Past Award Winners

Past Award Winners 2022-04-20T12:33:47-04:00

Award Winner Summary

 Year Philanthropist(s) of the Year Volunteer of the Year Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Outstanding Corporation or Foundation Lifetime Achievement in Fundraising Special Award
2021 Rosemary and Mark Schlachter Deborah Brant Mitch Stone The Legacy Foundations of Louis and Louise Nippert  Suzy Dorward Champions of Change(Innovator of the Year)
2020 Bill and Jenny McCloy  Gerald H. Greene, Jr. Camryn Morrow R.C. Durr Foundation, Inc. Mary C. Fischer
2019 Digi Schueler Craig Young Cincinnati Youth Collaborative’s Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates    Program The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation
2018 Dr. Neal H. Mayerson and Dr. Donna Mayerson John A Mongelluzzo Finnegan McCarthy Rose Nemec (Emerging Leader in Philanthropy)

bi3/Jill Miller (Innovator of the Year)

2017 David Herche James “Jim” Dodd Heather Konerman Rosemary Oglesby (Emerging Leader in Philanthropy)
2016 Richard Rosenthal John Silverman Katie McElveen Wesley Holm, HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric (Ambassador of Philanthropy)
2015 Otto M. Budig, Jr. Dianne M. Rosenberg Connor Reed Thomas Drew Lachey (Ambassador of Philanthropy)
2014 Barbara and Larry Kellar H. Richard Duval The Magnified Giving Student Philanthropy Program
2013 Rhonda and Larry Sheakley Martha W. Ewalt The Leadership Corps of the Josh Cares Student Advisory Council
2012 Roger F. Grein Nancy Wagner & Patty Wagner The Student Task Force of Mount Notre Dame High School
2011 Louise D. Nippert Don Freed Wyoming Middle School’s Make it Happen Club


Each year at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, the following awards are presented:

Philanthropist of the Year

Presented to an individual or group with a record of exceptional generosity who: through direct financial support has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility to a specific organization(s) or cause(s); has taken a leadership role in a specific organization(s) or cause(s); motivates others to participate in philanthropy. The depth and/or breadth of support to other organizations will be considered.

Volunteer of the Year

Presented to an individual or group with a record of exceptional generosity who: through a devotion of time has demonstrated outstanding support to a specific organization(s) or cause(s); encourages others to support an organization(s) or cause(s); is a role model for other community volunteers. The total hours contributed and the breadth of organizations supported with time will be considered.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Presented to an individual or group (through age 24) that has demonstrated philanthropic leadership by: learning and participating in philanthropy by planning and implementing a fundraising or volunteer program to benefit a specific organization(s) or cause(s); serving as role models for other youth and/or encouraging other youth to participate in philanthropy; demonstrating leadership in a specific organization(s) or cause(s). The level of commitment to service through philanthropy will be considered.

Outstanding Corporation or Foundation

Presented to a corporation or foundation that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support, innovation and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement. The total financial contributions and the breadth of demonstrated impact to supported organizations will be considered.

Emerging Leader in Philanthropy

Presented to an individual under 40 with a record of exceptional generosity who: through a devotion of time has demonstrated outstanding support to a specific organization(s) or cause(s); encourages others to support an organization(s) or cause(s); is a role model for other emerging leaders. The total hours contributed and the breadth of organizations supported with time will be considered.

Lifetime Achievement in Fundraising

Presented to an outstanding fundraising executive who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to the fundraising profession and philanthropic community. Recipients must have at least 20 years of fundraising experience.

Innovator of the Year (Special Award)

This award is presented to an individual/organization who has been exceptionally innovative in their philanthropic efforts in Cincinnati.

Ambassador of Philanthropy (Special Award)

This award is presented to an individual who has served as a spokesperson and champion for the power of philanthropy and the arts in Cincinnati.

2021 Award Winners

Philanthropist of the Year

Rosemary and Mark Schlachter

Nominated By ~ CET (Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation); Chatfield College; Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra; Cincinnati Symphony & Pops; Greater Cincinnati Foundation; United Way of Greater Cincinnati

View Video

Movers & Makers, full article HERE. (excerpt below)

The Schlachters say one reason they give is because they recognize not everyone has the same advantages, and that we all depend on others for help.

“We’re lucky,” Mark said. “We have never had to worry about whether the lights were going to be on when we got home at night or if our kids were going to have a good meal for dinner. A lot of people aren’t that lucky. So we’ll invest the time and energy to make it a little bit better for others.”

