Inspirational Educator Award Winner – Sarah Violette

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on June 6, 2015

EducatorAwardPhoto (3)(Pictured left to right, Jamie Gibeau – Marketing Director with Coldwell Banker, Norma Schuiteman with The Community Foundation, Bella Hood, Sarah Violette, contest judge John Dodge with The Olympian, Ken Anderson – President/Owner of Coldwell Banker)

We are thrilled to announce our first Inspirational Educator Award winner, Sarah Violette. Sarah is a 10th grade English teacher at Olympia High School and was nominated for the award by our first place winner Bella Hood. Bella wrote such a great letter with her nomination. Best shared in her words here:BellaHood_Letter

Well said Bella. Congratulations again to Sarah Violette – another teacher making our community a great place to live!



First Place Scholarship Winner – Bella Hood

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on June 4, 2015

PNG_8589(Bella Hood pictured here with her mother Toni Hood)    

Congratulations to Bella Hood, the first place winner in our 5th annual What Makes a House a Home scholarship contest. Bella wrote a great essay about her home, The Small White House with The Blue Door. Through her words, she invited to see beyond the blue door and feel the comfort of home from the muddy soccer cleats at the front door to the pride in her family’s flat screen TV.

Wonderful job Bella!

Here’s her winning essay:

The Small White House with the Blue Door

Drive down the pot-hole filled street, take a left, and stop once you see the big oak tree. Next to this tree there is a small white house with a blue door and Christmas lights hanging from the roof, or at least this is what I imagine the average person would see. What I see is quite different. I see the Christmas lights swaying gently in the warm August breeze because my dad refuses to take them down. I see the branch on the oak tree that I fell off of when I was eight which resulted in a broken collarbone and an abundance of tears. I see a pile of shoes by the door, muddy rainboots, converse that look like they survived a hurricane, and twelve pairs of tired soccer cleats with holes in the toes. Where you see a small white house I see my childhood. I see my home. A home is nothing if it doesn’t remind you of the things you love. When I am at home I see all the best and the worst times of my life laid out in front of me. A house is full of meaningless objects, a home is filled with memories. Walking into my house you will immediately arrive at the living room. To you, it may only look like a couple of couches and a TV, but I see much more. I see how the lazyboy is awkwardly shifted out of place because when I was thirteen I spilled an entire bottle of purple nail polish all over the brand new carpet. It did not take long before I realized the stain would not be coming out so I shoved the lazyboy over it and walked away. To this day I don’t think my parents have noticed anything at all. Next to the lazyboy you will see a flat screen that looks like nothing special. When I look at that TV I remember the day my dad ran into the house saying he has a surprise for us and then rolling in that TV like it was sent from heaven. I have never seen him prouder in my life. There are things about your home that are special to only you, that’s why it’s your home and only your home. The best part of having a home is being able to look at a piece of it and see a memory. I could show you more and tell you stories of millions of other things that have happened in my home, but that would be like telling you my entire life story and there is simply not enough time in a day. To you, the small white house with the blue door next to the big oak tree looks like some old building. To me, it is the place where I learned to live. It is the place where I figured out who I am today. To you it is a house, to me it is my home.


Second Place Scholarship Winner – Aundrea Temple

June 3, 2015

(Aundrea Temple pictured here with her father Ron Temple) Congratulations to Aundrea Temple, the second place winner in our 5th annual What Makes a House a Home scholarship contest. Aundrea wrote a great essay sharing that home resides in your soul. Her essay, Home is Where the Soul Is, makes you want an invitation to […]

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Third Place Scholarship Winner – Julia Holder

June 2, 2015

(Julia Holder pictured here with her parents Keith and Laura Holder)     Congratulations to Julia Holder, the third place winner in our 5th annual What Makes a House a Home scholarship contest. Julia wrote a wonderful essay about her life in a musically talented home. Her essay, Symphony of Sounds, gives you a glimpse into […]

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2015 Scholarship Essay Winners

May 22, 2015

The panel of community judges have announced the winners of our 2015 What Makes a House a Home scholarship contest. Congratulations to the following students:                         Photos of the winners along with their essays will be posted in the next few days. Also, please […]

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Top 10 Finalists Announced

May 20, 2015

Our independent panel of judges have announced the Top 10 Finalists. Congratulations to the these students. Three of these essayists will be the 2015 recipients of the What Makes a House a Home scholarships. Over the week, a local judging panel will convene and choose the three winning essays.  Winners will be announced on Friday, […]

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Scholarship Essay Contest in Voting Phase

May 13, 2015

    We received 50 wonderful entries into our 5th annual “What Makes a House a Home” scholarship essay contest.  We are now in our voting phase of the contest (through Friday, May 15th.) To read the essays and vote for your favorites, visit We will announce the Top 10 Finalists on Monday, May […]

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Annual Scholarship Contest

May 1, 2015

It’s that time of year again! Our annual “What Makes a House a Home” scholarship contest is about to begin it’s 5th year. All essays can be submitted by clicking on the image above or at: now through Sunday, May 10th. We are excited to share a new component to the contest. This year we have added […]

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Market Not Frozen

May 1, 2015

In the blockbuster movie Frozen, Queen Elsa has the power to conjure up snow.  She even whips up a personal snow flurry so the loveable Olaf, a snowman come to life, can live throughout the year. But in the real world, can there be a rolling snowball in spring? Yes. Our market’s record performance to […]

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Congratulations Karen Kluvers

April 8, 2015

We would like to congratulate Karen Kluvers on achieving her CRB (Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager) designation. The Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB), an affiliate of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is the professional organization for brokerage management. The Council is dedicated to providing quality professional development programs, products and services that continually […]

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