Summit Sotheby’s International Realty gives to local nonprofits |

Summit Sotheby’s International Realty gives to local nonprofits

From left: Mary Ciminelli, Brigid Flint, Kathy Mears, Laurie Wing, Lisa Karam, sales associates at Summit Sotheby's International Realty, at the recent Sotheby's Cares event, where the organization donated to local nonprofits.

A few weeks ago, representatives from 43 nonprofits gathered at the Nicklaus Clubhouse at Promontory. One by one, they stepped up to receive a check from Sotheby's Cares.

The event was to honor organizations in the community that are striving to make a difference. Sotheby's Cares, which is a part of the real estate company Summit Sotheby's International Realty, selects a group of nonprofits to donate to each year.

The funds for the donations come from a portion of the commission on every sale the firm's Realtors make, said Thomas Wright, president and principal broker of the company.

"Every company has a social responsibility to give back to the communities in which they do business," he said.

A committee from Summit Sotheby's Cares selects the nonprofits that will receive the funds. Kathy Mears, a Realtor who sits on the committee, said that the organizations provide a broad range of services to Summit and Wasatch Counties, Salt Lake City and even Huntsville. Some nonprofits have been selected for multiple years, such as the People's Health Clinic and Mountain Trails Association, but others were new this year, including Summit County Search and Rescue and CONNECT Summit County.

The nonprofits are typically ones that the real estate agents and clients are involved in or benefit from, Mears said.

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Last year, Sotheby's Cares donated about $160,000 total throughout the year through different donations. The total amount given to the 43 nonprofits at the presentation last month was not disclosed.

Whitney Olch, a Realtor and the chair of the selection committee, said that it feels good to recognize organizations that are "the backbone of the community."

"All of these things are what makes Park City so well rounded and so great," she said. "Ultimately, without them, we aren't our community."

Wright agreed. He said that it is especially satisfying to hear the stories from some of the organizations the nonprofit donated to, such as United Way of Salt Lake helping preschool students learning English as a second language or the pet rescue center Nuzzles & Co. helping dogs find homes.

As the real estate agents hear those stories, Wright said, it inspires them to work hard for the following year, since the money comes directly from the sales that they make.

"It motivated us to do even more in 2018," he said. "It's very rewarding to know that your efforts are making a difference."