We are looking for nominations for our 2020 Community Hero Award.

The Cortland County Board of REALTORS® Community Hero Award was developed to honor those who make significant contributions through their time, actions, talents, and dedication, to the Cortland Community.  Nominations are accepted from the public and from CCBR members for this award.  A donation is given to a charity of the recipient’s choice.  One candidate is awarded per year.

Criteria:  The nominee consistently shows, models, and demonstrates, qualities of compassion and service to either one organization or a variety of volunteer activities. The charitable activities or events cannot be part of a job description or job duties, as well as no monetary benefit can be obtained. The nominee should have a passion and desire to help others and strives to make Cortland County a better community.  Nominee must be a non-Realtor and  reside within Cortland County.  To make a nomination, click on the link below.

Community HERO Award Nomination Form 

Please submit completed forms to:  [email protected], fax:  607.753.1622, or mail: Cortland County Board of REALTORS®, 64 Main St. Suite 205, Cortland, NY 13045.


Marilyn DeLorenzo

CCBR 2020 Community Hero

The 2020 Community Hero Award was presented to Marilyn DeLorenzo.  “Marilyn has enriched our community through her many years of service in local organizations,” said friends Mary Lee Martens and Cindy Lewis.  “Marilyn realizes that the success of nonprofit organizations is dependent on their financial soundness.  It is rare for a volunteer to be willing to provide leadership as well as to attend to the details and tasks that are part of successful fundraising,” they went on to say.

Marilyn taught in public schools and at SUNY Cortland, where she mentored students and encouraged them to give back to the schools in which they were privileged to learn.  She was co-president of the American Association of University Women in Cortland from 2003-2005.  She has worked tirelessly at fundraising, while encouraging local students through support and awards, helping them on their path of lifelong learning and community service. 

Marilyn is a loyal volunteer for the YWCA.  She was the driving force behind the Pig & Par Golf Tournament, which nets over $15,000 annually.  The proceeds support YWCA programs, including Aid to Victims of Violence and childcare. 

A twelve year member of the Board of Managers of Elizabeth Brewster House, she has been treasurer for nine years and chair of the Finance Committee, as well as volunteering with activities, events, outings, tours, and fundraising.  She has also served as an Ombudsman for the Cortland County Area Agency on Aging’s Long Term Care program. 

A lifelong Cortland resident, she loves her community.  She is always among the first to show up for those in need, whether it be with soup, pizzelles, or ensuring the inclusion of those that might be isolated.  She is an active member of St. Margaret’s Church and brought Communion to Walden Oaks residents for twelve years. 

Congratulations to Marilyn DeLorenzo and thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, for our community!


Catherine Bernardo

CCBR 2019 Community Hero

This year the award was given, posthumously, to Catherine Bernardo.  Catherine’s daughter, mother, and some of her closest friends, accepted the award.  Jackie Newton, one of those close friends, Presented the award and had these words to share. 

It wasn’t until her recent, untimely passing from metastatic breast cancer that we realized how much this amazing person did for our community, her friends, her family, several charities and Walden Oaks Golf Course.  While I knew she was a generous, caring and a giving person with a huge heart and a smile that lit up a room,  I figured out very quickly while putting this list together how much she did, in addition to working a full-time job, and being a full-time college student, all while being a terrific mom and wife.

The following are just some of the things she did for our community:

  • Past President, as well as several other positions, at the McGraw Lions Club, and did the eye screening for children at local schools for the Lions.
  • Previous Cortland Chamber of Commerce board member, hospital aide, sat on the community ice skating committee at JM McDonald Complex, donated time to other local charities.
  • Started the Foundation of Courage to help people fighting the battle with cancer to make their lives a little easier either, offering car rides, wigs, taxis, or whatever they might need. The foundation of Courage charity will be carried on by her friends and her family.
  • In 2018 for Christmas she did Catherine’s Christmas Wish. She raised money to buy lip balm and hand cream for all of those fighting cancer in the local oncology department.  She delivered over 250 of these packages with a huge smile and her Santa elf costume!
  • Made “Courage” caps and cuff bracelets for cancer patients, including friends and her family
  • Hired special needs people at Walden Oaks Country Club
  • Was inspirational in promoting women’s retreats
  • Raised awareness of cancer by speaking about her cancer experience and raised funds for the American Cancer Society
  • Was always the woman behind the scene helping families, friends, and children, without wanting recognition.

She was always opening her heart and arms to so many and showed all of us unconditional love and friendship.  Not only was she a hero to all the lives she touched, and to this community, but she encouraged all of us to be SUPER HEROES in our own lives.



CCBR Community HERO Award