“We enjoy giving money away,” Rosemary added. “Material things get old, but philanthropy never gets old. It’s always very gratifying.”

“Rosemary believes … she’s giving someone else an opportunity that they will thank her for,” Mark said. “If you invest in this, you’re going to thank me for getting that chance because you’re going to feel so good, and you’re going to do so much good.”

“I think it’s a gift to people to give them an opportunity to develop generosity of spirit,” Rosemary agreed.

Both Anklan and Stuebing describe the Schlachters as humble.

“They’re so quiet with their philanthropy,” Stuebing said. “Recognition is not important to them. … Their main goal, I think, is to make the Greater Cincinnati region a better place to live, work and play.”

The Schlachters’ thoughts on earning the Philanthropist of the Year award show that humility.

“We think they’ve hit the bottom of the barrel,” Mark said.

“They’ve already honored everybody else,” Rosemary agreed.

Their nominators beg to differ.

“It’s amazing to me that they haven’t been given this award yet,” Anklan said. “They are incredibly deserving.”

“Their focus on community has elevated so many organizations,” Stuebing said. “We are all fortunate that they call our region home.”

Volunteer of the Year

Deborah Brant

Nominated By ~ Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Ballet, Most Valuable Kids, Mayerson JCC, Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center

View Video

Movers & Makers, full article HERE. (excerpt below)

Debbie Brant knows how to lead. The 2021 National Philanthropy Day Volunteer of the Year can lead from the top, and she’s willing to toil in the trenches. Kind, calm and skilled, she is a board chair who listens first, then builds consensus.

And she seems to be everywhere at once. A real-life superwoman, she has been asked more than once where she stores her cape.

The timing of Brant’s honor could not be better. For more than two decades she has been a steadfast volunteer within Cincinnati’s Jewish community, which is celebrating its bicentennial this year. She is the board chair of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary. And as a long-time Cincinnati Ballet trustee, she is one of six volunteers who raised the $30 million needed to build the stunning new Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Mitch Stone

Nominated By ~ Cincinnati Children’s

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Movers & Makers, full article HERE. (excerpt below)

At age 11, Mitch Stone was diagnosed with brain cancer and started undergoing treatment. Despite this, Mitch maintained a positive attitude – and developed a love for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“Whenever he would have to come back for a checkup, we’d be walking down that main hallway that leads to the cafeteria,” said Mitch’s mother, Dee Stone. “One day he looked at me and said, ‘Mom, I love this place.’ ”

After he was declared cancer-free, Mitch knew he wanted to help others with similar conditions and give back to the place that helped him. With the help of the University of Cincinnati’s football team, which adopted Mitch when he was going through treatment, Mitch’s Mission was born.

“We knew that whatever we did, we wanted to help kids with cancer,” Dee said. The family started Mitch’s Mission, a foundation that helps patients from Children’s attend summer camp, where kids are allowed to be kids regardless of their diagnosis.

Outstanding Corporation or Foundation

The Legacy Foundations of Louis and Louise Nippert

Nominated By ~ Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, May Festival, Cincinnati Ballet, Beech Acres Parenting Center

View Video

Movers & Makers, full article HERE. (excerpt below)

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our grandchildren.”

This guiding principle – and mantras like “What would the Nipperts do?” – have helped focus the philanthropy of the Legacy Foundations of Louis and Louise Nippert, which include the Greenacres Foundation, the Louis and Louise Nippert Charitable Foundation, and the Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund.

Their strategic investments made these foundations an exceptional fit for the 2021 Outstanding Foundation Award from Cincinnati’s chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Called “patient investors” by the Beech Acres Parenting Center, the trustees guiding the Nipperts’ legacy think in terms of decades, not years. And nowhere has that strategy born more fruit than for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

“In 2011, the Nipperts provided philanthropy to help catalyze the adoption of nine fiscal policies to build a balance sheet for a rainy day,” said Dr. Carter Randolph, president and trustee of the Nippert Charitable Foundation. He was instrumental in putting together a plan that brought philanthropy, the Symphony’s board and management, and the musicians’ union to a unique agreement 10 years ago.

Lifetime Achievement in Fundraising

Suzy Dorward

Nominated By ~ LaSoupe, YMCA, St. Rita School for the Deaf

Movers & Makers, full article HERE. (excerpt below)

Dorward retired this year after more than 30 years, during which she estimates she helped raise more than $155 million for the arts, parks system, education, access to health care and food and other causes.

She is quick to acknowledge that she did not achieve this alone – her framework for fundraising has included efforts by board members, volunteers and co-workers around shared goals.

