Mel Foster Color the Quads Raises Over a Quarter of a Million Dollars in Four Years!

Color the Quads Final Year
Color the Quads Final Year

Mel Foster Color the Quads is pleased to announce its 4th annual 5K Race raised over $70,000 and surpassed its four-year goal to raise a quarter of a million dollars for local charities.

Saturday’s race hit the cumulative four-year attendance mark of 10,000 participants, including adults and children.

Mel Foster Color the Quads had a four-year run in the Quad Cities and reached the following milestones:

2013 – $51,000 donated to two charities

2014 – $61,474 donated to three charities

2015 – $71,880 donated to three main charities and 13 other local charities

2016 – over $70,000 and three charities

Lynsey Engels, president of Mel Foster Co. Brokerage Division and Color the Quads committee chair, said, “We’d like to thank every runner, walker, volunteer and sponsor who helped make this event a huge success over the last four years. It’s remarkable what can be achieved when everybody works together. We know the funds raised this year and in the past help local families in many ways. Our goal was to top the $250,000 mark in our final year, so we’re really excited the community got behind this event and helped us achieve this fundraising milestone.”

Engels added, “Putting on a community event of this size takes a lot of hard work from volunteers. We could not prepare all of the swag bags, set up the kid’s race/5K race routes, color and water stations along the course without dedicated volunteers who generously give their time. Of course there is a large team of volunteers who help on race day to make sure everything goes smoothly for the racers. Mel Foster Co. agents and staff from residential real estate, commercial real estate, insurance and land development were involved in every aspect of this event over the last four years from choosing the charity recipients, obtaining sponsors, volunteering countless hours, promoting and participating in this event and it could not have been pulled off without them.”

During the race’s four-year run, 24 local charities received funds generated through sponsorships and race registration. “These numbers really show how compassionate our community is about backing charities that help children and families. Mel Foster Color the Quads has been a great way to make a significant impact and we appreciate everyone who has played some kind of a role in its success,” concludes Engels.

Charity Summary:

2013 – YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln, Youth Solutions, Children’s’ Therapy Center of the QC

2014 – Child Abuse Council, March of Dimes, Rick’s House of Hope

2015 – Bethany for Children & Families, Gigi’s Playhouse & Hand-in-Hand

13 other charities:

Bettendorf Library, Camp Genesis, Family Resources, Family Museum, Humility of Mary Housing, Kennedi’s Kisses, Living Lands & Waters, Project Renewal, Quad City Botanical Center, Student Hunger Drive, Toys for Tots, Tudi’s Tribe and YMCA.

2016 – Jordan’s Joy, NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley, YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln & Youth Solutions

“Our goal when we started this journey was to provide a unique experience for the Quad City area that was only available in larger cities while raising awareness and funds for charities in the areas we serve.  It speaks volumes for the Quad Cities as a whole that we were able to accomplish this together and serves as a great reminder about what a great place the Quad Cities is to live and work,” commented Engels.

Mel Foster Color the Quads This Saturday in Bettendorf

Color the Quads is Saturday
Color the Quads is Saturday

Final preparations are underway as Mel Foster Co. prepares for the final Color the Quads charity 5K Run. The race will be held this Saturday, May 21. The 4:00 p.m. 5K starts and finishes near Cumberland Square at 2300 Spruce Hills Drive, Bettendorf. The American Bank & Trust Kids Color Dash, a 400-yard race, is at 11:00 a.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Bettendorf and registration includes an after party sponsored by Tyson Fresh Meats.

Registration is still open at www.colorthequads.com. The 5K registration fee is $40 and all proceeds support local charities including Jordan’s Joy, NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) of the Mississippi Valley, and YMCA for Camp Abe Lincoln and Youth Solutions Programs. The registration fee includes race entry, t-shirt, pre- and post-race parties and a swag bag.

It’s not too late to get the kids into the kids color dash. $20 registration fee includes race entry, t-shirt, pre-race festivities and activities prior to the 11:00am start, post-race party and a sway bag with lot of fun stuff for the kids.

Lynsey Engels, president of Mel Foster Co. Brokerage Division and Color the Quads committee chair, said, “Each year we are amazed at how great the community supports local events and raises money for local charities.  In the last three years, Color the Quad has supported over 24 local charities and we are looking forward to another record total amount raised in our final year.”

