habitat for Humanity house. Last year, the office used proceeds from a fundraiser to donate more than $10,000 worth of Publix Super Market gift cards to workers at 45 of the island’s eateries. 

A nurse at Naples Community Hospital’s COVID ward, the homeowner wished to remain anonymous. She was recommended to the 2021 RED Day project by Cathy Ahern, a friend and realtor at Keller Williams Marco Island. 

“She’s a wonderful person,” said Ahern. “Her husband passed, and it’s been a hard go for her for the past couple years, especially with COVID on top of that. She’s working double shifts and was just getting behind (with upkeep), that’s all. So, we just thought it would be a good idea to help her catch up.”

The work included such tasks as pressure washing and painting the home’s exterior and its fence, minor interior repairs, cleaning the pool, trimming trees, and giving overgrown landscaping a sculpted look, and more. Aiding the cause were donated materials and manpower from Sunshine Ace Hardware on Marco, Jt’s Services, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Cutco, and the Sherwin-Williams Paint Store on Bald Eagle Drive. 

Realtors and staff from Keller Williams’ Marco office were joined by volunteers from the Noontime Rotary Club of Marco Island. 

Marco City Council member Becky Irwin was among the realtors volunteering their time. 

“It’s wonderful to be able to give her a gift that is so meaningful to her and to us,” she said. “We work with homes every day. We are in and out of houses and condos all day long and so when we can see what she needed and give it to her, it’s a really great feeling.”

Anthony Jordan and Wendy McCarty apply themselves to painting.

Bruce Mitchell, the office’s CEO and team leader said he and his staff are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to serve the community. 

“This year for RED Day, when it was brought to our attention that we could serve someone in the local community that has given of themselves to serve COVID patients, to be selfless for others, who is also a Coast Guard veteran and a widow; that resonated with me a tremendous amount,” he added. “It was an immediate, ‘Yes let’s do this, let’s be of service to this lady who served others and put herself in harm’s way for the last year and a half.’ It was our distinct honor and pleasure to do that.” 

Affordable Landscaping and Design Services of Marco revitalized the home’s landscaping. 

“I always love to help my fellow veterans,” said Yvette Benarroch, who co-owns the company with her husband, Al. “We cleaned up the yard, cleaned up the trees and we will continue to maintain the property on a weekly basis, at no charge. That’s going to be our gift back to her and her husband for serving this country and for serving this community that has given us so much.” 

Keller Williams Realty Marco Island is located at 830 Bald Eagle Drive. For more information, visit www.kw.com/ or call 239-393-1350.



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