“You have to have a good program mission,” she said. “You have to have a good story to tell, and you have to have a really good team of coworkers who get together and say, for the good of the cause we are just going to get this done.”

Persistence, meaningful relationships and relentless optimism are strengths Dorward said she cultivated. Jon Labbe, her supervisor at Mercy Health Foundation, calls her a convenor, a mentor and a coach. Suzy DeYoung called working with Dorward on La Soupe’s 2020 capital campaign “one of the greatest blessings of my La Soupe life.”

Dorward’s stewardship enabled La Soupe to meet the growing need for access to healthy food during the pandemic. Dorward came out of retirement in 2019 to join La Soupe as development director and lead the $5 million “915 Capital Campaign.” The “915” refers to the organization’s new Walnut Hills address on East McMillan Street.

DeYoung said Dorward transformed La Soupe.

Innovator of the Year

Champions of Change

Nominated By ~ United Way of Greater Cincinnati

View Video

Movers & Makers, full article HERE. (excerpt below)

Jena Bradley, director of community impact at United Way of Greater Cincinnati, said, “If you want to go fast, you go alone. But if you want to go far, you go together. (Champions of Change) was an example of folks coming together to go far.”

In 2017, UWGC realized that its traditional funding process under its Black-led social change initiative wasn’t reaching many small grassroots organizations. After connecting with Black changemakers through interviews, conversations, research and ideation sessions, United Way created Champions of Change.

These 13 volunteers – chosen through a name-blind application process from community leaders with diverse backgrounds and interests – collectively contributed more than 1,000 volunteer hours from May 2019 to June 2020. They fully designed and launched Black Empowerment Works, a program that resources and funds grassroots-generated, Black-led ideas addressing poverty. Their work led to 28 ideas being infused with more than $600,000 in philanthropic funds to improve their communities.

“Winning the Innovator of the Year award demonstrates the importance of community-based leadership, even within traditional structures,” Bradley said. “From a United Way perspective, one of several things that we’re doing as an organization is to better incorporate community voice, community leadership and sharing power. It’s not just about bringing in voices. It’s about, how do we transfer power?”

It was vital to the Champions that grantmaking is a community decision – they questioned how past support has helped or hurt communities, how to best spread the word about funding opportunities and how to make sure the decision process brought the most people in with the most transparency possible.

The group funded not just nonprofit organizations, but also individuals, community coalitions or for-profit organizations doing change work in their neighborhoods. Projects include photography and videography projects for teenagers; financial education for Black families; an entrepreneurship program for Cincinnati Public Schools; and much more.

2020 Award Winners

Philanthropist of the Year

Bill and Jenny McCloy

Nominated By ~ Melodic Connections, Community Foundation of West Chester Liberty, Down Syndrome Association of Cincinnati, Ken Anderson Alliance and Beech Acres Parenting Center

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Philanthropists of the Year Bill and Jenny McCloy are connection creators. They seize opportunities to bring people and organizations together to raise awareness, resources, and new realities that improve the lives of others. Bill and Jenny have been married 33 years on October 2, 2020. They have four children and reside in Liberty Township.  Family is at the heart of all they do.  “Our pride and our appreciation,” they say, “are the gift of family that God has bestowed on us”.

Bill and Jenny lead with their love of family, and with their hearts.  Bill serves as President of the board of directors of Ken Anderson Alliance (KAA), an organization that seeks to change the lives of generations of families affected by developmental disabilities.  Jenny serves as board chair for Melodic Connections, an organization that uses the power of music to connect people in community, and she has served as chair of the Reel Abilities Film Festival.

They also support/serve organizations such as Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, Beech Acres Parenting Center, St Vincent de Paul, Stepping Stones, St. Joseph Home, DePaul Cristo Rey high school, LADD,  Boys and Girls Club of West Chester Liberty, Life Town, The Learning Experience, and  The OSU Fisher Business school alumni board.

Bill and Jenny’s impact goes far beyond the list of organizations they serve.  Their ability to bring people together for a common purpose increases the impact of their work exponentially.   Through encouraging collaboration among organizations that receive their support, and by asking of others, they have created amazing strength in numbers in our community. Bill and Jenny McCloy work joyfully to improve the lives of others, to connect those who need connection the most. Their philanthropic efforts reflect their values of family, community, and collaboration and their impact will be felt by generations.

Volunteer of the Year

Gerald H. Greene, Jr.