“The weather forecast is calling for sunny and warm temperatures, which is a welcome bonus after last year’s cooler than expected temperatures. Saturday is going to be a perfect day to be outside, whether you’re a serious runner or just want to walk with a friend for a little exercise. Every race participant is invited to attend the XPAC pre-race color explosion party where the color packets start to get opened and the racers gear up to start through a sea of orange foam. Participants will enjoy live music on the course as they get “colored” with foam, paint and corn starch. After the race, there’s a great outdoor party sponsored by Tri-City Electric Co. at Cumberland Square. Plenty of food and beverages will be available at no charge to race participants and it’s a fun way to wind down after the race. Tickets for non-participants to attend the after party are just $20 and can be purchased at www.colorthequads.com. It’s an easy way for non-race family and friends to join in without going through the race course,” continued Engels.

Packet pick-up starts Thursday, May 19 from 5-7 p.m.; Friday, May 20 from Noon-6 p.m. and on race day at 9-10 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. at Color the Quads race headquarters, 2304 Spruce Hills Drive, Bettendorf, next to Dollar General in Cumberland Square.

Street closures will start at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. The route starts in front of the Mel Foster Co. office in Cumberland square, runs north on 18th Street; turn west on Crow Creek Road; turn south on Greenbrier Drive, turn east on Tam-O-Shanter; turn south on South Hampton; turn east on Spruce Hills Drive; last turn is north on 18th Street to finish line. The race map can be found at www.colorthequads.com.

Is Now the Time to Use Your Home’s Equity?

Home Equity blogThe best way to describe home equity is the amount you have paid toward your mortgage. Every month you pay, you begin to build more equity in your home. It’s possible to then use this equity to acquire a loan from your bank. But how do you know what to use the money for, or even if you should take out the loan?

The number one rule is to use a home equity loan for things you suspect will appreciate in value or generate revenue. For example, training or education makes you more effective in the workplace, and may increase your salary in the long run. Buying rental real estate to become a landlord may increase your income. Smart home improvements can increase the value of your home. These long term investments could potentially make you more money than you spent.

Unwise purchases include clothing, most vehicles, or any frivolous purchases. These aren’t investments which will help your financial situation in the long run. If you use equity for purchases that do not increase in value, you may put yourself in a tight spot. It might be best to hold off on a loan against your equity if you don’t have breathing room to take a potential loss.

Planning Ahead for Flooding.

Are you protected?
Are you protected?

Dealing with the aftermath of a flood is difficult. Follow these helpful tips to make sure your family and home are protected.

If you have any concerns about living in an area prone to flooding, first make sure you are covered by your homeowners insurance. Often flood damages aren’t covered in standard homeowner policies and require separate insurance. Your Mel Foster Insurance associate can verify your coverage and make a recommendation. Be sure you have an insurance policy for floods that covers structural damage.

Your coverage can give you peace of mind, but would you know what to do if you suddenly found yourself in a flood situation? The first step is avoiding any harm to you or your family. If there is standing water, make sure no electricity is running through it. Try to avoid being in the water, unless you’re certain it is safe. Next, document the damages with photographs for your insurance company. It’s important your agent sees the damage caused by the flood, to help you with your claim.

Contact your Mel Foster Insurance associate and inform him or her of the damages. They may ask for the photographs or other documentation. They may then give you the go ahead to clear out the water to prevent further damage. Once everything is dried out, inspect the foundation of the home for warping, cracks and holes. If there is any further damage, document it with photos and contact your insurance associate about additional damages.

If you have any questions about flooding or insurance, contact Mel Foster Insurance at http://www.melfosterinsurance.com/ or call 563-359-5446.

3 Spring Cleaning Tips for Every Room in your Home.

Spring Cleaning Tips
Spring Cleaning Tips

By the start of spring, most of us are ready to clean out our homes in anticipation of the warm and fun summer months. Follow this room-by-room list to get started right away.

Kitchen

  • Any junk mail, expired food or general messiness should be removed. Then wipe down the countertops and backsplashes to get everything sparkling clean. Vinegar and baking soda can help get rid of tough stains.
  • Deep clean the sink. Plug the sink and fill it all the way up with water and dish soap. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then drain it. This should help remove any unpleasant odors coming from the drain. Be sure to run the garbage disposal if you have one while the water drains. If there is still an odor, try using water and lemon juice.
  • Clean appliances. Wipe down the refrigerator and oven, and vacuum behind them if possible. No one sees these areas regularly, but they gather dust, debris and fallen food, requiring a deep cleaning.

