Local real estate firm Sotheby’s International Realty recently presented the company’s annual contributions to several local charities.

Staff and agents of Sotheby’s Santa Barbara offices gathered for an office meeting Tuesday at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center in Santa Barbara to present the gifts to representatives of CASA, Heal the Ocean, the Santa Barbara County Foodbank and Transition House.

In January, Sotheby’s professionals agreed upon four local nonprofit organizations to serve and support. Out of every commission, a portion is contributed to the four organizations in the Santa Barbara area as well as Conservation International, a global conservation organization. From the Santa Barbara offices alone, 15,000 acres of rainforest were preserved through the Conservation International initiative.

“I am tremendously proud of the generosity within our organization,” said Greg Tice, senior vice president and brokerage manager. “We are fortunate to have agents who are passionate about the Santa Barbara community as well as our global impact.”

Frank Abatemarco, a Sotheby’s agent and incoming 2010 chairman of the board for the Foodbank, said, “I am passionate about the Foodbank because it provides a basic need for people. I see a strong connection between providing housing, another basic need, and ample food for families. I am especially proud of Sotheby’s International Realty’s connection to the Foodbank, not only for the donations from agents, but for their willingness to be involved as volunteers in Foodbank programs.”

— Greg Tice is a senior vice president and brokerage manager with Sotheby’s International Realty.