It was a night of music, companionship and giving at Hard Rock Cafe Boston on Nov. 14, where real estate industry folks joined forces to fight homelessness.
The Battle of the Brokerages, sponsored by the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, challenged agents to a karaoke battle for charity.
Rich Kim, operating principal at Keller Williams Greater Boston, said the event raised $4,000 each for HomeStart, an area nonprofit aimed at ending homelessness, and Toys for Joys, which provides children’s gifts for families in need.
HomeStart helps families that are facing the prospect of homelessness so that they can stay in a stable housing environment. “They work with those families closely to help them avoid becoming homeless,” Kim said.
Joselin Malkhasian, a Realtor at Lamacchia Realty and chair of GBAR’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) Committee, said her goal was to hold an event that incorporates fun, networking, education and fundraising for local nonprofits.
“We often hear about agencies and brokerages and professionals competing against one another …” she said. “We wanted to compete against each other for a great cause.”
Malkhasian said the event originally had 10 competitors, but two more were added because of high interest. Attendees were able to buy votes to determine the winner. Some bought multiple votes, which brought in more money for the two nonprofits, she said.
She noted that Anthony Lamacchia, owner of Lamacchia Realty, was the evening’s winner but not because he had the best singing voice.
“He was the one who, admittedly, had the worst voice on the stage,” she explained with a laugh. “He knew his voice was terrible, but he just went for it.”
GBAR has sponsored talent shows and other such events in the past to raise money for various causes, but this Battle of the Brokerages event is the first one where the organization has challenged members to sing karaoke.
“We thought it would be good to get the brokerages together for a friendly battle,” Kim said, noting that the success of the event probably means future karaoke battles to come. “It was great to see us in one unified effort together to help our city.”
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