Fargo-Moorhead REALTOR Association Awards Gala: It’s not how many houses you sell, it’s how many lives you change


I woke up this morning in Fargo, North Dakota after spending an evening with over 200 REALTORS with the Fargo-Moorhead Association of REALTORS (FM REALTORS).

The event was their annual Awards Gala in which they recognized their members for their outstanding contribution to the industry, but also to the community in which they live and work.

This October 7th Spare Key, www.sparekey.org, will hold its first-ever gala in Fargo.  We are calling it “Carnivale for a Cause” and it promises to be a fun and exciting hybrid between Mardi Gras and Rio.

Bell Bank is the Presenting Sponsor of this fun event, and FM REALTORS is our Presenting Partner and we could not be prouder of the association that Spare Key has with both of these fine organizations.

At last night’s Awards Gala, I was struck by the passion and commitment of every single REALTOR in that room to give back to their community.

That passion is neither surprising or unexpected.

I have seen it from thousands of men and women in the REALTOR community, and the entire associated housing, banking, mortgage, title and financial services industry during my time as Executive Director of Spare Key.

REALTORS don’t just give back to the community they help build the community.

There were multiple awards last evening to recognize REALTORS who have gone above and beyond in building their community.

Scott Breidenbach was given the Distinguished Service Award.

Barb Grande received the Jim Fay Award.

Chad Johnson and Nate Anderson were the finalists for the Business Partner of the Year Candidate which was ultimately given to Chad.

Of all of the prestigious awards presented to REALTORS last night the one which reflects, most deeply, the commitment of a REALTOR to his or her community is the FM REALTOR of the Year Award.

For that there were four nominees:  Dawn Cruff, Kevin Fisher, Chris Feickert and Hollie Kietzer.

As I listened to each candidate be described for his or her efforts to make a difference in the lives of their industry, and their community, I was once again reminded of the goodness of people.

At Spare Key, during my nearly six years as Executive Director, I am reminded of that on a day-to-day basis.

Our mission of providing housing grants to families with critically ill or seriously injured children in the hospital is 20 years old this September.

By the end of this year we will have served almost 3,500 families with nearly $3.5 million in housing grants.

Of those grants, nearly 1,800 of them have been made since 2013 underscoring the remarkable journey this organization has taken, with REALTORS and so many others by our side.

Of the four nominees for REALTOR of the Year I know one of them, Chris Feickert, very well.

Chris has been leading the charge to help raise the profile of Spare Key and work to help us build awareness, excitement and enthusiasm for our “Carnivale for a Cause.”

There is no question that Chris is passionate about her industry, and her community.  She oozes passion for serving others.

From the first time you meet her until the next time you meet her there is no question that Chris gets things done and she expects nothing back in return.

I suspect the same is true of the recipient of this year’s FM REALTOR of the Year Award, Kevin Fisher.

In listening to the description of each of the candidates there is no doubt they represent the highest qualities necessary to have been nominees for this award and to be the ultimate recipient of the award.

Being a nominee or the recipient of the REALTOR of the Year Award isn’t about how many houses you sell, it’s about how many lives you change.

Which is why Spare Key is so proud to be associated with the FM REALTORS Association.

For those of you wanting to learn more about the “Carnivale for a Cause” please go to this link:  https://www.sparekey.org/events/carnivale-for-a-cause

Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome will be our band, Cori Jensen from BIG 98.7 will be our Master of Ceremonies, Shane Cullen will be our Auctioneer and hundreds of REALTORS and others from the Fargo-Moorhead Community will be our guests.

If you want cool music set against a background of Mardi Gras and Rio infused food, drinks and entertainment you can’t do much better than Carnivale for a Cause.

It will be a great time and great event to raise money for a great cause – Spare Key.

Most of all it will be a great time to be reminded, once again, that behind every family that Spare Key serves stands a company, an association an individual who doesn’t just work hard or build a business or make or create a living for themselves or someone else.

They are all building a community.

In doing so, they help us all “Bounce and not Break.”

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