Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis the Season for Giving Thanks and Good Will

The holidays are a treasured time of year for me, as I give thanks for all good people in my life and in my community, including you. I appreciate gathering with the people I care about most to offer a simple moment of gratitude for all that we have in our lives. This holiday season, I would like to invite you to share your story of thanks and good will with me.
During these historic times of change and, for some, true hardship in our nation and in our own towns, I would like to focus on the many acts of kindness and generosity that I have witnessed in my community, and nation-wide:

•Through the Claremont Community Foundation, the HLC Team has offered financial, technical and administrative support for both Art and Community Impact Projects funded by the Foundation.
•Through the Claremont Chamber of Commerce, we have been delighted to participate in the Best Bet Grants Program that helps local teachers fund needed programs in their classroom.
•Through our local chapter of Rotary International, we have assisted in the selection of the participants of the Youth Leadership Camp and helped to organize both trips and events for award recipients and their parents.
•Through our national non-profit service and education partners Lenders Who Care and Herocare, we have created free, non-sales, monthly education programs and we have developed special services to thank our Local Heroes who create and sustain the quality of our lives. Local Heroes include the following: our active and retired educators; first emergency responders; military (including reserves); medical support and hospital employees; non-profit and charitable organizations; and all government workers.

I have been greatly heartened by these community partnerships and by the level of volunteer commitment I have seen benefit our neighbors and those in our community who are less fortunate and who may be struggling.

Now, I would like to reach out to YOU. What are you grateful for? What type of community or volunteer work do you enjoy? Will you send us your story? Please send an email directly to Brooke, our in-house Marketing Specialist at Please keep your story to 200 words or less and submit it before Monday, December 21st.

We will automatically enter your name for a drawing to win either a $100 gift certificate to the local restaurant of your choice OR a donation of $500 to your favorite charity in your name.

These stories encourage all of us to remember that, in working together, we may make a difference in the efforts that are important to us.

My family and I have lived and worked in this community my entire life. Each year, I appreciate the blessings of my life more and more. As we approach this traditional holiday season, I send warm and sincere wishes to all of you now and through the next year for a safe, abundant and healthy year to come.

With warm regards,

Tim Harrison
...on behalf of the entire HLC Team at Broadview Mortgage

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Story of Giving from Joanne Distaso

Almost everyday...I thank God for our home. For one...that we have one in this day and age and that we are fortunate enough to live in such a wonderful community like la verne. the home we live in is very special to us because it was the home i grew up in. When my folks told us they were ready to sell six years was sad for us. We had just been through one of the roughest patches of our lives (hopefully!) our baby girl, Avalon, had been born with a rare heart defect and spent the first two months of her life..fighting for her life. She was airlifted to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and underwent emergency open heart surgery at the age of 8 weeks old. she remained on life support for two months post surgery with possibility of needing a heart transplant. we finally were able to bring her home with us in January of 2004. at the time we were living in Chino HIlls in a very small home...with just enough room for Avalon and us. We couldn't stand the thought of the la Verne home being sold (my folks home). We called tim...he did his magic. We moved into my childhood home in may of 2004. Avalon had just started crawling.

I look back and wonder how we were able to do it. we put our trust in Tim and his team and knew if it was meant to be for would be. I cannot express how thankful I am to be in this have the land we live in the city we live in and most have my now six year old daughter Avalon thriving and living life to the fullest. We are blessed, we are fortunate, we are lucky, lucky people! Sometimes i really need to pinch myself to believe it all is real.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles is an amazing, amazing place and we again are fortunate to live where we live and be able to utilize their care. Every year on Avalon's anniversary of her heart surgery, we visit the CTICU where Avalon lived for 2 months. We bring toys, blankets, hair bows, food, donations...whatever we can to give to the other children and their families and the hospital. We give blood and I also offer my photography and design services for their fundraising events. We will never be able to express how grateful we are to that hospital and their wonderful staff. It's impossible!

