Lennar Mortgage Takes Creative Approach to Raise $62,000 for MBA Opens Doors Foundation

The MBA Opens Doors Foundation is grateful for the member company campaigns that support its mission—and for the creative approaches that companies such as Lennar Mortgage, take to help further that mission.

This spring Lennar Mortgage, a longtime Opens Doors’ supporter, took a different tack for its annual Opens Doors fundraising campaign: this year’s virtual “Lennar Derby,” a friendly competition among teams of employees aiming to raise the most money for Opens Doors. The Derby had an ambitious goal of raising $35,000; but it succeeded well beyond expectations, ultimately raising nearly $62,000 in a little more than a month.

“Lennar has always placed a premium on employee engagement and on helping families. It’s my good fortune to lead a team of people who find joy and fun in coming together for an amazing cause like Opens Doors’ mission to keep families with critically ill or injured children in their homes,” said Laura Escobar, President of Lennar Mortgage. “Our 8th annual derby in April blew past our hope of raising $35,000 and ended with nearly $62,000 raised by Lennar team members across the country. I could not be prouder nor humbled by the Lennar team. It warms my heart to know they share our commitment to families in need.”

The Lennar Derby involved dozens of Lennar employees organized into 13 teams, charged with devising creative methods to raise money. The creativity started with the team names, such as “Mattress Money,” “Sylvester StalLOAN,” “SMO Me the Money,” “Try Rebooting” and “NextGen Thee Stallion.”

During April and May, the competition proved brisk. In the end, Mattress Money, led by captain Joshel Brown and comprising members of the company’s underwriting team, won the Derby, raising nearly $14,000. 

Mattress Money offered a variety of fundraising opportunities, including raffles (for Omaha Steaks, Bath & Body Works, Pampered Chef Items) and offers of professional services to the highest bidder. But the most unique event was a silent auction for an authentic, framed, autographed Tom Brady jersey. Fresh off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl win in February, the jersey—provided to Mattress Money through vendor eClosePLUS—easily proved to be the most popular item, raising thousands of dollars.

By the end of the campaign, Lennar had crushed its original goal; the 13 teams raised a record $61,972. The campaign featured 931 contributions from more than 400 unique donors from across the country, including employees of Lennar and its vendors.

And while Mattress Money won the Derby, the real winner was the Opens Doors Foundation, which over the past 10 years has provided mortgage and rental payment assistance grants to nearly 7,500 families in nearly every state across the country.

“Talk about a race to the finish line! I am genuinely delighted and touched by the creativity and ingenuity of our industry colleagues in rallying their teams behind our mission,” said Debra W. Still, CMB, President and CEO of Pulte Financial Services and Opens Doors Foundation Chairman. “Lennar Mortgage’s virtual Derby featuring teams competing to raise the most money and thus, be the first to cross the finish line, was an extraordinary example of their generosity and commitment to Opens Doors. A heartfelt thanks to Laura Escobar, President, Lennar Mortgage, and her team for helping us to win!”

“There is something very special about the real estate finance industry. When the door to in-person fundraising events closed, companies like Lennar Mortgage opened new ones,” said Deborah Dubois, President of the Opens Doors Foundation. “And in doing so, they made life a lot easier for families with critically ill or injured children struggling to make their housing payments. On behalf of our families, we salute you Lennar, and we thank you.”

The MBA Opens Doors Foundation, founded in 2011, provides mortgage and rental payment assistance to families with critically ill or injured children, allowing parents and guardians to be by their child’s side during treatment. To date, Opens Doors has partnered with more than a dozen hospitals across the country and helped almost 7,500 families.

For more information, visit www.mbaopensdoors.org.