by Shelbey Hernandez
The Lance – News Editor
Every year for the past 15 years or so, businesses and individuals across Windsor-Essex have been recognized for their philanthropic efforts through various awards.
There are five awards sponsored by five different organizations and all award winners are chosen by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Canada South chapter. New to this year is the Crystal Lifetime achievement award which was created by the AFP in celebration of its National Philanthropy Day Awards Reception 15th anniversary.
All awards have different winners each year meaning each person can only win in each category one time. According to Alexandria Fischer, the president of AFP Canada South, it has nothing to do with making sure everyone have an equal chance.
“It’s not about making sure there are different winners. It’s just there are just so many people to recognize in our community. It’s not about giving anyone a chance it’s just there is a huge importance of making sure these people are being recognized,” said Fischer. “Our community is so generous and so there are so many people to recognize. It’s not that they need a chance to be recognized, it’s that all these people need to be recognized. We had 20 people nominated this year and all of them were so deserving.”
The Outstanding Business or Corporation award was sponsored by UWindsor and was presented to a business which engaged in philanthropic efforts. It was Families First that was announced as the winner of this award after being nominated by the Essex Region Conservation Authority.
National Philanthropy Day according to the AFP website is about celebrating those who give back to their communities. Even though it only happens once a year, organizations like Families First have been engaging in philanthropy since the moment they were able to do so.
Over the past five years or so, Families First has given about $400,000 cash and about $355,000 in kind donations to a wide variety of charities including Goodfellows, Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital, Knights of Columbus, ERCA and V.O.N. Even upon first opening, Sherri Tovell, the vice president of family services at Families First, said the organization did whatever charity work they could with whatever funds they did have. Not to mention to celebrate their 20th anniversary this year, the company decided to host an awards luncheon ceremony of their own for philanthropic efforts in the community. There, every person received a crystal plaque and a monetary amount of money.
Awards were never the thought or reason behind doing what they did. It just felt like the right thing to do.
“This award was completely unexpected and very humbling for us as a team,” said Tovell. “All we try to do is the right thing and being kind and good to people and supporting our community in all the ways that corporations should support the community which supports us in turn. So we are very humbled by the award.”
Although the award recipients were officially announced, NPD isn’t until Nov. 18. That is also when the official award ceremony will occur and will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Caesars Windsor.