By Gwen Rollings

The Kilene Kelly Group (KKG), Keller Williams Realty, in Valrico contributed much to the community this year. Its real estate team decided there was no better way to make a difference than to donate and support the Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF).

Monetary donations were given from a fixed percentage of its real estate closings on a quarterly basis to HEF, which is currently $100 of every transaction—nearly 75 in 2020 and expected to be 120 in 2021.

There are also donations of its time, as each quarter the team volunteers at HEF for at least one day to help organize school supplies and get orders ready for teachers.

Samantha Hall, marketing director for the Kilene Kelly Group, said, “The second part to the Golden Apple Education Foundation is our Golden Apple Award. Each month, we accept nominations of teachers from all over Hillsborough County. In the beginning of each month, we initially choose one Golden Apple Award winner. We have just expanded to highlight three Golden Apple Award winners each month: a teacher from an elementary, middle and high school. Once chosen, we physically bring teachers their awards alongside some goodies, supplies for their classrooms and donuts for the entire teaching staff. As times are obviously different, the presentation can be virtual depending on the comfortability of the school and teachers. We post to social media platforms and send out email campaigns in order to market this award.”

In addition to these donations, Hall said the team is also involved with local schools by sponsoring events, sporting programs such as the Bloomingdale High School’s Running of the Bulls 5K and, more recently, the football programs at both Bloomingdale and Newsome High Schools by purchasing pages in their Athletic Program Booklets.

The KKG team even enlisted Santa to help this Christmas. The annual Christmas party was cancelled due to safety concerns with COVID-19, but Santa was not cancelled.

Hall said, “We started to think of ways to still use Santa and reach our clients this holiday season. We decided to create a website where parents could submit kids’ names with what they wanted for Christmas. Santa personalized a video for each; videos were edited and sent out to the parents … all free of charge.”

The Kilene Kelly Group made the season and year bright for many Hillsborough County residents by sharing its time, talents and finances.

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