Ok...I think I may be reaching the word limit...we are thankful...grateful and blessed! Thank you to Tim (and his staff) for being the wonderful, honest and awesome people that they are and for getting us into this home! home is where the heart is and Thank you God...WE have four very healthy ones under the roof!

with warmest regards,greg, joanne, avalon (6) and Max (3 1/2) distaso

Story of Giving from Gil Rivera

Thank you for the opportunity to give thanks. This year has been challenging and yet much more rewarding than years past. Every effort goes noticed in this marketplace! I am thankful for a great many blessings including the professionals who stayed in the real estate business this year. At the height of the market a few years ago, professionalism amongst many newcomers to the real estate industry was difficult to find. Business calls often went unanswered because many agents could sell a home before the sign was installed in the front yard. These days, the core of the industry continue to strive for excellence.

I am also grateful for the opportunity that real estate has given me to spend time participating with my family this year in community, school and sports events. The camaraderie that one encounters at these events has been extra kind and heartfelt this year as many feel blessed to be surviving the toughest economy in decades.

My family participates in volunteerism thru Lanterman State Developmental Center which borders Pomona, Diamond Bar and Walnut. The Center, which opened in 1927, consists of 21 client residences, 1 acute hospital unit; a variety of training and work sites; a Vocational Training Center; and recreation facilities, including a swimming pool, playgrounds, camp, carousel, equestrian center, track, and a ballpark. Other entities housed on campus include a Research and Staff Training Building, the UCLA Student Immersion Research Program, a Child Day Care Center for community and staff members' children, Credit Union, and the California Conservation Corps. Over 400 clients currently are provided 24 hour care on site.

My family participates thru volunteering on Sundays to take dozens of wheelchair bound and bedridden clients to Church services from 9am-12noon. The disabled clients range in age from mid-20's to 85 years old+. My children have learned to work with the "disabled" and respect them for the many "abilities" they do have. We give thanks for our blessings every time we leave that facility and we also ask that we be as blessed as the clients in their humility, faith and innocence.

Finally, I am grateful for Tim Harrison and the HLC Team at Broadview. I have referred several clients to Tim and associates because they are straightforward, dedicated to doing the right thing for the client, and hardworking. My clients have never walked away from a deal with negative comments about Tim or the staff. Rather, they thank me for referring such a great team.

Looking forward to a blessed and thankful 2010!

Thank you.

We wanted to say thanks to all of the people who submitted their stories and to announce the winners of our drawing: Gil Rivera and Chris and Joanna Denny. Tim was so moved by all of the stories that he decided to draw two names instead of one. Winners will be receiving $500 to their favorite charity in their name.

Please take a few moments to look through all of the Stories of Giving shared with us here on this page.

Thank you again for sharing your stories with us. Each one touched our hearts.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Story of Giving from Stan and Judy Burwell

A few years ago a close friend 'volunteered' me for the Role Model Program here in San Jose. The program sends a volunteer out to 'at risk' Elementary and Middle schools in San Jose where we spend one hour a week, for 8 weeks, talking to kids about the value of education and about what I term 'Life Skills' . I've been at it now for about 5 years and have truly enjoyed each and every class. Every class is different, and every bunch of kids is different. Because I'm an 'old' guy and tough, I have been sent to Middle Schools where the kids are a little tougher to control and 'direct'.

It has been an amazing time. It's so fun and rewarding to watch the kids learn to think about things in their lives that they've never thought of before or have felt those 'dreams' were well beyond their means and abilities. One of my key questions is when I arrive I ask them, "Who would like to go to college?" and most raise their hands. Then I ask, "Who thinks they really WILL go to college?" and the number drops to below 5 usually. After the 8 weeks, almost ALL the kids think they CAN and WILL go to college, simply because I tell them they can and how to do it.

Children and their education are our future. We ALL need to take the time as parents and as members of society to think about this and find a way to help. The Role Model Program is one great way. (

Have a VERY Merry Christmas and a GREAT New Year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Story of Giving from Chris and Joanna Denny

As we reflect on the joys of the holiday season, our minds flood with the memories we had as young children waking up on Christmas morning to Santa's mystery and magic. We would repeatedly ask ourselves, "How did he know exactly what our little hearts desired?" Only Santa knows for sure!