Nominated By ~ Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, The Taft Museum of Art, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, ArtsWave

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Gerry brings perspective from over five decades of business management and legal successes to his philanthropic endeavors. During His 33-year career at Procter and Gamble, he crisscrossed the globe managing engineering and construction projects. His military service, which included an assignment to participate in court-martial as an advocate, influenced his decision to go to law school at age sixty. After law school, he joined Legal Aid’s Family Law practice group as a volunteer attorney. Eighteen years later, his dedication to provide effective representation to his victims of domestic violence clients, many of whom have experienced significant physical and emotional abuse, continues. In addition to his pro bono legal work, Gerry gives back to the community by serving on the boards of Purcell-Marion High School, ArtsWave, and The Taft Museum of Art, where he has been the Board Chair for eight years.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Camryn Morrow

Nominated By ~ Magnified Giving

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Camryn Morrow is a third-year Human Development and Community Engagement student at the University of Cincinnati. As a Cincinnati native, Camryn prides herself on her commitment to youth advocacy in her city and has dedicated herself to teaching the next generation of leaders through Breakthrough Cincinnati as a Teaching Fellow and intern. Inspired by the power of a community and the importance of giving, Camryn acts as a Magnified Giving ambassador, a youth-centered philanthropy program that she was first introduced to in the eighth grade.

Her passion for advocacy extends itself to creativity and self-expression and has allowed her to create her own student-led book club for women of color on her university’s campus. Her club, which she named “Sister Outsiders” after her role model, Civil Rights activist, and writer, Audre Lorde operates as a safe space for women of color to converse on diverse literature and find community among one another. On-campus, Camryn is a University Honors Scholar and a Darwin T. Turner Scholar, a scholarship recognized for its promotion of academic excellence, diversity, leadership, and service. Camryn has held leadership positions in Undergraduate Student Government, the United Black Student Association, and the African American Cultural and Resource Center Leadership Team and enjoys supporting students on and off-campus.

Outstanding Corporation or Foundation

R.C. Durr Foundation, Inc.

Nominated By ~ Redwood, Master Provisions, Center for Great Neighborhoods, Horizon Community Fund, Brighton Center

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The R. C. Durr Foundation, Inc. was established and funded by R. C. Durr in September 1993 and was permanently endowed upon his death on May 21, 2007. There is no way to calculate the total impact, amount or number of R. C. Durr’s gifts while he was alive but since his passing and as of this writing in 2019, the Durr Foundation has made more than 1,100 grants with a total giving in excess of $25,000,000.

Beneficiaries of the Foundation include scholarship funds for educational institutions and funding to non-profit organizations providing food, clothing and shelter, transportation, medical and dental care for the indigent, and needs of the very young and very old and for persons with developmental disabilities. The Foundation also provides funding to assist in the development of liveable communities, business incubation, future leadership development, and public health. Although the Foundation Board of Directors may make exceptions, the primary funding of the Foundation is concentrated toward the non-profit educational, charitable and civic organizations located in and providing services to the people in the greater Northern Kentucky area composed of the counties of Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Kenton, Mason, Owen, Pendleton, and Robertson.

Lifetime Achievement in Fundraising

Mary C. Fischer

Nominated By ~ Bethesda Foundation

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Mary C. Fischer, CFRE, has made a significant impact in the Cincinnati community through her outstanding work in philanthropy. A Cincinnati area native and a dedicated fundraiser with three decades of experience, Mary has worked tirelessly to help those in need through her fundraising and volunteer efforts. Mary has worked on numerous campaigns and fundraising projects for Bethesda Foundation where her skills as a fundraiser have helped to raise more than 25 million dollars in support of Bethesda North Hospital, Hospice of Cincinnati and Fernside, A Center for Grieving Children.

Mary has a passion for service to others through her fundraising and volunteer work. She has served as President of the Springfield Council of the National Committee on Planned Giving, a member of the Kiwanis Club in Springfield, the Rotary Club in Blue Ash and served as a board member for the Ohio Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (OAHP) for many years. She was also a board member for Xtraordinary Women Inc., a Cincinnati non-profit that provided support for underserved women in the community. Since 2005, she has been a volunteer for Tender Mercies, preparing and delivering meals to support homeless adults with mental illness.

Mary is an exceptional fundraiser who, throughout her career, has continually demonstrated her love of and dedication to the profession of fundraising.

