The Kansas City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals has recognized some community philanthropists for their charitable efforts this year.
The Mid-America Chapter celebrated National Philanthropy Day last week with a reception and awards ceremony.
▪ The Avante-Garde Award for Innovation in Fundraising: This new award honored the Big Slick Committee, headlined by comedians Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner. The Big Slick Celebrity Weekend, now in its fifth year, is a benefit for the Children’s Mercy Cancer Center.
▪ Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Anita Gorman, who has championed many civic projects across more than 50 years.
▪ Excellence in Fundraising: FarmHouse Foundation, the fundraising arm of the FarmHouse Fraternity headquartered here.
▪ Philanthropist of the Year (18-23 age group): Josh Goralski, who has taken leadership roles and provided volunteer hours for nonprofit organizations in Kansas City and his native Chicago area.
▪ Philanthropist of the Year (5-17 age group): Ryder Clay, a second-grade student at Academie Lafayette who started a soda pop tab collection project to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.
▪ Fundraising Professional of the Year: Murray Blackwelder, a nationally recognized fundraiser for higher education. He is president of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation.
▪ Business Philanthropist of the Year: Black & Veatch, the Overland Park-based engineering, construction and consulting company. Since 2008, the firm has provided about $10 million to support area communities.
▪ Philanthropist of the Year: Mary Davidson, who has made major gifts to support the arts, education and historical causes in the region through the Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Trust.