The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal) has been awarded the 2019 William J. Neary Jr. Community Action and REALTOR® Excellence (CARE) Award from the Maryland REALTORS® for its work to better our local communities through volunteerism and charitable giving.

(From left) Coastal Director Grace Masten, Coastal President Bernie Flax, and Coastal President-Elect Joe Wilson accept the 2019 William J. Neary Jr. Community Action and REALTOR® Excellence Award on behalf of the Coastal Association of REALTORS®.

Coastal Director Grace Masten, who served as chair of this year’s CARE Award Committee, presented the award and a check for $9,000 to Coastal President Bernie Flax and Coastal President-Elect Joe Wilson during the September 12, 2019 Maryland REALTORS® Installation and Awards event at Gaylord National Harbor. Coastal will award the $9,000 to local charities through the Coastal REALTORS® Foundation.

The CARE Award is given to local REALTOR® associations in recognition of their achievements in community service and charitable actions. The award is designed to raise the profile of the REALTOR® organization by focusing on associations that have demonstrated an extraordinary record through direct local association community service involvement. In 2015, the Award was renamed the “William J. Neary Jr. Community Action and REALTOR® Excellence Award” to honor the champion of this award, former Maryland REALTORS® President William “Bill” J. Neary. Two awards are given each year – one for small associations and one for large associations. Coastal is considered a small association.

The highlight of Coastal’s community work over the past year is establishment of the Coastal REALTORS® Foundation, which is a donor-advised fund held by the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and supports local charitable organizations that are supported by association members. So far this year, the association has awarded over $16,000 in grant funding to organizations that service the Lower Eastern Shore. The annual Coastal REALTORS® Foundation Golf Tournament is the primary fundraiser for these efforts. Last year, the event raised over $12,000. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, October 10 at the Ocean City Golf Course.

Among Coastal’s other charitable efforts are the association’s annual holiday party toy drive to benefit Toys For Tots, an annual REALTOR® Build Day in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, and support of the Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore’s JA Inspire event, among others.

“It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of Coastal,” said President Bernie Flax. “Our members truly care about our communities and it shows through all of their efforts, inside and outside of the association. We will use this award to continue to support our members’ hard work and dedication to the causes that are important to them on the Lower Eastern Shore.”

For more information about Coastal and the Coastal REALTORS® Foundation, visit

More about Coastal Association of REALTORS®

The Coastal Association of REALTORS® is fortunate enough to represent over 1,000 real estate professionals in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties. These members are engaged, informed, and active in their communities. They support the American dream of homeownership, as well as the purchase and use of all types of real property. They are local. They are accurate. They are trusted. They are REALTORS® and affiliate members.

For more information on Coastal REALTORS®, visit The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark unique to real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Rayne / 410-641-4409 /