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Press release from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western North Carolina Chapter, shared Thursday, Nov. 15:

ASHEVILLE —The Association of Fundraising Professionals Western North Carolina Chapter will celebrate National Philanthropy Day today with a luncheon that honors giving, givers and the causes they impact in WNC.

The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. The event is open to the general public. Tickets are $40 and available online at www.afpwnc.org.

This year’s event will recognize a wide range of local philanthropists who have made significant contributions to our community. The youngest is a 9-year-old Asheville student who has been helping fight hunger in our region for nearly a year. One of the oldest is a cooperative business whose employees and 1.8 million members make life better for their North Carolina neighbors through contributions and volunteerism. There are seven award recipients.

Katy Conner, a fourth grader, will be recognized as Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy. In less than a year, she has raised awareness of childhood hunger in Asheville through organizing food drives at her school, coordinating fundraising events, and inviting her friends to volunteer with her at MANNA FoodBank.

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Teddi Segal, president of S & N Properties, will be recognized as 2011 Philanthropist of the Year. During her 18 years in Henderson County, Segal has supported the Friends of Santa Claus (an organization that sends children with cancer to summer camp), the Hendersonville Arts Center and Arts Council, the Hendersonville Symphony, Flat Rock Playhouse, the YouTheater, The Boys and Girls Club of Hendersonville, the restoration of the historic Courthouse, the Anne Frank Exhibit hosted by the UNC Asheville Center for Diversity Education, Pardee Hospital’s breast cancer detection unit and Women Helping Women program, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, Habitat for Humanity, the Western North Carolina AIDS Project, the AIDS Memorial Quilt exhibit and the Agudas Israel Congregation.

Charles and Jody Silver will be recognized as 2012 Philanthropists of the Year. They have generously contributed and set examples to encourage others to give to the United Way, UNC Asheville, Erwin High School Athletics, Memory Care, Eliada Home, Eblen Charities, CarePartners, Habitat for Humanity and the Mission Hospital Foundation. Charles Silver’s company, Silver-Line Plastics, also donates to the United Way through its employee giving program and offers an annual $1,000 educational scholarship to a child of a Silver-Line Plastics employee.

Harry Brown, with the Western North Carolina AIDS Project, will be recognized as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser. Since 1991, he has helped raise thousands of dollars (and over a $1 million this year) for WNCAP through his development and improvement of the Raise Your Hand auction, establishment of the popular Dining Out for Life program, past service on WNCAP’s Board of Directors and other fundraising efforts.

Allison Jordan, executive director of Children First/Communities in Schools, will receive the T. Kennon Roberson Award for Nonprofit Management Excellence. Jordan has dedicated her career to CF/CIS, joining its staff in 1997 and becoming executive director in 2005. Under her leadership, CF/CIS launched a multi-year initiative called the Success Equation, which has worked to reduce poverty and its impact on children in Buncombe County. She also practices philanthropy as a volunteer, having chaired the Asheville City Schools Board of Education and the United Way Agency Executives, serving on the Smart Start of Buncombe County board and the 24/7 Disaster Action Team for the local American Red Cross and helping Girls on the Run.

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State Employees’ Credit Union will be recognized as Outstanding Business in Philanthropy. The not-for-profit financial cooperative has provided the employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for 75 years. The SECU Foundation is a charitable organization funded solely by the contributions from its 1.8 million members. Since its founding in 2004, it has awarded more than $65 million in educational, health and human services grants throughout the state of North Carolina. And in the past five years, it has awarded over $6.5 million to a wide variety of Western North Carolina organizations and made a $5 million gift to what is now Mission Hospital’s new SECU Cancer Center. When the SECU Foundation makes a grant, the local SECU offices are also encouraged to support the recipient organization with such efforts as bake sales, T-shirt sales, raffles, and individual staff and member donations.

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina will be recognized as Outstanding Foundation. The nonprofit was established in 1978 to build a permanent pool of charitable capital for 18 counties of western North Carolina. In partnership with fundholders, it has awarded more than $130 million in scholarships to students and in grants to nonprofit organizations and public institutions. Although employees and funds of CFWNC have received awards from AFP-WNC before, the foundation itself has never been given such recognition until this year.

Over 300 members of the Western North Carolina community annually attend the National Philanthropy Day luncheon to recognize outstanding individuals, corporations, foundations and professionals who exhibit excellence in promoting philanthropy. All previous winners during the event’s 20-year history are also invited to attend and celebrate the current recipients.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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