Each November, the Association of Fundraising Professionals honors individuals and institutions making a positive impact on their communities.
Here are the individuals and institutions that will be honored at this year’s National Philanthropy Day’s South Florida events:
• Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, Outstanding Grant Maker Award
Long before an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, the nation struggled to support a large orphan population. Father Luc Jolicoeur, a Port-au-Prince priest, stepped in to help and asked the Coral Gables-based Anthony R. Abraham Foundation for assistance. Fifteen years later, the one-bedroom facility has grown into a multiple-building Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd orphanage and school in Port-au-Prince housing about 150 children.
The late Anthony R. Abraham, an auto dealer, started the foundation about 30 years ago. Among its beneficiaries are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and Miami’s Camillus House and Miami Children’s Hospital.
• BB &T, Julia Tuttle Award for Community Involvement and Corporate Citizenship
Between May and July each year, about 100 employees at Miami-Dade County BB&T branches take a paid day off to tutor children at the local YMCA, repaint dormitories at a Chapman Partnership homeless shelter and participate in other volunteer endeavors.
“We know that this is a tough and challenging period for Miami-Dade County,” said Rob Bowlby, BB&T senior vice president.
• Ron Book and Lauren Book, James W. McLamore Outstanding Volunteer Award
Between the ages of 11 and 16, Lauren Book was sexually abused by her family’s female nanny, who used violence to keep Book from telling anyone.
Years later, Book found her voice and started the nonprofit Lauren’s Kids with the aim of preventing sexual abuse and empowering other victims.
Book receives the Outstanding Volunteer award along with her father, Ron Book, a lobbyist who has volunteered in an array of South Florida community-service organizations — most notably the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.
• Christine Lynn, Outstanding Philanthropist Award
South Florida philanthropist Christine Lynn has given more than $15 million to The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, making her its largest individual donor. .
And that is hardly her only contribution to the community. Lynn has also worked to help launch the College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University and has supported educational and health institutions, including Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Lynn University and DeLand’s Stetson University.
• Midtown Athletic Club, Outstanding Corporation (Small) Award
Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone cancer, occurs in about 250 children in the United States annually.
In 2011, high-school student Sydney Lister was one of those children.
Since the cancer is considered relatively rare, it has not been vigorously researched. To help Sydney and other children diagnosed with the cancer, the Midtown Athletic Club in Weston started a nonprofit, Sydney’s Incredible Defeat of Ewing’s Sarcoma.
The organization has raised more than $100,000 and has sponsored a SIDES scholar to work on cures at the University of Utah.
• Diana Metcalf, Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award