Philanthropy Is Celebrated

GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals will host its 19th Annual National Philanthropy Day event on Thursday, Nov. 9, at CalvinCollege

Nearly 250 individuals are expected to attend the event, part of a national series designed to recognize giving that roughly coincides with National Philanthropy Day, which this year falls on Nov. 15.

The celebration begins with opening speaker William T. Sturtevant, the vice president for principal gifts at the University of Illinois Foundation, and ends with Penelope Burk, president of Cygnus Applied Research Inc. In between will be a awards banquet and a half dozen educational sessions.

CalvinCollege development officer Nancy Westra, an NPD committee member, said the event will be a good opportunity for fundraising professionals to listen, learn and laugh.

“In West Michigan certainly we can celebrate the profound impact of philanthropy on the life of our community,” she said. “But recognizing that there is still vital work to be done, this event also provides opportunities to sharpen our professional skills, to encourage, support and motivate each other, and to recognize the inspirational philanthropic commitments of members of the West Michigan community.”

Several philanthropists and fundraisers will be recognized at the event, including Bernard S. Palchick, Benjamin Franklin Award; Fred P. Keller, Executive Leader Award; Frey Foundation, Exemplary Grantor Award; Louise M. Fabeck, Outstanding Volunteer Award; Kate Pew Wolters, President’s Award; and Joseph A. Medcalf, Youth in Philanthropy Award.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals represents more than 26,000 fundraisers in 172 chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China. The West Michigan chapter represents 200 charitable fundraisers.    

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