As November’s “Be Thankful” months continues, I was thrilled to join an incredible group of community leaders to recognize, honor and thank amazing individuals, companies and groups that do so much to make a difference in the lives of others. The Association of Fundraising Professionals NC Triangle Chapter‘s 2013 National Philanthropy Day Luncheon was held on Friday, November 15 at the Prestonwood Country Club. National Philanthropy Day is held every year on the 15h of November to “honor philanthropic heroes in our community.” With the theme of the entire month focusing on gratitude, what a perfect time to celebrate these tremendous efforts. And, I love the tagline “Change the World with a Giving Heart.”
The stories of the award winners were inspiring, heart-warming, and many of them brought tears to our eyes. I was just astounded at the creativity and perseverance of some of these amazing folks:
Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Lucia Peel Powe from KidZNotes
Lucia is the co-founder of this organization that provides the opportunity for children in poverty to access classical music education through after school programs. She was inspired by a “60 Minutes” program that featured a story on the phenomenon of El Sistema which aims to transform the lives of impoverished kids by teaching them music to improve academic performance, school readiness and social behavior. She ended her story with “Watching those kids play onstage is better than eating chocolate pie!”
Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (ages 5-17): Courtney Pisano from CLP: Children’s Lasting Power
Courtney was in 9th grade and wanted to start a club at school that would help kids in need. The school denied her request because it does not allow the collection of money from other students. So, she started a nonprofit! Their first fundraiser, “The Post It Note Mosaic Project” not only broke a world-record but also raised $5,000 for two children’s foster care programs: Methodist Home for Children and the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford.
Excellence in Philanthropy: Burton and Heather Craige from the Lucy Daniels Center
The Lucy Daniels Center focuses on the mental health of children, offering counseling and assessments in school classrooms, clinics and children’s homes. Heather is a social worker and psychoanalyst who became passionate about this topic after experiencing the death of her sister at a young age. Her family did not have the support of intervention which resulted terrible consequences. She and her husband, a civil rights attorney, contribute more than 100 hours a year in services to the center, serve on the board and various committees, helped to launch the foundation, and their lifetime personal gifts exceed $250,000.
Innovation in Philanthropy: The nOg Run Club
The nOg Run Club started with a few folks who wanted to get together run, drink beer and have fun. The group grew quickly and started hosting monthly charitable events as well as an annual “St. Paddy’s Run Green Race” which raised over $14,000 for the MS Society. This coming year, they are attempting to break the world record for the largest kilt run.
Other award winners included:
Outstanding Philanthropic Organization: Duke Hospital Auxiliary
Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation: WTVD-ABC11
Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (ages 18-23): Camille Fulbright
Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Alice Lutz, CEO Triangle Family Services
The talented folks at AFP Triangle really put together a wonderful event and it was such a great opportunity to learn about fantastic things happening right here in our own communities! Truly a time to reflect and “Be Thankful!”