On Friday, September 27, the Norris Group proudly presented its 12th annual award-winning black tie event I Survived Real Estate. An incredible lineup of industry experts joined Bruce and Aaron Norris to discuss perplexing industry trends, head-scratching legislation, massive tech disruption, and opportunities emerging for real estate professionals. All proceeds from the event benefit Make A Wish and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This event is not possible without the generous help of the following platinum partners: the San Diego Creative Real Estate Investors Association, InvestClub, ThinkRealty, Coach Fullerton, Keller Williams Corona, PropertyRadar, the Apartment Owners Association, MVT Productions, and Realty411. Visit isurvivedrealestate.com for event information.
This week’s radio show is the first part of 7-part series that will cover our recent event I Survived Real Estate. Today’s show will cover Make A Wish and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and how they are making an impact in the community. You will get the chance to hear from the people who Make A Wish granted a wish for and the children St. Jude is helping. You will also get to hear about this year’s Rohny Award winner and hear the testimonials from different people in whose lives he made a difference.
- How many years has I Survived Real Estate been held?
- How much has the event raised over the years?
- How has St. Jude made an impact and helped children with life-threatening diseases?
- Who was the featured Make A Wish kid, and how did the charity make their desire happen?
- What are the future goals of both charities to help even more children?
- Who was this year’s Rohny Award winner, and how has he impacted others?
- What in his life prepared him for the kind of work he would do in real estate?
Aaron Norris opened by welcoming everyone to the 12th annual I Survived Real Estate event. He was quite relieved they were not live streaming this year. For those new to the scene, there’s a joke that every time the word says real estate is says, you can just have a sip of wine and you’ll have a lovely evening. Sometimes, couples bring their significant other, and they only come once because they’re not die-hard real estate fans. He hoped nobody here was like that but told everyone to have a great time tonight.
I Survived Real Estate happens once a year. They come together in one place for one night to discuss the year ahead while benefiting two incredibly awesome charities. The Norris Group started this event back in 2008 during the recession to celebrate their industry and to raise money to defeat cancer and to help people who have been impacted directly and indirectly, which, unfortunately, happens to so many of us. As done every year, Aaron asked everyone to stand who is struggling, has struggled with cancer, or knows someone who has. This is why The Norris Group hosts the event every year. He continued with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Over the past three months, together they have raised over $55,000, bringing the 12-year total to $925,000, so close to that $1 million mark, and they expect it to happen next year and hope everyone can come back. I Survived Real Estate is completely underwritten by the Norris Group, so 100% of what they raised via ticket sales or sponsorships actually go to the two charities that they are benefiting tonight: Make A Wish of the Inland Empire in Orange County and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Aaron next discussed the different ways to participate. There was a Make A Wish card on every table as well as a table out in the hallway where people could talk to them. St. Jude had a house giveaway, as shown in the program. They were having a raffle, here in California. Later on, if you are watching this online via Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, or any other of the digital channels, please go to www.isurvivedrealestate.com and hit that video tab. You can see the program, all of the sponsor and speaker information, and ways that you can get involved and donate to the charities.
Next up, St. Jude shared their video that featured two young boys, Zac and Carson, who enjoyed playing video games together at the hospital. Carson always looked forward to playing them with Zac, while he talked about how nice and kind Carson is. Since they both loved video games, Carson knew Zac would be a friend from the moment he first saw him. Carson then went on to help Zac with the button sequence on the controller while the video showed his condition of acute myeloid leukemia, for which he has undergone three bone marrow transplants. Zac has had both legs amputated due to osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Zac will call Carson sometimes when he is in his transplant, and Carson would remember when he had his amputation. They always play with each other, talk about the good things, and encourage each other to do good at their appointments. They also tell jokes to each other.
There was this one time when Carson and Zac were going to the zoo, but Carson didn’t feel well enough to be able to go. They played video games after when he was better. Carson is nine years old and has continued to stay positive since he was diagnosed at age 7. When they get together to play games, they have fun and don’t think about the other things. They’ll ask each other if their appointments went well and if they are feeling good. Most of all, they focus on their friendship and make that their main goal instead of worrying about all the pain. Zac does not have to take pain medicine as much. Although his cancer has come back a few times, it’s gone now and he was preparing to go home. However, even being away from each other, Carson said they were still going to play online and facetime each other January so they can talke and see each other even from far away. Carson ended by saying how great a place St. Jude is and how they gave him his life back. No matter what, people will always help the children at St. Jude.
