Keller Williams Realty RED Day 2016
Keller Williams RED Day is the 2nd Thursday of May that is celebrated each year by all of the Keller Williams Realty offices nationwide. RED Day stands for Renew, Energize and Donate that first began in 2009. This year our RED Day project fell on May 12th. While the actual day was May 12th, the planning began well before in early March and this is our local story.
Keller Williams Realty Culture Committee
I serve on the culture committee of our KW office here in Coral Springs. Myself, along with the other committee members had the pleasure of coming up with this year’s project. Scott Bagoon our committee chairperson, Elaine Prezzemolo, Appie Alexander, Kendall Van Orden, Tony Montiel, Erick Selva, Rob Egan, Manuel Sebastian, Krissy Doyle, Audrey Campbell and myself, Lynn Pineda served on the KW Red Day committee. Together we came up with this year’s wonderful project. It’s a day that I will never forget as it filled me with joy beyond words.
The culture of Keller Williams Realty is all about celebrating the importance of family and community as it’s not always simply about Real Estate; this was clearly demonstrated on this day and often throughout the year, it’s just what we do. Keller Williams Realty is different. Sure, I’m a bit bias, but it’s true!
Setting the Timeline
It was March and time was ticking away as May drew closer and closer and we hadn’t yet settled on our Red Day project. A few ideas were thrown around, while my idea was to try and find a member of our city that was senior aged and in need. So many of the projects are often centered around children and that’s great as I love our children (I have a 23 year old son who is the absolute joy of my life), however this year, I had a special place in my heart to want to help someone older. It often seems that our older members of society can easily be forgotten as not needing help and are often overlooked. So my determination and persistence won over my other wonderful committee members and our focus on a senior aged member of Coral Springs emerged.
Finding our Recipient
Where could I find such a person or persons for our project? I tried scouring the internet for ideas and then I thought, how about contacting the Coral Springs’ code enforcement department – I would think there is likely someone who has some code violations that we could help to alleviate or eliminate entirely. So I did just that and reached out to the Code Compliances department and was directed to Pat Uber. I told Pat what I was hoping to find and she worked diligently reaching out to her Code Compliance officers to try and find someone for us to help. Pat really was amazing in helping me to find someone for us. She located someone after she spoke with Terry Gartner, a Code Enforcement Officer, who told her about our homeowner, Linda. Terry had met with Linda several times trying to address her needs and recommend solutions for her, so Terry knew exactly what help was needed by Linda and knew she was unable to get the corrections made herself. Linda needed new sod and a landscaping re-haul for her yard and had violations due to their current condition. I met with Linda and as you say, the rest is history. As you can imagine, Linda was so excited to have been selected to receive such a blessing and what she called “her miracle”.
The Task at Hand
Now, the task began as to how we were going to get her well fixed that wasn’t working in order to feed water to a sprinkler system that we didn’t know would work after the well was fixed and then we had to figure out how we were going to remove her current dead and dried up sod and then bring in new sod to replace the old mess and then spruce up her garden beds. Just a few minor things! Did we bite off more than we could chew? No way, I remained hopeful and positive that we were going to make this happen.
When I presented it all to the committee of what was needed it seemed a bit overwhelming for many to think of all that was needed and the cost of it all. How in the heck were we going to be able to tackle such a costly project?! Would we fundraise for dollar donations to hire the companies to do all of the work? Would we try to get companies to donate their time and products to make the needed repairs? Who is going to do that?! Now that’s a tall order and would require tremendous generosity. I went with the latter thought in that I’d be able to pull at the heartstrings of people who’d want to be part of such a special event. We all went to work.
Site Visits were Scheduled
Dr. Kimberly Moore. We scheduled a committee home site visit and met Dr. Moore, through Appie Alexander’s recommendation, who could tell us a bit about the existing landscaping, it’s plants and offered a few landscaping suggestions to consider. The homeowner Linda was introduced to everybody. We learned a lot that day as we walked the property as Linda had some pretty magnificent plants scattered across her yard. Myself, Scott Bagoon, Appie Alexander, Kendall Van Orden, Tony Montiel, Erick Selva and Rob Egan were all there.
Viren Amin. First, we had to determine if her well for well water could be repaired in hopes that it didn’t need replacing. I was referred to Viren Amin, who made several trips to the home trying to see if he could fix the well and determine if the sprinkler system could be repaired. He fixed her well, thank goodness, however the repairs needed for the sprinkler system were too great and beyond the scope of what his sprinkler guy could handle by himself. Okay, now we needed a sprinkler company to take a look.
