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Merrick REALTOR Susan Gruen Helsinger named NYSAR Community Service Award winner

Oct 16, 2014
Albany – October 7, 2014 – The New York State Association of REALTORS recognized Susan Gruen Helsinger for her work with the Jason Gruen Foundation by naming her one of its first-ever Community Service Award honorees during the association’s Fall Business Meetings in Verona, NY.

The NYSAR Community Service Award is intended to honor REALTORS’ community involvement supporting initiatives aimed at a community’s youth, improving the quality of education, quality of life for older Americans, homelessness prevention, as well as efforts following natural disasters.  

Helsinger has dedicated more than 20 years of her life to The Jason Gruen Foundation, which she founded in memory of her son Jason, who passed away at the age of 15 of an undiagnosed heart ailment while walking to school. Doctors found that Jason had Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis (IHSS), a heart disease which frequently affects otherwise healthy young people and all too often results in sudden death in spite of proper diagnosis and medication.  At the present time, there is no cure.

The foundation began by funding research grants to help build pediatric cardiology centers and has since built heart centers at two major New York hospitals. Through the foundation, Helsinger has also supplied local schools with defibrillators and with the help of Cohen’s Children’s Hospital and the Long Island Jewish Hospital, now offers free echocardiograms and EKGs to eighth-grade students. To date, more than 2,000 students have been screened and more than 65 children have been identified to have cardiac abnormalities. 

“Susan Gruen Helsinger is an inspiration to us all. She’s a shining example of how New York State’s REALTORS are giving back to their communities in a variety of ways and advancing good works to help those in need around the world,” said JP Endres, 2014 president of the New York State Association of REALTORS. “REALTORS don’t just help people achieve the American dream of homeownership, they are working every day to build the communities around them and change lives for the better.” 

Along with an inscribed award, a monetary grant of $500 was also made in Helsinger’s name to the Jason Gruen Foundation. Somers REALTOR Linda Crispinelli and Sidney REALTORJacqlene Rose were also recipients of this year’s award. 

The New York State Association of REALTORS is a not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 47,000 of New York state’s real estate professionals. The term REALTOR is a registered trademark, which identifies real estate professionals who subscribe to a strict code of ethics as members of the National Association of REALTORS. These REALTORS are also members of the New York State Association of REALTORS as well as their local board or association of REALTORS.


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