Bathrooms

  • Scrub the toilet. Use household cleaning items to help restore your toilet back to the way it looked when you bought your home. Hydrogen peroxide will even add a nice shine.
  • Wipe down all surfaces. Make sure to wipe everything down, getting rid of dust, hair and buildup from hair spray. If there is any rust or grime in your shower, be sure to try baking soda and vinegar. Also check to see if your shower curtain has gathered mold. If it has, most curtains can be put through the laundry, but be sure to check the tags first.
  • Clean the mirrors. Do this last so nothing will splash on the mirrors while you’re cleaning the rest of the bathroom. Using streakless window cleaner will make you look even better in your mirror.

Bedrooms

  • Manage closet space. Now is the time to get rid of any clothes you no longer wear, or won’t be wearing during the summer. Pack away winter clothes until next fall. If you haven’t worn clothing in over a year, you probably don’t need it anymore. Be sure to donate clothing, or have a yard sale so usable clothes aren’t wasted.
  • Flip the mattress. You should flip your mattresses at least once per year. It prevents uncomfortable body imprints from forming and causing you body damage. But don’t flip the box spring, it could cause damage. You can rotate the box spring 180 degrees to have roughly the same effect.
  • Vacuum hidden places. While you’re flipping the mattress, vacuum underneath the bed. Get behind the headboard and anywhere you wouldn’t normally vacuum. Any bedroom furniture should be moved or tipped so it can be vacuumed underneath.

Living Room

  • Dust everything. Over the year, dust gathers in places you normally don’t clean. Ceiling fans, bookshelves, picture frames, televisions and windowsills all should be dusted. If you apply an anti-dust spray to your cloth, it will help keep everything clean.
  • Vacuum furniture and below. Take off the cushions to vacuum the upholstery and get in all the cracks of your furniture. If you eat on the couch, there are may be crumbs between the cushions requiring a quick once over with the vacuum. Lift up any chairs and vacuum underneath those as well.
  • Clean area rugs and windows. You can take your rugs outside to dust them off or vacuum them then toss them in the wash. Wash your windows while the rugs are up off the floor.

Do I Need To Clean My Air Ducts?

Family Allergies?
Family Allergies?

If you’re wondering if you need to clean your ducts, the answer is often left to personal preference. Here are some facts to consider when determining if duct cleaning is something your home needs.

If your family is allergic to dust, or suffers from asthma, consider cleaning your ducts. Or if you see your ducts are filled with dust, dead bugs or mold, it might be worth having them cleaned. This will prevent large amounts of dust and debris being spread throughout your house. Often this may increase the efficiency of your home’s air system, up to 40%. Some people have ducts cleaned when first moving into a home to make sure everything is clean and functioning properly.

The argument for not cleaning is the health benefits aren’t proven through scientific testing. If you’re currently feeling fine and not experiencing allergies, you may not need a cleaning. There are also times where the furnace filter needs to be changed instead of having your ducts cleaned, so be sure to double check the filter.

If you have decided to have your ducts cleaned, it is usually done in one of three ways. Hand-held vacuuming is when a large portable vacuum is fed through the vents and sucks up any debris. Mechanical brushes rotate through the ducts scrubbing them clean while a vacuum gathers the particles left behind. Air sweeps use compressed air forced through the ducts toward a large vacuum. Air sweeps are usually the most effective form of cleaning ducts.

Keeping Your Garage Maintained

Is Your Garage Ready?
Is Your Garage Ready?

Garages are an often overlooked part of your home. You want to be sure potential buyers aren’t pushed away by a rundown garage. Follow this list to keep your garage clean and safe.

  1. Keep the Door Working

The most important feature of your garage is actually being able to access it. If you have an older door and motor, make sure you maintain the parts. Apply oil and clean out any dust or debris that may have gathered since the last cleaning. Don’t forget about the rubber lining on the bottom of the door. Make sure it isn’t tearing so your door avoids damage.

  1. Continue Cleaning

Continuous cleaning is the best way to maintain your floor and walls. Clear out any dust or cobwebs to keep your garage attractive to interested buyers. Rinse down your garage floor a few times per year or whenever spills occurs. If there are any large cracks in the cement, you can usually find do-it-yourself concrete kits to make repairs. This will keep the cement looking nice and fresh.