Yoanky Hernandez of Home Depot Store #284. Prior, to searching for a sprinkler company, I had reached out to a few options for 9 pallets of needed sod we were advised were needed. We knew of the 9 pallets of sod as the homeowner, Linda, had received prior estimates of what was needed for her yard, so we continued with that estimate and confirmed its accuracy after our committee chair, Scott Bagoon, recalculated the square footage. Yay Scott! Now who could we get sod from? I tried several companies who rejected my request as others from the committee also tried. I contacted Home Depot Store #284 in Coral Springs and spoke to their store manager, Yoanky Hernandez. I met Yoanky at our project home site and asked him if he could supply the needed sod and any plants. He was great and very appreciative of what we were trying to do for Linda. He said he could offer probably 5 pallets of sod, yet he had to get back to me to let me know what all he could do for us.
Dan Bowman of Coral Springs Nursery. A few days later, I had reached out to Dan Bowman, owner of Coral Springs Nursery, to tell him of our project. In fact, I was referred to Dan by Pat Uber at the city who indicated Dan was looking to get involved in such a project. Perfect, I thought! Dan wanted to see the home, so we then met Dan at the home along with another committee member Elaine Prezzemolo. We walked the property going over all that was needed; of priority was the removal of the existing dead, dried up sod. Then we also mentioned the need for new sod, removal of deeply imbedded, overgrown ferns in a few beds, new plants for all of the home’s front yard garden beds, mulch and a few overgrown trees needing to be trimmed. Dan cheerfully said yes, I can help you! He committed to removing the current yard, overgrown fern garden beds, trimming trees and supplying the mulch and perhaps some sod as Home Depot had committed to 5 of the 9 pallets needed. Oh my gosh, Elaine and I were thrilled and so very grateful of Dan’s willingness to help us make a difference in someone’s life.
Attacking the Sprinkler System
We thought we knew what was needed to get the sprinkler up and running from Viren, our well repair expert, who had reviewed it with his guy and he supplied what he thought was a list of parts that should be able to get the job done. Okay, so now I have a list of needed sprinkler parts, perhaps I could get someone to donate the parts. I tried a few companies who couldn’t help and then reached out to a company, SiteOne Landscape Supply, that Dan Bowman had recommended to me. In getting through to SiteOne, I was referred to a SiteOne representative who was just in the midst of starting their own local community outreach program to give back to the community, similar to what we at Keller Williams Realty were doing with RED day. That someone was Dustin Hoffman, no not the famous actor, but wonderful Dustin Hoffman of SiteOne. I told him that we were in need of sprinkler parts and would be crazy excited to have his company donate the parts for us. He explained to me that they were looking to do just such a project and wanted to go by the site to visit and would get back to me. I followed up with him a few days later and no confirmation yet, as he continued to work on gaining approval. Then, about a week or so later, Dustin said they were in and would donate the parts, yet wouldn’t be able to do any type of installation of the sprinkler system. Fabulous news! Dustin was great, he even participated on our actual RED Day digging in and getting dirty. It was a pleasure to work with Dustin.
Now the difficult part of finding someone to fix the sprinkler system and we didn’t know if the system was repairable. Could it be fixed or was a brand new system needed? I reached out to a number of different sprinkler repair systems and everyone said “no” that they couldn’t take on such a project, particularly because they were so busy this time of year.
Okay, so who do I get to do the installation after my original guy declined the job after determining it was too large of a job for him to handle. I called Dan Bowman to see if he had any recommendations for me. Sure, he said, call Total Irrigation Management as they do quality work. So I called them, explained the RED Day project and they too wanted to visit our home site. After their visit, I contacted them to see if they were on board to helping us and they respectfully declined as they just didn’t have the time.
Internet here I come again. Where do you go to search for things you need, just like when you need to find a Real Estate Agent to sell your home? You go to the internet to search online. That’s what I did. I spoke to several companies, owners were on vacation, owners would get back to me and nothing, I was striking out. I had one last company that I was waiting to hear back from and I had a good feeling that they’d help. The administrative assistant phoned me back a few days later to say sorry they couldn’t help us. Disappointment set in.
