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Kelly Byers of Woodstock, Ont. wins CREA’s 2024 Canadian Realtors Care Award

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Today, Kelly Byers, realtor and salesperson from Woodstock, Ontario, was nationally recognized and celebrated for her charitable contributions by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), through its Canadian Realtors Care Award.

Byers was announced as recipient of the award at CREA’s Open Forum & AGM, and a $5,000 donation was made in her honour to her charity of choice, the London Health Sciences Foundation’s Stem Cell Transplant Patient Assistance Fund.


Launched initiative that collected over 250,000 pounds of food for those in need


Her contributions include 14 years of supporting those dealing with food insecurity throughout Oxford County and fundraising for and supporting the relocation of a family of Syrian refugees to Woodstock.

“We were thoroughly impressed by Kelly’s ability to rally her fellow realtors around countless charitable endeavours, but especially the Realtors Care Food Drive, which has collected more than 250,000 pounds of food since Kelly first launched the initiative,” says Phil Moore, chair of CREA’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Committee.

“The immense, positive impact that Kelly Byers has had on the lives of so many members of her community is truly inspiring.”


Byers’ inspiration and journey


Byers has been motivated to seek out and help meet the needs of her community thanks to her parents, who were both avid volunteers.

In 2010, she helped the Woodstock Salvation Army food bank by asking her brokerage colleagues to help canvas their community for food bank donations. After a successful drive, she involved her local real estate association, the Woodstock Ingersoll Tillsonburg and Area Association of Realtors.

Now, 14 years later, more than 100 volunteers participate in their annual Realtors Care Food Drive to support Salvation Army food banks across Oxford County.

“It feels awesome to know we’re able to do so much for our community and for those who are struggling. And it’s pretty cool to see how many realtors step up year after year,” Byers comments.


A life-changing diagnosis and community support


Last June, Byers received a life-changing leukemia diagnosis and paused her charitable efforts. Since then, her community has rallied around her and her family.

“If you’ve encountered Kelly, she’s learned everything about you. She’s probably gone out of her way to help you,” says close friend Kristy Hons. “No one wants to see anything like this happen to anyone, but I think it’s especially awful when things like this happen to the best people.”

Byers put a call-out for needed blood donations that family, friends and realtors were ready to help with. Her kids recruited their friends for the Kids Against Leukemia Bale Sale and raised almost $20,000 for the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation, where Byers received care at the time.


Photo credit: CREA


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