Amanda Soto of St. Jude thanked the Norris Group for inviting them again this year to be a recipient of their event. She was very honored to be there and share the stage with another amazing non-profit, Make A Wish Foundation. She also thanked the audience and told them how their presence was showing lots of support to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Thanks to everyone there, families like those of Carson and Zac do not pay a bill for their travel treatment, housing, or even food, and that all is made possible because of the contributions from individuals there tonight and amazing organizations such as the Norris group. Thanks to everyone’s gifts, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is able to continue the lifesaving research that it has done. Ever since the hospital first opened in 1962, the childhood cancer survival rate has gone from 20 to 80% in just over 50 years.
She mentioned, however, that statistic only applies within the United States. Unfortunately, throughout the world, that statistic still remains like it was in the 1960s at 80/20. That means that four out of every five children, unfortunately, will not survive. But, because of that, St. Jude is saying you know they’re not doing enough, and thanks to everyone’s contributions, St. Jude has made a commitment of $100 million to invest in global programs to help raise the childhood cancer survival rate to 60% by the year 2030. All that would not be possible without the kind-hearted support of individuals such as the people there tonight and organizations such as the Norris Group. Their commitment is that no child should die. in the dawn of life as their founder once said. She ended by thanking everyone on behalf of their patient heroes such as Zac and Carson and the St. Jude family.
Next up was the brand new CEO of Make A Wish of Orange County and the Inland Empire. As of the event, Gloria Crockett had been CEO for 16 days. They also shared their own video featuring the Orange County School of Arts and their students helping grant a wish to Kaylin. Her wish was to be a pop star, and they provided the band and the backup singers and dancers to provide her the most amazing experience. Kaylin’s parents talked about how their daughter had come premature, and they knew something wasn’t right. It started with all kinds of issues, including her not being able to keep food down, throwing up, and when they were in the hospital when she had her first bloody diaper. It was downhill after that. She went through numerous surgeries to try to figure out what was wrong with her and nights of her in stomach pain and nights of her crying and saying she felt like giving up. She was missing out on school activities and family vacations, and her only friends were her friends in the hospital.
Being through everything she’s been through and still waking up every day with hopes, dreams, and goals is priceless. Cindy Peca from the OC School of Arts said this is probably the most special, important, and best event they have ever done in their entire career. She wants to do more of them and thinks that it’s important for for everyone to get back and to reach out because the need is there. It’s so fulfilling, and it’s better than any paycheck. It’s better than any name on a sign to give an experience like this to someone like Kaylin who’s so deserving. Kaylin thanked everyone for being her fan and told them how much it meant to her.
Gloria went up to thank everyone and the Norris Group. The children in the videos were bsolutely amazing. Because of everyone’s donation, they have made an impact in their lives. Their lives have been changed and inspired, because of organizations such as St. Jude and Make A Wish. Everyone there that night was there to help these organizations and make a difference for them. She reiterated how almost $925,000 had been raised. Gloria had been with Make A Wish for 16 days, and she was excited, humbled, and inspired. She saw the video three times and cried each time. She oversees the offices that cover Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County, and she’s humbled by the job she gets to do every single day.
It was absolutely amazing that Kaylin’s wish was to be a rock star. Kaylin’s wish gave her the opportunity that allowed her to shine brightly after many difficult years that were spent in the hospital. For her family, it was a moment to celebrate after having spent years of uncertainty, hospital stays and doctors’ appointments. As they continue to tell stories about that day, they know that this life-changing experience was not only for Kaylin and her family. It was for the students, it was for the backup dancers, it was for the band, faculty, and advisors. They knew that it had a great impact on the hundreds of individuals that were out in the audience cheering for her as she rocked out that stage and singing. Wishes inspire hope, they spark inspiration, and they celebrate Joy for those who are involved in creating that wish and making it a reality. They believe that a granted wish is truly transformational. At Make A Wish this year, they have a goal to grant 348 wishes. That is one wish every 25 hours.