What makes Christmas so special? The answer is simple: seeing the awe in the faces of children around the world. Because of this, we are devoted each and every holiday season to select names of children from the "giving tree" at our church so that we can give the gift that we too received as kids. Although we are unable to meet the children we select, we know that the gift they are given may be the only present they receive on Christmas morning. Our goal is to spread as much holiday cheer to our younger generation as we can in hope that they will in time also pay it forward.

By lending a helping hand to our fellow neighbors, parishioners, and loved ones, we truly gain the biggest reward! We have found our purpose in life and are eager to continue sharing it with the world.

All Our Best,
Chris and Joanna Denny

Story of Giving from Jackie Dennis

I woke up this morning at 3:00AM with a song of thanks in my heart. I have been a resident of Claremont since June of this year. I waited twelve years for God to lead me to my home, my church, and my community here in Claremont. I was very specific in my prayers for God to surround me by loving and caring neighbors. Well, just know that God is still showing himself. God was working behind the scenes with my realtor Tom Troli, BJ, and Tim Harrison. (Smiling) When I met the previous owners of my home, I was overwhelmed with joy and cried all the way home. The wife told me that she prayed the night before she listed her home. We had the offer in hours after the house went on the market. She had a stroke years before and prayed that God would send someone into her home that would love it as she continues to do so. I have done much in the short time that I have been here. I volunteer each week at the Pomona Valley Hospital in Pomona and donate and participate in raising money for the sick baby fund there at the hospital. I prayed that my youngest daughter would move east of the 605 and work at a hospital in my community. She is a registered nurse and received a call from the hospital yesterday for an interview. Last week, I donated an Xmas tree and decorations to a family that had no plans of getting a tree and have not had a tree over the last several years. Little did they realize that it was that experienced that swelled up the Christmas spirit within me. I have volunteered my time with seniors over the years in one way or another to the point of even hosting my own radio show to bring awareness on the issues surrounding seniors. I have worked with Olive Crest in efforts to raise money for a community center for abused and neglected children with a particular interest in orphans. A few evenings ago, I was reading over the Xmas lists of twelve children that reside at Hillview Acres Children Home in Chino Ca. They asked for McDonald’s gift certificates, fluffy house shoes, nail polish, piggy bank, and so many items that pulled so heavy on my heart strings. I am going to quietly slip back into bed before my husband wakes up. (Smiling) if my name is pulled for the 100.00 for my favorite restaurant I would love to get $100.00 Dollars in McDonald gift certificates. Those certificates will get hand delivered to the Women’s shelter in downtown Los Angeles. If my name is pulled to win in the drawing I would love for the 500.00 to be donated to :

Hillview Acres Children’s Home
3683 Chino Avenue
Chino, Ca 91710

And if I do not win in the drawing God is still good because of people like you all……………………………………..Thank you, Jackie Dennis

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Story of Giving from Jim Hermanson of Absolutely Italian (dba) Spaghetti Eddie’s and Eddie’s New York Pizzeria

Sorry for the very late response to your company's December newsletter. Ed Inglese and I own Tutti Mangia Italian Grill in Claremont as well as Spaghetti Eddie’s in Glendora and Rancho Cucamonga and the Pizzeria also in Claremont. The newsletter hit a positive nerve with me when I read it in December. Unfortunately it got buried in paperwork and I just re discovered it, But I wanted to respond anyway. My wife and I are involved with a Christian group in Chino called Isaiah’s Rock. At Christmas time they deliver toys and food to over 1800 families in the Inland Empire. Eddie’s New York Pizzeria fed over 200 workers who were working filling bags with toys. They house many people that have medical and social problems. Every Wednesday they feed over 200 people. Spaghetti Eddie’s fed 200 homeless over Christmas at ST. Dorothy’s Catholic Church in Glendora. My wife is associated with Catholic Charities and I am involved with prison ministry. We believe in giving back to the community from a business standpoint as well as personal. I thought that Tim’s letter was very appropriate.