Kelly Byers Honoured with the Canadian REALTORS Care® Award 2024

At the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) Kelly Byers of Woodstock, Ontario, was awarded the Canadian REALTORS Care® Award 2024 Proudly Presented by

Byers, a REALTOR® and salesperson with RE/MAX a-b Realty, has been creating solutions to the needs of her community for as long as she can remember.

In 2010, when the Woodstock Salvation Army was in desperate need of food donations, Byers brought her brokerage together to canvass their community. The next year, she approached the Woodstock Ingersoll Tillsonburg and Area Association of REALTORS® (WITAAR) to see what a whole community of REALTORS® could accomplish.

Fourteen years later, the REALTORS Care® Food Drive has collected more than 250,000 pounds of food for the Salvation Army, and the initiative has expanded into more communities across Oxford County. Now, each spring, more than 100 volunteers, many of whom have been recruited by Byers herself, collect donations from their community.

As a vocal community advocate, Byers works with numerous groups to support Woodstock residents. In 2015, Byers helped a family of Syrian refugees come to Woodstock, raised thousands of dollars, supported their integration into the community, and secured a place for them to call home.

Byers’ passion for rallying her community for good can be boiled down to a simple, guiding principle: “At the end of the day, I think that the world is a better place when we all have enough.”

In June of 2023, Byers’ life would change when she was diagnosed with leukemia and had to undergo lifesaving treatment.

“If you’ve encountered Kelly, she’s learned everything about you. She’s probably gone out of her way to help you,” said close friend Kristy Hons. “No one wants to see anything like this happen to anyone, but I think it’s especially awful when things like this happen to the best people.”

In short order, Woodstock began to rally around Byers, finding ways to give back that would resonate with her community spirit.

Byers’ first-hand experience with the healthcare system brought her attention to the dire need for blood. She put out a call for blood donations that friends, family, and REALTORS® were ready to answer. Her children rallied their friends for the “Kids Against Leukemia Bake Sale” and raised nearly $20,000 for the Sunnybrook Hospital foundation, where Byers was receiving care at the time.

Looking for ways to continue to be involved during treatment, Byers and her husband, Justin, made a $40,000 donation to build a brand-new play structure at their children’s school.

Byers’ time of need demonstrates how her kindness and passion for bettering the lives of others continues to inspire those around her.

We congratulate Kelly and the 45 REALTORS® nominated for this year’s award!

If you know a REALTOR® whose impact in their community deserves recognition on a national level, please stay tuned. This September, we’ll be announcing the nomination period for our Canadian REALTORS Care® Award 2025.