Not only do they grant wishes for their chapter, but they help other chapters across the nation, in which there are 60, to help grant wishes in the area. A lot of children want to come in and have wishes granted at Disneyland, or they want to meet celebrities. Make a Wish does a lot of that with our partners across the nation and around the world. Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control, only about half of the wishes are currently being granted for eligible kids. The children that are served by Make A Wish are between the ages of two and a half and 18 and are currently battling a critical illness. But thanks to all of the support today, they are helping Make a Wish strive to make that goal of that 348 and continue to allow them to serve those kids that would like a wish to come true. They want every kid that is battling a critical illness to have the opportunity to live out their most heartfelt wish and make memories that last a lifetime. On behalf of the wish children and their families, volunteers, supporters, Board of Directors, and staff team, she thanked the Norris Group and every person at the event for making this a reality for Make a wish .
She also reminded them of the card on the table that featured the wish that was being supported by I Survived RealEstate 2019. They adopted the wish of Elijah. Elijah wanted to meet his favorite entrepreneur Jeff Bezos. Without everyone there, they would not be able to make the transformational changes that they do. She cannot wait to continue her journey as the new CEO at Make A Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire to create more memories with everyone there.
Aaron next thanked the sponsors for the event. None of this was possible without their support over the years. After hosting this event for so many years, now in year 12, a lot of faces around the room become family. This is almost like a family reunion, and it throws him off every year. They don’t have name tags, and they’re all dressed up. It blows your mind, but The Norris Group is so grateful for everyone’s continued commitment to attend.
Aaron next went on to talk about someone who was very important to the family who they lost this year: Geraldine Berry from Northern California. She was here since the very beginning. She was instrumental in bringing everybody from Northern California down. She was a very dear friend, and her legacy lives on by everyone from Northern California who continue to come down and support the event. She’s always an inspiration, and Aaron said he definitely won’t miss that Irish accent running around and causing problems.
Aaron next went on to thank The Norris Group team: Robyn, Vicki, Holly, Donna, Joey, Don, Mike, and Rich who helped throughout the night and making things run smoothly. He also thanked White House catering and MVT Productions who made life so much easier and had been there since the beginning. He next asked everyone to leave their phones on vibrate and follow along on social media using the hashtag #ISRE. However, on this night, he asked for everyone’s help. One of the reasons he didn’t want to livestream was because they wanted everyone to participate a few times in some online questions. He asked everyone to text thenorrisgroup to the number 22333. He could tell that too many people had been watching Game of Thrones. Winter is coming apparently in the economy. After sending the text, he asked everyone to text the one word on how they’re feeling about the economy.
Next, Aaron invited the man up to the stage who, next year, will have been in the business for 40 years. He’s a real estate investor, builder, and hard money lender. He hosts the weekly award winning radio show. He loves to yellow line charts, and he does his best to advocate for an industry he loves very much: Bruce Norris. Bruce told how this was Aaron’s brainchild, and he has done amazing job with it. In 1981, Bruce attended a seminar he initially didn’t really want to attend. It happened to change my life. A gentleman named Jim Rohn speak; and for whatever reason, Bruce was ready to hear him talk. He went home and wrote goals for the first time in his life, and his life has never been the same. When Jim passed away, Bruce got the idea of honoring his legacy with an award. They asked they Rohn people if they could do that, and they agreed. Every year, they hand out something called the Rohny award, and it is reserved for the very best of the best in the industry. These are people that have given back to their fellow investor and taught them things that enabled them to better support their family.
Attending the event were Jack Fullerton, who was the first recipient, and Pete Fortunato all the way from Florida, back from getting the award two years ago with John Schaub. This night, they honored Dyches Boddiford. Dyches grew up on a farm in rural South Georgia where he learned the meaning of hard work as he watched his dad and uncles running various agricultural businesses in the area. His pursuits did not include farming, but instead resulted in his grandmother banning him from conducting scientific experiments in the house. His astute grandfather bought him a chemistry lab and helped him set it up in the barn far away from the house. He eventually pursued his love of science and attended Georgia Tech studying physics and eventually obtaining a graduate degree in computer science. Even today, many of his friends still refer to him as rocket scientist.
