For many families, summer vacation means the kids are home for a while, ready to relax and play without worry. While they’re having the time of their lives away from the classroom and homework, there’s no place like a playroom to keep the kids entertained, and keeping your home clutter-free.
We’ve gathered a few properties with playrooms perfectly fitted for the creative and fun young ones in your life.
The life of a real estate agent can be fun and exciting, for sure. But as with any profession, sometimes a “reality check” helps to reframe perspective and cultivate appreciation for just how good many of us really have it. Some may wait until this check comes to them; others like Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate agent Weston Pugh make it a point to go looking for their own.
For four years now, the Top Producer has been actively serving at Camp Sanguinity through Camp John Marc (CJM) in the very northern reaches of the Texas Hill Country. Camp John Marc was named for the son of Jan and Marc Myers, who died of osteogenic sarcoma in 1987, and the land in Meridian donated by them. Each CJM camp offered serves children and teens who share a common medical or physical challenge. Camp Sanguinity is just one of 11 week-long camps offered every summer, and specifically serves campers who have blood disorders and cancer.
Weston just returned from his annual week at camp, and we asked him to tell us a little bit about his takeaways and how they impact his everyday life.
DPM:How many years have you been involved with Camp Sanguinity? WP: I just finished my 4th year as a counselor.
DPM:What is your current role with them? WP: I am also a first-year board member. We meet the first Monday of the month to go over everything from budgets, to theme night, to how to deal with homesick campers and medical emergencies.
DPM:Did you have a personal connection to the organization? WP: Fortunately, I don’t have the typical connection to camp. I was recruited by a very good friend that said I “had to go.” It was five years later when I decided it really was time. One of the best decisions I’ve made as an adult!
DPM:You spend a week of your year in the hot Texas summer sun. What makes it all worth it to you? WP: This is that time of year that re-centers, realigns — whatever you want to call it — my life. You see these kids that are frail and bald, and they could not be more excited to be at camp getting to act like a normal kid for five days. So it really helps put my life back into perspective. And it’s evident that camp is truly powerful for these kids because we have many counselors that were once campers or siblings of campers. It holds a special place in their memories.
DPM:What are some highlights from your time at camp? WP: Every year the staff puts on a theme night, and this year was video game characters coming to life. Those little kids like to have lost their minds! To see them get that excited about a staffer dressed up in a Mario outfit is the best. They also get to do a ropes course with a zipline at the end, and it’s so cool to see them cheer each other on. It’s like they know how important each little victory is, and the victory isn’t winning or completing a task — it’s challenging yourself to go outside of your comfort zone.
DPM:Do you have a particular story that stands out? WP: One year toward the end of camp, we were at the pool. One of the campers was too tired to get in, so I sat next to him and asked if he wanted to play Uno with me. Over the next 45 minutes, he opened up and shared his story about his treatment and what he and his family had been through. It was amazing to listen to this 14-year-old boy talk in such a mature manner about serious life issues. He was wise beyond his years and touched everyone’s life he came into contact with.
DPM:What would you most like people to take away from your experience? WP: Find a charity that speaks to you and then put yourself into it completely. Get involved… stop putting it off! No, really — you’re not that busy.
DPM:How has your work with these campers impacted the way you conduct your real estate business? WP: It’s so much bigger than that. We all need to remember any person we are dealing with is a culmination of events in their life and not just the tired, frustrated person that is stressed about the move or sale of their home. It’s our job to reassure them — “We’ve got you!”
Thank you, Weston Pugh, for sharing your summer with these campers and with us!
In North Texas alone, there are 18,000 people involved in all aspects of the real estate industry. Since that’s a pretty sizeable bunch, odds are you know at least one of them, right? Especially with the crazy-strong housing market we’ve had the last few years. “For Sale” signs are everywhere, and hundreds of new agents have gotten their licenses.
Like any reputable industry, these local real estate professionals look to a unifying umbrella organization to help them maintain and further their careers and interests. MetroTex Association of REALTORS® is this organization. They offer programs to advance agent development, lobby for both consumers and REALTORS in Austin, promote diversity within the field and more. Established in 1917, MetroTex represents the entire North Texas region as the area’s largest REALTOR association. It is the second largest Association of REALTORS in Texas, and fourth in the country!
Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate — both the brokerage and the individual agents who comprise it — not only benefits from the work MetroTex does, they contribute to it in many significant ways. This year, several agents across the five Dallas offices (Highland Park, InTown, Lakewood, Park Cities and Preston Center) are serving fellow real estate professionals — and ultimately the buyers and sellers who rely on them — in various leadership capacities.
James Eriksson Martin (top left) – Incoming President Patty Brooks (top center) – MLS Representative for Oak Cliff Becky Connatser (top right) – Past President Appointee Kimberlee Gromatzky (not pictured) – Global Affairs Committee
Eric Holmes (middle left) – MLS Representative for East Dallas Angela McCants (middle center) – Vice Chair of Public Education Dave Millheiser (not pictured) – Global Business Council Advisory Board and Member, Professional Development Committee Robb Puckett (middle right) – Vice Chair of Professional Development Alicia Schroeder (bottom left) – Board of Directors and Chair of Public Education Brian Smith (not pictured) – Global Business Council Advisory Board and Member
Kristin Smith (bottom center) – Board of Directors and Chair of Young Professionals Network
As President, James Martin has this to say about 2017:
“MetroTex is poised for an exceptional year — incidentally our Centennial — where anything is possible. We’re committed to our cities, members and clients, and with that in mind, we have many events planned. We are launching a four-part New Professionals Entrepreneur Breakfast Series geared toward professional development. We will also be holding five tree-planting community service events throughout the year, with the first to take place next month in South Dallas. Our goal is also to give away 100 trees, free to the communities we serve. Those are just a few examples.
MetroTex has a long tradition of success, and we will use this solid foundation to build a greater tomorrow. Of course, building a greater tomorrow starts today!”
Congratulations to all for making a difference in North Texas real estate!
In keeping with the theme of “beautiful,” the busy real estate agents decided to take a trip to Dallas’ own shining star, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Why not show one of the most gorgeous gardens in the world to the talented ensemble of “Beautiful?”
Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate — a longtime sponsor of Arboretum events — and the Arboretum extended the invitation to the traveling cast and staff. It was well received. The group spent the morning touring the gardens, and afterward Meridith and Karen hosted a luncheon for them.
Surprise Ending to the Day
Perhaps as a cosmic token of gratitude, that evening as Karen arrived to the theatre, she received a text from Sarah about a surprise.
Karen recalled, “It was a “Beautiful” moment when I realized that my surprise was seeing my friend walk out on stage as the lead instead of the understudy! I have watched her talent blossom, so it was a teary-eyed moment to see her get to go on as Carole King, whom I grew up listening to.”
As it turned out, Karen had dropped off Sarah at her hotel at 2:00, and Sarah found out she was going on as lead at 6:00. (Abby had taken ill earlier in the day, and was actually unable to attend the Arboretum excursion.)
After the Beautiful day, Meridith was able to draw some parallels between what she and Karen do every day and what their Arboretum guests do.
“Having an appreciation for the arts really does go hand in hand with selling real estate when you consider that it engrains in us an understanding for the finer talents of others,” Meridith said. “We see that every day from the architects, builders, designers, etc. who create the homes we sell.”
Karen added, “And if you are anywhere near Grand Lake, Colorado, this summer, go see the productions at Rocky Mountain Rep. The actor you see this summer could easily be on the stage in New York or Dallas next.”