Shredfest 2015- Sat. 1/24 9-noon and Sun. 1/25 1-4pm

paper shredStart gathering your papers that need to be shredded! Our real estate group is hosting our 5th Annual Free Community Paper Shredding Event on Saturday, January 24, 2015 between 9:00 am- noon (or until the truck fills up) & again on Sunday January 25, 2015 between 1:00pm-4:00 pm (or until the truck fills up) at the Marshall Berch & Associates Real Estate office of PalmerHouse Properties, at a new location in our new building, located at 2800-A North Druid Hills (across from Dunkin Donuts at N. Druid/Lavista) Documents only please (no binders, folders, clips etc) will be shredded & destroyed by the Eco Shredding truck on-site while you watch. Maximum of 4 boxes per vehicle please. We have teamed up again with professional organizers Linda Lanier and Michelle Cooper of Put-it-There Professional Organizers to host this free community event. For more information contact Realtor Joan Kaplan 404/ 281 4106 or joan@joankaplan.com.​

Joan earns Community Service Award…

iPhoneJoan2014May17 1808This is an article about me that was printed in the DeKalb Neighbor, Atlanta Jewish Times and a number of other area publications.

Speechless is not a word typically used to describe outgoing real estate agent Joan Kaplan – however, when the DeKalb Association of Realtors recently awarded her the prestigious Clark Harrison Community Service Award she remembers being both speechless and flabbergasted, since she was nominated without her knowledge by her business partner, Marshall Berch.

At the DeKalb Association of Realtors recent annual banquet, where Kaplan received her award, Marshall Berch & Associates of Palmer House Properties was also named the top realtor group in DeKalb County for the second year in a row.

Kaplan has been affiliated with Berch all eight years of her real estate career and developed a reputation for being a go-to realtor in her home community near Oak Grove Elementary School.

At the awards ceremony, the usually gregarious Kaplan stated simply “I just do what I love, which is to help people, pets and nature in simple and small ways as often as possible. It’s not like I do any one big thing; I just don’t even think about doing the small things or that they are extraordinary – they are just a part of my DNA.”

Still, Berch had plenty of fodder for his nomination of Kaplan, given that she has a long history of initiating and participating in philanthropic activities related to her home/family, neighborhood, school, synagogue and community.

The award is named for Clark Harrison, who was shot by an enemy sniper in World War II and paralyzed from the waist down, but became a successful realtor, Chairman of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, founder of Fidelity National Bank, and along with James Shepherd, founder of Shepherd Spinal Center (now Shepherd Center).

“I’m beyond thrilled that my energetic colleague received the award,” said Berch. “She takes giving back to a whole new level that includes always lending an ear, or a word of support to friends and colleagues like me.”

Kaplan, a St. Louis native, started making her mark in Atlanta when she arrived 25 years ago to work for Ford Motor Company. She was a co-founder of a business networking group for young professionals called AM Atlanta, started a Jewish singles group and volunteered for Shearith Israel’s Homeless Women’s Shelter for 12 years.

In the early days of marriage to husband, Brian, an Environmental Health Scientist/Geographer at the CDC, she helped him plan a 3800-mile bike ride across the U.S. to raise money and awareness for mental illness issues, which impacted a family member.

She planned the logistics and fundraising and traveled with him along the way to share their messages about access and funding for the mentally ill.

The Kaplans have two daughters, a 13-year-old and an 9 -year-old who they waited five years to adopt from China and arrived with a serious heart condition, which is now in check thanks to successful surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Their home in Leafmore Creek Park subdivision also includes three rescue animals and a chicken coop.

Thanks to Kaplan’s efforts, the family’s home has also become a gathering spot for many neighbors. For five years, Kaplan has hosted a back-to-school breakfast that more than 50 area moms attend each year. Within the last two years, the couple installed a Free Little Library, which they restock when borrowers forgot. Kaplan, an avid nature enthusiast, also initiated a Leafmore garden group.

Kaplan has also been quite involved at Oak Grove Elementary, volunteering at many school functions since her oldest daughter was little, ranging from orientation/registration, ice cream socials and donation of teacher and staff meals.

Her community involvement extends to an annual free paper shredding event that she heads up for Marshall Berch & Associates at Toco Hills, along with coat, bike and book drives, and more.

Roughly two years ago, Kaplan witnessed the aftermath of a shooting at the Kroger parking lot near her office, which killed an armored guard. Shaken and resolved to live life one precious day at a time, Kaplan sprung into action to create a fundraiser and memorial event for the widow and family of the guard.

She’s hoping to pass on her community service ethic to her daughters, involving them in give-back activities on MLK Day this year and in passing out McDonald’s gift cards to the homeless who live in the underpass at her exit off I-85.

“I am exceptionally honored by the Clark Harrison Community Service Award,” said Kaplan. “It’s really coded in me to give back and I do it without thought of such rewards. The sweetest and best rewards for me are connecting people in valuable ways to their neighbors, to food, to books, and to nature.”

Kaplan plans to formalize her activities by establishing a family foundation in the near future.

