The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. The EPA notes that “Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.”
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that can seep into your home from the ground. It is the second most common cause of lung cancer behind smoking. Basements or any area with protrusions into the ground offer entry points for radon. Radon tests can determine if high levels are present.
The EPA suggests testing your home for radon during January. You can purchase a kit and do it yourself or hire a professional. In New York state, the Department of Health (www.health.ny.gov) has a list of certified radon testers on their site. In addition, state residents can fill out a form and mail it with $11, to the department and receive a test kit in the mail. There is other radon related information on the site also.
During December, both the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors and the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors raised money and awareness for local charities.
In the early part of the month, both held their annual holiday parties that included fundraisers for their respective community service funds.
On December 8, the St. Lawrence County Board distributed $2100 to the Neighborhood Centers in Canton, Gouverneur, Massena, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, and Waddington. The Centers are overseen by the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program. Each center has a food pantry and assists with food and other emergencies such as utilities, fuel, and shelter. They work with families in the area of family development, budgeting, education, and job search. Similarly, the funds raised from the Jefferson-Lewis Board’s event went to support the Salvation Army, the Watertown Urban Mission, and other area charities. In addition, offices served as collection points for toiletries, food, and clothing that were distributed to the Jefferson County Children’s Home, Salvation Army, and Urban Mission.
On the 13th and 14th of December, Realtor members from both associations assisted at several area events. The St. Lawrence County membership volunteered their time at the seventh annual “Lights on the River” in Lisbon on December 13th. While there, they collected donations of canned goods and cash and helped direct the visitors viewing the displays. Contributions from the visitors go to about a dozen food pantries throughout the county. In its first six years, the event raised more than $100,000 and contributed approximately 28,000 pounds of food to area pantries.
December 14th saw Jefferson-Lewis Realtors brave the winds and snows to man some of the Salvation Army kettles in Watertown and LeRay. Members were helping the Salvation Army reach its goal of $115,000.
As you can see, Realtors do more than just work with buyers and sellers. They live in the communities and give back to the communities too. In addition to these charitable efforts, Realtors work all year volunteering their time and energy with various charities and community organizations.
During the respective holiday parties, the 2017 Board of Directors of each Association was installed. The role of the Board of Directors is to oversee the Association and set overall policy and direction.
The St. Lawrence County Board will be led by Debbie Gilson. Other officers will include Cheryl Yelle (Vice President), Doug Hawkins (Secretary), and Amanda Kingsbury (Treasurer). Directors will be Gail Abplanalp, Joel Howie, and Richard J. Wood. Rounding out the Board are Brittany Matott, State Director and Korleen Spilman, Immediate Past President.
Leading the Jefferson-Lewis Board will be Vickie Staie. The rest of the officers will be Alfred Netto (President-Elect), Britt Abbey (Vice President), Mary Adair (Treasurer), Nancy Rome (Recording Secretary), and Lisa Lowe (Corresponding Secretary). Directors include Tyler Lago, Elizabeth Miller, Gwyn Monnat, Cindy Moyer, and Randy Raso.