We were two weeks away from our actual RED Day of May 12th and nobody to install the sprinkler system. I had to make this happen. In passionate desperation, I reached back out to Total Irrigation Management and their owner Kevin Varnell, who originally rejected me. This time I was able to speak directly with the owner Kevin Varnell and tried one more time to persuade him to help us. He asked me why are we helping her. I said that she doesn’t have the money to fix what is needed to rectify the code violations. He said, a lot of people don’t have money and I said true, but we can only help one person at a time and quite often we forget the older people in our society. Something clicked with Kevin and he said, “….okay, I’ll do it….” Oh my gosh, if you could have heard the beat of my heart – I was so excited! To this day, I’m not sure why I went back to Total Irrigation, but I seemed to just be pulled in to their direction and geeze, am I ever glad it did! We did it, our project was going to work. But, wait a minute are we done?
Don’t forget the Plants
With one of the front garden beds that Coral Springs Nursery cleared out, along with about four more beds that we had to clear out and make way for lovely, new plants. We were very thankful for Yoanky Hernandez/Home Depot’s donation of all the plants that we needed for our planting. That has huge for us!
Yet, now what were we going to plant, how were we going to place the plants in the beds and how many plants did we need?! Full time REALTORⓇ me, now had to become gardner for a day and decide which plants would wor k best and how many did we need to get, along with the help of Elaine Prezzemolo. As we scoured the shelves of the garden section of Home Depot in the heat, I wondered how was I ever going to be able to survive RED Day, when I was dying of the heat as we walked up and down the aisles at Home Depot’s outdoor garden center. We survived and decided which plants would work out beautifully for the gardens.
We still had about another week before Red Day and we couldn’t store the plants at the project site as there wasn’t any water! Thank goodness for Krissy Doyle and her husband Matt who offered to come by the Home Depot that day with us to pick up all the plants that we had selected and take them all back to their home for watering, safe keeping and then to deliver on RED Day. They were a huge help!
Where to Put All the Landscaping Trash?
Everything was coming along swell yet, we still needed to determine where would all the trash and old landscaping go on the actual day when we’re completing our labor of love? Coral Springs’ bulk trash pickup wouldn’t accommodate it all as they only would retrieve about “3 refrigerator sized areas”. That wouldn’t work – our trash piles would be huge! We’re going to need a dumpster, yet do you have any idea of what they cost?! A lot. I reached out to Waste Pro Coral Springs division to ask for a 20 foot dumpster and spoke to Damon Stinson. I went over exactly what we were doing, how so many companies were helping us out and we needed somewhere to put all of the trash. “…Sure, I can do that…” Damon calmly replied. Yes! we have a place to put the trash and they’ll haul it away the day after. Damon delivered a 30 foot dumpster the day before and picked it up the day after.
Actual Preparation before “the” RED Day
A lot had to happen before the actual day when all of us Agents and Staff showed up to complete the project. Working with all of our dedicated companies providing their expertise, it all went off without a hitch.
- It started with Dan Bowman who came with his crew from Coral Springs Nursery to remove the existing front yard, remove and dig out the heavily rooted and overgrown ferns in one of the front garden beds, removal of the “Root Beer” scented plants along the south side of the home and trimming of overgrown trees.
- A few days later, Total Irrigation Management and SiteOne Landscaping Supply came in to install a brand new front yard sprinkler system with an automatic timer. The old, original system was beyond repair with tree roots growing through its plastic pipes. Now the yard was ready for all of us to dig in and get dirty.
What Did Linda’s Neighbors Think was Going on?
While the yard was being cleared and the new sprinklers were being installed, we wanted to let the neighborhood know what was going on. For this, we needed some signs to post in the front yard. Who better qualified to provide some high quality signs other than President Seymour Ravinsky of Phoenix Blueprints and more. Seymour printed several signs for us to place in the front yard announcing our project in progress. We also had additional signs that we placed along the way driving along the road to direct people the actual day of RED Day.
Red Day had Arrived
The Red Day has arrived and we started bright and early at 8:00 a.m all wearing our Keller Williams Realty Red Day T-shirts. We were a sea of red where about 50-60 Agents, Staff, and some of their family members showed up to dig in, clear away and spruce up. It was an absolutely beautiful, sunny and hot Coral Springs Florida day with temperatures ranging in the mid 80’s with a crystal clear blue sky. The homeowner, Linda, was tucked away safely inside her home where I didn’t let her out until the end of the day when we were ready for the big reveal. Let’s get started!
9 pallets of sod had been delivered first thing in the a.m and were strategically placed across the front yard, 169 bags of mulch had been delivered and placed at the end of the driveway and all plants were delivered. In addition, 3 gallon Trinette plants from Dan Bowman were delivered when he saved us, as the day before when I was speaking to him he had asked me what size were the Trinette plants that we picked up as we had to make sure we were to code. Would you know, we picked out 1 gallon Trinette from Home Depot when 3 gallon were required to be in code, so Dan saved us by bringing over the 3 gallon size that were to be placed along the front wall of home. Phew.
