Western Canadians take three of seven international philanthropy awards

publication date: Apr 19, 2013
author/source: Janet Gadeski

Philanthropy and volunteerism are not just alive in Western Canada, but thriving. Anyone who lives there already knows that, of course. And the rest of the fundraising world found out at the international conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in San Diego early in April, when nominees from the region captured three of the association’s seven annual awards for philanthropy.

Outstanding Philanthropist

Leslie and Irene Dubé of Saskatoon shared the Outstanding Philanthropist award, a recognition of a lifetime of giving and serving. Over the past decade, they have contributed over $30 million to healthcare, educational and religious institutions in Saskatchewan. Their practical, hands-on support includes trailer loads of produce to food banks, and supportive housing for pregnant, unwed teens in their own home.

After years of giving anonymously, they began to take more public roles with the goal of inspiring others to get involved. They were nominated by the University of Saskatchewan and the AFP Saskatoon Chapter.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

The Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award went to Anita Law of Vancouver, nominated by the Tapestry Foundation for Health Care and the AFP Vancouver Chapter. They described her as “one of the most passionate and ardent supporters of philanthropy in British Columbia, not only supporting causes financially but also providing fundraising, leadership, stewardship and inspiration to the charities she champions.”

Her gifts of time and energy include up to 120 hours a month during the peak organizing period for the annual gala of Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, four years of work with the Gift of Hope Fundraising Dinner of St. Paul Hospital Foundation, and support of many other special events. While helping those organizations raise millions of dollars, she has been financially generous both personally and through her seafood business.

Outstanding Corporation

The AFP Calgary and Area Chapter and Fresh Start Recovery Centre saw their nominee, The Calgary Herald, recognized as the Outstanding Corporation winner for its annual Christmas Fund effort. For 23 years, the Herald staff have organized personal, corporate and public contributions, contributed print and online campaign advertising, highlighted charities’ missions in “millions of dollars in editorial space,” and leveraged millions of dollars in matching gifts – for hundreds of Calgary charities. 2009 remains the record year for the campaign, with a whopping $4.9 million.

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