Dyches met his future wife Debbie, who’s was attending the event that night, at Georgia Tech. Incredibly, it wasn’t until years later that they would reconnect and get married. They have two daughters, Dorsie and Lori. Working as vice president of a prestigious engineering firm, he became involved in Georgia REIA and started learning about and investing in real estate on the side. Debbie still reminds Dyches of one of his first investments small: an apartment in a less than desirable area of Atlanta where she would go pregnant to collect rent. When the engineering firm was eventually sold, he moved into real estate full-time. Dyches learned about land trust. As he began investing and got so many questions about trust, he started teaching a small class on the subject. Over time, it would grow to include information on entities, tax strategies, and asset protection, which many of us know him best for today.
Wanting to always include his family in the business, his daughter Dorsie recollects that in order to be allowed to watch cartoons, she had to first compile binders for the upcoming events. She later discovered that her dad had gotten a quote from his printer for binding, and he used that in class as evidence how a couple of children could save you a lot of money. All those funds went toward their IRAs. Dyches would sometimes be a guest on an Atlanta real estate investment talk show, and one day his daughter Lori happened to hear him on the radio. She thought that was the coolest thing ever and asked him later in the evening if they were rich. His response was, “Who is this we?”
Today both daughters are a real estate investors. His daughter Dorsey is a full time investor and also helps with the education business. According to Dorsie, Dyches is a guy that really enjoys reading tax codes and figures out the best ways to protect assets and save money. He is constantly learning and has passed on his wisdom to thousands over his 20-year teaching career. If there’s one downside to Dyches, it’s that it’s hard to get anything done at the office because he’s constantly answering questions for friends and students. Bruce knows that’s true because he has been on the other end of that general generosity most recently. Not bad for a rocket scientist.
Bruce ended with a video made up of testimonials of people thanking Dyches for how he had helped them. David Tilney and his wife congratulated him on this wonderful award and told him how it was well-deserved with all the teaching he had done and all the wonderful books and research he had written. Danny Williams reminded him how in 1994, he put on a program called the Mobile Home Money Machine. Little did he know that was going to be the catalyst to let him leave the corporate world five years ahead of schedule. Lyle Wall told him how he wrote an IRA book that he bought, and he called Dyches with a question. He was so helpful., and words could not express how humble his memory was of that conversation.
Gordan Katz told how his material is excellent, his delivery is superb, and he walks the walk. Gary Johnston said he has so much wisdom, and he loves studying topics and sharing that knowledge with other people. Jack Fullerton told him he had done such a great job of keeping everyone up to date on corporations, LLCs, and trusts. Kerry Milligan told him how he has been an awesome influence on him and both his business and family.
Bill Cook talked about hos brilliant and smart he is. A lot people don’t know that his nickname is The Professor. Another nickname is a rocket scientist. A lot of people don’t realize that Dyches really is a rocket scientist. Mike Gunn rapped about not being a Shakespeare, but he holds his teachings dear. Jack Easton talked about how he and his family couldn’t be more impressed with his wealth of knowledge, integrity, and being and a fantastic family man. Charlie Pettit told how Dyches had done nothing but help him, encourage him, and really provide him with the knowledge that’s invaluable. Pete Fortunato said he is a valuable example and counsel to him and to many many others.
Mary Hart said meeting him changed her life, not just in the amount of education she received from him, but also in the people that have flowed into her life because of him. Jay Davis reminded him there is a whole group of people that he will never know or meet whose lives have been impacted by his teaching and leadership. The Tilney’s reminded him how he has helped thousands over the years. Lyle Wall told him he has been a leader and inspiration for everyone. Kim Cook told how he had been an amazing influence in their lives. Ann Williams told him how he had not only been a teacher of theirs, but a mentor and most of all, a friend. Everyone thanked him one more time and congratulated him on winning the award.
The Norris Group originates and services loans in California and Florida under California DRE License 01219911, Florida Mortgage Lender License 1577, and NMLS License 1623669. For more information on hard money lending, go www.thenorrisgroup.com and click the Hard Money tab.
The Norris Group would like to thank its gold sponsors for supporting I Survived Real Estate: Coldwell Banker Town and Country, In A Day Development, Inland Valley Association of Realtors, Keystone CPA, Las Brisas Escrow, LA South REIA, Michael Ryan and Associates, NorcalREIA, NSDREI, Orange County Investment Club, Pacific Premier Bank, Pasadena FIBI, Shenbaum Group, SJREI, Spinnaker Loans, South Orange County Real Estate Investment Club, uDirect IRA Services, White House Catering, Wilson Investment Properties. See isurvivedrealestate.com for event information.
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