A quick walk of the property was performed where I pointed out to many of our group what we’d be tackling for the day. An elementary landscape sketch (artist I am not!) was taped to the front of the house indicating what was going in each garden bed and how it would be placed. All the tools that we’d ever need for the day were laid out in the driveway – enough for everyone, coolers filled with water & ice were delivered along with bagels, muffins and the like for breakfast and tents were pitched to provide some shade to rest under when weariness hit.
We all kicked into gear, where I’ll let all of the photos and video show you what we did. Yet, I have to mention how incredibly proud I was to be a part of this fantastic Keller Williams Realty office here in Coral Springs. Everyone, did an absolutely amazing job in their gung-ho, let’s get this done attitude, where you could see their hard work ethics were on display everywhere! Watch a person work outdoors under the searing south Florida heat and you can get a really good idea of their work ethic. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this Keller Williams Realty team!
See the Full Keller Williams Realty Coral Springs RED Day Video Below:
We got most of the work done by lunchtime. However, just before taking a break to walk across the street to the Coral Springs Gymnasium for lunch, we realized that we were going to be short a pallet or two of sod. What?! Everything was just perfect so far. No worries, I picked up my phone, called Dan Bowman of Coral Springs Nursery to let him know that we ran out of sod and can he help us by delivering 2 pallets to us. Without hesitation, Dan replied, let me get on it and when we returned to the site an hour later after lunch, there were two pallets of sod waiting for us. See what I’ve been telling you about Dan – an incredible, beautiful soul!
It was time for a lunch break. We took a short hour break and walked down the street to cross the busy Coral Springs Drive only to have an official Coral Springs Police escort to get all of us safely across the street! – set up by our one and only Erick Selva – that was priceless Erick! When we arrived at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, a delicious lunch greeted us by Red Rock Oasis & Grill. I tell you it really hit the spot!
Okay, break time over. We headed back to our project site. We finished laying the sod that had been delivered while we had our lunch, planted the remaining plants, picked up any remaining debris and gathered up the tools. Now we were ready. The moment we all were waiting for . . .
The Big Reveal
“Linda you can come out now”, I said as I tapped and opened up her front door. I took her by the hand told her to close her eyes and she stepped outside. Her eyes quickly opened, she was amazed and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. (She later told me that she had been speaking on the phone with her neighbor directly across the street from her who was telling her how beautiful it was all coming together across the course of the day.) We walked throughout her yard and it seems as if each step a gasp came out from her; she was almost speechless, yet truly grateful.
And then the sprinklers came on. Nothing like the pitter patter and fresh sparkling sound of a sprinkler spraying across a newly landscaped yard. It was a beautiful thing and the perfect ending to a beautiful day.
Additional Support and Donations came from the Following:
Home Depot through Yoanky Hernandez – in addition to above, they also supplied us with two pop up tents to provide some much needed shade.
Lowe’s of Coral Springs through Greisy Jimenez – supplied about $200 worth of yard tools to get the job done.
Dennis Drevnak owner of Global Plumbing FL – fixed a non working toilet inside the home.
American Van Lines Moving – Brian Maguire, representative supplied our breakfast to fuel the start of our day.
VanDyk Mortgage – Stephen Perrigo, Senior Loan Originator got our Red Day Banner for us.
Red Rock Oasis & Grill – supplied us with a delicious lunch.
Whole Foods Market Coral Springs – provided us with refreshing drinks for our lunch.
Florida Mortgage Solutions – kept us refreshed with ice cold water bottles and ice.
Cousins USA Moving – set us up with our lunch spot at Coral Springs Gymnasium
“The Story of Keller Williams Realty Coral Springs Red Day 2016” was written by Lynn Pineda. You’ll find Lynn selling homes in Southeast Florida in the cities of Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Margate, Parkland, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Plantation and Ft Lauderdale areas within Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Lynn Pineda, a licensed Keller Williams Real Estate Agent serving Southeast Florida for over 11 years. Keller Williams Coral Springs Realty. Real Estate Promises Delivered. You can speak with Lynn by calling/texting her at 954-464-1100 or you can email her at: LynnP@ImagineYourHouse.com if you need to buy or sell a Southeast Florida home. Your local, trusted professional when it’s time to buy or sell a home. Real Estate promises delivered.