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Realtors To The Rescue

RE/MAX relief fund provides more than

$20,000 in aid to its employees

When Hurricane Sandy struck, RE/MAX realtor Andrew Louca was in his South Merrick home with his wife and 24-year-old daughter. As unattended boats drifted by and his brand-new floating dock washed up on his front lawn, a foot of water poured into the basement of the split-level home. While they didn’t lose their home and got power back after 15 days, the Louca family sustained far more than the $15,000 in damage that their insurance company recognized. And with reimbursements still not received by press time, this South Shore family would have been in far worse straits were it not for the largesse of RE/MAX of New York. Louca’s employer recently presented checks for more than $22,000 to brokers and agents affected by Hurricane Sandy at the company’s Garden City office. The speed with which RE/MAX distributed this money to its employees was not lost on the Merrick realtor.

“The hurricane hit us on Oct. 29, and we got [the money] in December, which is pretty quick,” Louca said. “It was very quick because I think they wanted us to have something for the holidays, which was nice of them.”

The money was drawn from a global program created by RE/MAX in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Agents around the world voluntarily donate to a relief fund for employees struck by disasters. It was exactly the kind of program that Henry Weber, president and regional director of RE/MAX of New York, Inc., and his New Jersey partner knew was needed here.

“[We] reached out to leadership at RE/MAX International and got the program cranked up again,” Weber said. “We had my people, regardless of what offices they worked in, come into the office, gave them their checks and some breakfast. And they were so thankful that we were able to do something. It’s no great shakes. It’s just a little bit of something here and there to help out.”

More than 15 RE/MAX professionals from communities across Long Island including Baldwin, Oceanside, Setauket and Babylon received checks, with more to be distributed in coming weeks as applications are processed. At a time when politicians such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and U.S. Representative Peter King (R-Seaford) are taking Congress to task for foot-dragging in getting aid to constituents who still may be without heat, hot water or even their homes, Weber is rightfully proud of what RE/MAX has done.

“With everything that we all do as a business and a company, we’re always charitable because we’re involved with all kinds of charities that we help out like Children’s Miracle Network and Susan G. Komen’s Race For the Cure,” Weber said. “But when you can help out your own people, that says something to your membership and your employees.”