By Sue Pascoe
Anthony Marguleas, owner of Amalfi Estates, a philanthropic residential real estate brokerage, and his sales partner Cody Carras presented a check for $11,233 to the American Cancer Society (ACS) on Feb. 13 in Culver City.
ACS Senior Manager Crystal Yelverton said, “We are so grateful to partners like Amalfi Estates and all that they do to help fuel our ACS mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world against cancer!
“It is generosity like this that helps us fund research, patient programs, education and advocacy, and for that we are truly appreciative,” Yelverton said.
From 2009 through 2014, Marguleas gave away about $20,000 annually to any charity his client picked, and during those five years, 35 charities received a donation.
Wanting to make a greater impact, Mar- guleas gave 10 percent of each commission, per his client’s choice, to one of five charities: American Cancer Society, Homeboy Industries, Path Making It Home (homeless), Make a Wish, and SPCALA.
Marguleas gave $129,000 in 2015 and the following year, he donated $147,000 of which $17,000 went to ACS.
“My goal is to give $200,000 in 2017, and $250,000 in 2018, of which ACS will get a percentage,” Marguleas said. “Amalfi Estates intends to donate $100,000 to the Society over the next two years.”
When Marguleas was 26 he was diagnosed with a rare cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, and was given only a 30-percent chance of survival. His parents and two brothers watched while he dwindled to 98 pounds during radiation, chemotherapy and finally a bone-marrow transplant.
“So many people are given challenges in life, and the real test is how one handles thosechallenges,”said Marguleas, who lives in the Palisades. “As painful as the cancer treatments were, the hardest part was seeing the pain it caused my family as they watched me go through it.
“It sounds odd, but I am thankful and grateful for everything—even cancer. Without it I would never have met my wife [Sue, an oncology nurse], appreciate life as much and gotten as close with my family. Most people in their 20s take life for granted, but I was given a lesson in how important life is and to live every day to the fullest, which was a huge blessing.”
Additionally, once Marguleas realized that the average real estate firm was giving less than one percent to charity. “I thought a 10-percent giving pledge would be a fun way to challenge other residential brokerage firms,” he said. “In doing so, the community and some amazing charities would benefit.”
Marguleas and Carras are excited about the Giving Pledge Challenge to realtors. “Think about the impact,” Marguleas said. “If we are able to give $200,000 a year to charities with just a few agents, imagine how much one million agents in the U.S. can raise raise for charity. It will be staggering.”
The Amalfi owner feels he should hit the $1 million mark in about three years, but “I will still continue to give 10 percent a year afterwards,” he said. “I just thought the $1 million mark was a nice benchmark.”