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For week ended February 20, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Realtor Finds New Way To Spend Vacations
Deseret News 15Feb00 P2
By Linda Thomson: Deseret News staff writer

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- J. McDonald Brubaker is the new head of the Utah Realtors Association and owner and president of Tate-Brubaker Corp. The association has focused this year on developing leadership skills and industry background. Two major objectives of the association are helping its members to do their work well and broadening the policy of standing for the rights of people to own, use and transfer real property. With all of the challenges of work, Brubaker has set some incredible goals for service and charitable work of his own.

Two years ago, Brubaker announced to his family that he would treat them to a vacation on a sunny Mexican resort to celebrate Christmas. Suprisingly the family turned him down. He suprised them by saying that what he really wanted to do was work on a service project with Choice Humanitarian, who built schools in Mexico and Peru. To his suprise the family of eight, with some spouses, were backing Dad's plan to serve in a remote area of Peru, building latrines for schoolhouses.

"Obviously, I had misread my family," Brubaker said. "I've heard before that we human beings have a greater need for service than recreation, and it certainly played out in my family life." While in Mexico that year, the Brubaker family slept on the ground, endured many inconveniences while thoroughly enjoying the experience of helping others. "They told me it was the best 'vacation' they ever had," Brubaker said.

The family of volunteers, minus an eighth Brubaker on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, toiled on the island of Tequile in Lake Titicaca on the southern border of Peru, 12,500 feet above sea level in the chilly Andes Mountains. The local villagers helped to haul l3 tons of rock to build eight latrines near schools so children could have indoor toilets for the first time.

"The Peru situation was particularly humbling in that the Tequilenos had nothing, yet they held their heritage with value. They wore their costumes daily, including hand-woven caps," Brubaker said. "I think it's a very positive experience for all of us to learn how benefited we are by our standard of living, our quality of housing, quality of sanitation, quality of schools. As a father, it is very gratifying to see my children recognize that and they come home appreciating what they have."

These days, Brubaker is active in the legislative arena for Utah Relators as well as a service project for realtor members. "I'm very pleased that this generates a number of local service projects, including Paint Your Heart Out, which is where Realtor members paint homes inside and out for people who are disadvantaged from a physical standpoint, either from age or disability," Brubaker said.


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