The Real Estate Council recently hosted its 28th annual FightNight, which attracted more than 1,400 guests and raised more than $1.3 million. FightNight is the biggest industry fundraiser in the country, but many don’t realize the tremendous impact it has on North Texas. Since its inception, FightNight has raised $25 million on behalf of The Real Estate Council Foundation. The organization’s charitable arm combines funding with volunteer labor for projects that strengthen the region.
Over the years, many legendary boxers have joined us at FightNight, including Mohammed Ali, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, and Joe Frazier. This year we were honored to welcome boxing icon Sugar Ray Leonard for the third time. Prior to the event, Leonard was introduced to St. Philip’s School and Community Center to see the direct impact of TREC Foundation’s high-touch, project-based approach. The school and community center has received $600,000 from the foundation, along with hundreds of volunteer hours donated by TREC members.
During his tour, Leonard talked to students about factors that make a champion; he told them there’s more than being a great fighter and winning an Olympic Gold medal. Just like Mohammed Ali, who was known as “The Greatest,” the lessons Leonard learned were not all in the ring. He said the way he lives life with respect and integrity are more important than his winning bouts. This message was well received by the students, but also resonated with me as I reflected on the many champions that surround me on a daily basis.
TREC member volunteers are truly champions for our city because they work to spark community transformation that benefits everyone. Since its establishment in 1994, TREC members have donated volunteer hours valued at more than $750,000. They have impacted more than 327,000 individuals associated with 100 partner organizations. More than $10 million in grants have been awarded by TREC Foundation to projects designed to enhance education, job creation, housing, or the environment.
Additional funds have also been awarded for our Real Estate 101 Class, designed to provide nonprofit organizations with an introductory overview to the complexities of real estate. The program is operated in partnership with Grant Thornton and Solender/Hall Commercial Real Estate Services, and has helped 120 nonprofits conserve resources by making better informed real estate decisions. The foundation also supports game-changing projects like Klyde Warren Park, spurred by $1.5 million in seed funding for a feasibility study to start its development.
In 2016, TREC Foundation has granted more than $420,000 among 10 projects, with partners like the Austin Street Center, Bachman Lake Together Family Center, CareCenter Ministries, Circuit Trail Conservancy, Citizens Development Center, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Jubilee Park and Community Center, St. Philip’s School and Community Center, Trinity Environmental Academy, and Youth with Faces.
Although we mourn the loss of “the Greatest,” I choose to celebrate the many TREC champs in our midst as they selflessly give their money and time. They are my daily inspiration. Through their efforts, TREC Foundation will continue to be a driving force for community transformation for decades to come. And, through their generosity, FightNight will continue to break fundraising records and enhance our community.
Linda McMahon is president of The Real Estate Council. Contact her at [email protected]