  1. Investigate for Pests

Keep an eye out for any insects in your garage. If you have an infestation from termites or carpenter ants, they can cause serious damage to the foundation. If you notice any sawdust or chewed wood, call an exterminator immediately. It’s not a bad idea to contact your local pest control services to see what options they have for spray to prevent an infestation in the first place.

MEL FOSTER INSURANCE EARNS LEADERSHIP CIRCLE WITH INTEGRITY INSURANCE

MF INSURANCE LOGO Integrity Insurance, a property and casualty carrier, is proud to announce Mel Foster Insurance has earned a spot in the 2016 Leadership Circle, which honors the top-tier of agencies for their work in 2015. To achieve Leadership Circle status, Mel Foster Insurance met specific criteria based on premium, profitability, growth and loss ratio.

“We’re honored to work with the incredible team at Mel Foster Insurance and happy to welcome them to Integrity’s 2016 Leadership Circle” said Integrity Insurance President Jill Wagner. “Mel Foster is a major contributor to our success providing top-notch service and expertise to policyholders. We’re grateful for their commitment and partnership.”

“This recognition is a testament to our entire team’s commitment to making our clients insurance experience first class,” said Mel Foster Insurance President Marc Engels. “We feel fortunate to live and work in such a great community and can’t express how appreciative we are to our clients for putting their confidence in us.”

Mel Foster Insurance is located at 3218 E 35th St C, Davenport, IA. For more information on their services, visit melfosterinsurance.com.

Features For A Fabulous Bathroom.

Five Bathroom Remodel Tips
Five Bathroom Remodel Tips

Renovating your bathroom is a great way to add value to your home. Follow this list of features to get the most out of your bathroom renovation budget.

  1. Walk In Shower

Having a walk in shower with no curb is growing in popularity, for good reasons. They are both stylish and safe. As people age, ease of access is important. With no steps to stumble over, it’s a very attractive option with large resale potential.

  1. Heated Ceramic Floor

Ceramic tile is timeless, waterproof and good looking. Add radiant heating underneath your tiles to complete your flooring. It’s extremely easy to market a home with heated flooring, and it doesn’t add much to the energy bills.

  1. Exhaust Fan

The most requested feature in a bathroom is a simple exhaust fan. It beat out any other feature, and it makes sense. It prevents mold from growing and keeps hot air out of your house. Make sure the fan leads outside instead of into an attic to keep moisture out.

  1. High Efficiency Dual Flush Toilet

Saving water is one of the most sustainable ways to help the planet. By law, toilets can only use 1.6 gallons per flush, with some states enforcing even more strict requirements. Having a dual flush toilet can use even less water overall and save you more money in the long run.

  1. Calm Colors

Keep your bathroom colors calming to create a private sanctuary. This doesn’t mean you can’t personalize it with a few accent colors, but having a white or off white coloring will have a more relaxing feeling, which appeals to potential buyers.

Timeless Kitchen Remodel Ideas.

Tips for Kitchen Remodeling
Tips for Kitchen Remodeling

Creating a timeless kitchen isn’t only appealing to you, it increases the interest of potential buyers as well. Follow this list to create a future-proof kitchen that will stand the test of time. And help you get a higher return on your investment when you decide to sell.

  1. Use Classic White Color

It’s hard to go wrong with a dominant white color in your kitchen. It opens the kitchen up, lightens the room and is a standard color for most kitchen fixtures. It’s also easy to display your kitchen as well kept and clean because dust has nowhere to hide.

  1. Install Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are a marketable feature for any kitchen. You can find a beautiful floor to meet almost any budget, which will pay off in the long run. Homebuyers consider hardwood floors very important when looking for a new home. Providing this feature might be a determining factor between your home and someone else’s.

  1. Choose the Right Countertop

When it comes to classic countertops, one type comes to mind. Carrara marble. It’s been used in homes for thousands of years and will continue to be used for the next thousand. The subtle white colors with intricate graining look great in any kitchen. An added bonus is the availability compared to other minerals, creating a cost efficient investment.

  1. Install Subway Style Backsplash

Using subway rectangle tiles creates a classic backsplash and looks great in any kitchen. Neutral colors can blend with any design you want, maximizing your resale value. Also consider using grey or beige grout to provide an accent color.

  1. Create Efficient Storage

What everyone needs out of a kitchen is functionality. Make sure you have sufficient space for kitchen utensils. Having an island with a wine rack, or a walk in pantry provides enough storage for your kitchen supplies.


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