Back to School Breakfast- Tues. Aug. 12th

Please join me for the 5th Annual Back to School Breakfast, a casual breakfast for current and previous Oak Grove/Lakeside Area Moms on Tuesday, August 12th, 2013 from 7:30 am-10:00 am at my home, 1364 Oak Grove Drive in Leafmore.
Drop in for a quick bite or stay for a while (whatever best fits your schedule) Younger siblings and your friends and neighbors are welcome, too!
Whether you are happy or sad that school is back in session- come on by and bring friends. Mimosas and/or hankies will be available.
Looking forward to another great school year!
Joan

Free Paper Shredding Event-Sat.1/25/2014 and Sun.1/26/2014 (4th Annual)

Join us at our 4th Annual Free Community Paper Shredding Event on Saturday, January 25, 2014 between 9:30 am- noon (or until the truck fills up) and again on Sunday January 26, 2014 between 1:30pm-4:00 pm (or until the truck fills up) at the Marshall Berch & Associates Real Estate office of Drake Realty in the Toco Hills Shopping Center at 2899-A North Druid Hills (on the Kroger side). Gather up old documents to be shredded & destroyed on-site (while you watch) the Eco Shredding truck. Maximum of 5 boxes per vehicle please. We teamed up again with professional organizers Linda Lanier and Michelle Cooper of Put-it-There Professional Organizers to host this free community event for the 4th year in a row. For more information contact Joan Kaplan, Drake Realty 404/ 281 4106 or joan@joankaplan.com.

Oak Groove Festival- Sun. May 19th 1-7pm- Come join us!

The idea for OakGroove came together in late 2012 from two groups of people with one common goal: To give our beloved area a music, arts, and food festival worthy of the wonderful place we call home. The festival will feature local businesses, artists, entertainers from the areas of Sagamore Hills, Oak Grove, Leafmore-Creek Park, Briarlake, Shallowford, Hawthorne and North Briarcliff and surrounding areas. With so many fun and interesting restaurants, shops, artists, and musicians right in our backyard, and a neighborhood esprit de corps that rivals the coolest areas of the city, we knew it was time.

The name Oak Groove was adopted as a twist to give our festival a unique name that reflects the fun, music, and arts that are to come, but also to be inclusive of all the surrounding neighborhoods that make this such a wonderful area to live, work, and play.

The Oak Groove Festival Committee is an all-volunteer staff of Oak Grove area residents who love music, food, and the arts, and we are doing this for the love of our area and community. Absolutely 100% of any proceeds generated from the festival will go to keep and improve green space projects in our area through our chosen charity calledContribute2America (chaired by the Oak Grove Market’s own Jeremy Turner) so that we can preserve this special place for years to come So please help us spread the word, and we look forward to seeing you at the 1st Annual OakGroove!

The OakGroove Music Arts and Food Festival will be held in the Vista Grove Plaza on Lavista Road on Sunday, May 19 from 1PM -7PM.

Upcoming neighborhood, family friendly race event

The 3rd Annual Embrace Our Green Space Race to benefit local parks- including the new park on Lavista in the Oak Grove area- will begin at 10AM on March 23rd, 2013 in the parking lot at Oak Grove United Methodist Church. You can check out last year’s event on the website: www.embraceourgreenspacerace.org and also pre-register online with the link to Active.com and get the shirt. There is an event for everyone from a 2K walk, 5K and 10K runs, 10K skate and 24K bike ride; so come out and meet some new neighbors and get some exercise! Police escorts at major intersections to control traffic, and medical support provided by Urgent Care Clinic on Clairmont.
Post race snacks provided by local restaurants including Sprig, Napoleon’s, The Grove, the Oak Grove Meat Market and others.
Onsite registration the day of the event begins at 9AM and costs $25/person.
This event has been growing each year, so come join the fun!
Thank you for your support!

Free Community Paper Shredding Event

I’m hosting a Free Community Paper Shredding Event on Saturday, January 26, 2013 between 9:30 am- noon (or until the truck fills up) and again on Sunday January 27, 2013 between 1:30pm-4:00 pm (or until the truck fills up) at the Marshall Berch & Associates real estate office of Drake Realty in the Toco Hills Shopping Center at 2899-A North Druid Hills (on the Kroger side). Gather up old documents to be shredded & destroyed on-site by Eco Shredding (maximum of 5 boxes per vehicle). We teamed up with professional organizers Linda Lanier and Michelle Cooper of Put-it-There Professional Organizers to host this free community event for the third year in a row. For more information contact Joan Kaplan, Drake Realty 404/ 281 4106 or joan@joankaplan.com.

Spring in Atlanta

Wow! I’m happy to report the real estate market around the Emory/CDC area of DeKalb County, Georgia is really brisk! One of my listings in the Oak Grove area went under contract within 2 days of it going on the market. Each week I get agents calling me looking for homes for their buyers..We need new inventory so please contact me if you are considering selling!

Free Community Paper Shredding Event January 21, 2012

We will host our 2nd Annual Free Community Paper Shredding Event on Saturday January 21, 2012 between 9:30 am- noon at the Marshall Berch & Associates office of Drake Realty in the Toco Hills Shopping Center at 2899-A North Druid Hills. Gather up old documents to be shredded & destroyed on-site by Eco Shredding (maximum of 5 boxes per vehicle). We’ve teamed up with professional organizers Linda Lanier and Michelle Cooper of Put-it-There Professional Organizers to host this event for the second year in a row. For more information contact Joan Kaplan, Drake Realty 404/ 281 4106 or joan@joankaplan.com