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Local Realtors gather for annual banquet

by Casey McCarthy
Staff Writer | January 27, 2020 12:14 AM

MOSES LAKE – The Moses Lake-Othello Association of Realtors gathered at Pillar Rock Grill in Moses Lake on Saturday night for the group’s annual awards banquet.

The theme of the night was the “Roarin’ ’20s,” and people came dressed in costumes to honor their selected colleagues and welcome in the new president, officers and board of directors. Door prizes were given away, and a “poker hand” game had attendees trying to assemble the best hand for a grand prize trip, sponsored by the Columbia Basin Herald.

Outgoing President Doug Robins thanked his colleagues, his board and his wife as he looked back on his past year as head of the association. Robins said he couldn’t have done it without his team. He joked that they had homework to ensure they could get everything in when they met.

“I wouldn’t have had such a wonderful year without all these people, and all my committee members, and all those of you who help out in all the other volunteer events we do,” Robins said. “I wasn’t able to thank you personally, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Multiple awards were given out at the banquet as well, presented by Robins as one of the last duties of the outgoing president. Caralyn Bess, publisher of the Columbia Basin Herald, received the Citizen of the Year award.

“Caralyn does a lot of things in the community and continues to be a huge part,” Robins said. “Even though she’s new to our community, she’s always willing to lend a helping hand and get involved in all kinds of exciting stuff, so thank you very much.”

Robins was named Realtor of the Year. Debbie Doran-Martinez of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce was named Affiliate of the Year.

Incoming president Kandi Bersanti received the Realtor Community Service Award for 2019. Alison May received the Realtor Achievement Award.

Kitty Wallace, the 2020 president of Washington Realtors, the state group, installed Bersanti as the new president of the local association and gave a brief address.

Wallace urged those in attendance to help their local association out, even if it’s just something small, and said that no one was in the industry unless they loved it.

“You don’t have to be state president, you don’t have to be the local president, you can give a little bit of your time to better the association, and the industry, you’re a part of,” she said.

In her first address to the association as president, Bersanti asked the group “Are you in?” and said the members could accomplish more working together.

“At its heart, Moses Lake-Othello Realtors Association is community leaders, whether you’re sitting on the committee or rocking the outreach opportunities,” Bersanti said. “Leaders get stuff done. Great things happen when we work together. When members speak up, and show up, the association can make a difference.”

Bersanti said she has been closely involved with the association since she got into the business six years ago. The new president said she’s thankful to her peers for the opportunity and hopes she can step up to the plate and do some great things this year.

The association also held a moment of silence in honor of Larry Hall, Candy Taylor and Frank Estrada, whom the group lost in the past year.

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Kandi Bersanti smiles as Washington Realtors President Kitty Wallace presents her with a pin while members applaud the new Moses Lake-Othello Association of Realtors president.

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Outgoing President Doug Robins presents Debbie Doran-Martinez of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce with this year’s Affiliate of the Year Award at the Moses Lake-Othello Association of Realtors annual banquet on Saturday.

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Doug Robins presents Kandi Bersanti with the Realtor Community Service Award at the Moses Lake-Othello Association of Realtors annual banquet on Saturday.

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Kandi Bersanti presents Doug Robins with the Realtor of the Year Award on Saturday at the Moses Lake-Othello Association of Realtors annual banquet Saturday at Pillar Rock Grill.

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Moses Lake-Othello Association of Realtors’ new officers and directors raise their hand as they’re sworn in. From the left are: Doug Robins, Cindie Conklin, Tara Zerbo, Danielle Svilar, Tami Canfield, Barry Lawson and Kevin Burgess.

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President Kitty Wallace presented the installation of local officers after addressing the crowd at the Moses Lake-Othello Association of Realtors annual banquet Saturday evening.

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Caralyn Bess, publisher of the Columbia Basin Herald, is presented the Citizen of the Year Award by Doug Robins, outgoing president of the Moses Lake-Othello Association of Realtors, on Saturday night.