With a possible 50,000 plus runners expected to hit the pavements November 5th for the 41st running of the five-borough New York City Marathon (the first five races were held in Central Park), it will be in no small part thanks to one of New York’s leading real estate families, and, in particular, one of its distinguished patriarchs, Jack Rudin, who died in December at 92.
As the New York Times reported, the expansion of the marathon from Central Park to a city-wide race may not have happened had not Rudin and his family stepped forward in 1976 with sufficient funds to defray expenses and the ability to enlist a major sponsor and mayoral support. As the marathon grew, the Rudin family remained a major sponsor of the race and its trophy named for their father Samuel Rudin, a marathoner and founder of the family real estate business.
While the Rudins remain exemplary in their altruism and public service, the willingness to step up beyond day-to-day operations to give and do good has been applied by many in real estate.
Paul Massey, co-founder of Massey Knakal Realty Services, now part of Cushman & Wakefield, made a concerted effort to run for mayor; his colleague Bruce Mosler, chairman of global brokerage at Cushman, co-chairs a major event for Avenues of Justice, a program dedicated to helping young men stay out of prison. Norman Bobrow, head of the eponymous commercial leasing brokerage, is a founding board member of Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl (CCOC) which has rescued some 3,000 children from regions contaminated by the nuclear reactor explosion in 1986.
There are many, many other examples of real estate professionals who step up to do good. As you make plans for the coming season, consider what you can do to make a difference.
Harry Zlokower is president of Zlokower Company, a New York real estate public relations firm, and past president of the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, New York, N.Y.