Chris Kreiger walked away from RealtyUSA Wednesday with a big check and an even larger donation. He received $815 from the Lewiston branch, which raised funds during its second annual basket auction. That donation is more than double the amount collected in 2014.
The money will go toward WNY Heroes Inc., an organization Kreiger co-founded in 2007. The not-for-profit organization provides monetary support to local military families while seeking to combat emotional, physical and social challenges veterans face when returning home.
"Every little bit helps, obviously," Kreiger said. "We wouldn't be able to continue doing our mission in Western New York if it wasn't for individuals in the community, small businesses, corporations like RealtyUSA who get behind us every year and, through their own hard efforts ... continue supporting us."
RealtyUSA Lewiston branch manager Gina Gigliotti said she was pleased with the auction's results.
"We had a lot of repeat customers that came in that remembered it from the previous year, and they won baskets and they came back, and they told their friends about it," she said.
Her staff opted to support WNY Heroes for a second year because the organization's mission "rings true in our hearts," Gigliotti said.
"I was in the military for 12 years," she explained. "We have a lot of other personnel here - agents and admins - that have people that were either spouses, sons, that were also in the military."
For more on WNY Heroes, visit www.wnyheroes.org.
RealtyUSA is located at 505 Center St. Visit online at www.RealtyUSA.com.