2019 Award Winners

Philanthropist of the Year

Digi Schueler

Nominated By ~ 4C for Children, Dress for Success, Playhouse in the Park, East End Adult Education Center

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Philanthropist of the year Digi Schueler, a lifelong volunteer and philanthropist, has made a significant impact in our community in the areas of art, education and social justice. Her board work and fund raising efforts with organizations such as Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Dress for Success, 4C for Children and YWCA has made a significant and long-lasting effect in the community. Her committee work spans over nearly a dozen different nonprofits. She was a leader while in the Junior League of Cincinnati, serving on several committees including being the Vice President of Community Outreach. She was honored in 2005 as an Enquirer Woman of the Year and in 2011 as the Champions for Children Award by 4C for Children. She is widely respected by all the organizations she has touched over the years.

Volunteer of the Year

Craig Young

Nominated By ~ Cincinnati Cares, American Red Cross, Cincinnati Zoo,The Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America

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Craig brings nearly four decades of success creating technology products and companies, over two decades of engaged philanthropy and volunteering, and over a decade of combining both of those to create technology and programs encouraging, inspiring and celebrating actions by many in the areas of volunteering, sustainability and compassion. Young became concerned about the systems nationally and regionally supporting volunteers, leading to the creation in April 2017 of the Cincinnati-based nonprofit, Inspiring Service (locally know as Cincinnati Cares). Young now sits on the boards of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Red Cross, the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Cincinnati Zoo, among others, and was recently named among the first males to join the board of the Greater Cincinnati YWCA.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Cincinnati Youth Collaborative’s Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates Program

Nominated By ~ Bethany House Services, Be the Match, and Hoxworth Blood Center

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Cincinnati Youth Collaborative’s Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates (JCG) Program, a non-profit organization, was nominated by Bethany House Services, Be the Match and Hoxworth Blood Center. CYC’s mission is empowering youth to overcome obstacles and succeed in education, career, and life. The JCG program is focused on assisting middle and high school students facing significant challenges, to help them graduate, and successfully make a transition from school to career. They accomplish this by focusing on the social and work skills that are required for success in school and career. JCG is an accredited in-school program leveraging the Jobs For America’s Graduates model that equips students with 37 core character competencies that prepare them for post-secondary pursuits, whether they be enrollment, employment, or enlistment.

Outstanding Corporation or Foundation

The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation

Nominated By ~ Tender Mercies, La Soupe, American Red Cross and Freestore Foodbank

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The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation – Kroger’s philanthropic entity dedicated to investing in a bold moonshot – to end hunger and eliminate waste by 2025 – was nominated by Tender Mercies, American Red Cross, Freestore Foodbank and La Soupe. The Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund, a signature program the foundation seeded with $10 million, aims to drive collective action and positive change by supporting innovators and entrepreneurs who share a passion for preventing food waste and improving food security for all. Today, 40% of the food produced is thrown away, yet 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger. Redirecting even one-third of this food would help feed everyone in need. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan is our commitment to end hunger in our communities and eliminate waste across our company by 2025.

2018 Award Winners

Philanthropist(s) of the Year

Dr. Neal H. Mayerson and Dr. Donna Mayerson

Nominated By ~ The Mayerson Foundation

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Dr. Neal H. Mayerson and Dr. Donna Mayerson earned Ph.D.’s in clinical and counseling psychology, respectively.   Neal was a practicing psychotherapist for 15 years specializing in behavioral medicine and relationship counseling.  Donna has specialized in child and family therapy and currently focuses on strengths-based counseling/coaching.  Additionally, the Mayersons are Directors of The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation, with Neal serving as President for the past 25 years.  Neal is also President of The Mayerson Company, a real estate management and investment company.

Neal and Donna have founded a number of non-profit organizations.  RISE Learning Solutions was the first organization to provide nationwide professional development for preschool educators via distance learning technology for the purpose of improving quality of early education.   The Inclusion Network focused on creating greater opportunities for people with disabilities in Greater Cincinnati to participate in community life in an integrated vs. segregated fashion.  Mayerson Academy has specialized in professional development of K-12 educators for the past 23 years and, in addition to serving the Cincinnati Public Schools, is currently expanding to a national and international footprint.  VIA Institute on Character has played an important role in establishing a new discipline in the field of psychology called positive psychology.  VIA Institute is a leading organization in the world committed to advancing the science and practice of character strengths – those aspects of personality that are universally considered good for the individual while also being good for society at large.  Millions of people in every country in the world have taken the VIA Survey which is translated into 34 languages, and hundreds of scientific articles have been published to advance our scientific knowledge about human character strengths.  Neal and Donna are active Directors and in-kind staff contributors to program and product development for VIA. 

The Mayersons have also been instrumental in founding a number of social programs.  The Mayerson Student Philanthropy Program at Northern Kentucky University has been responsible for educating thousands of students about the non-profit sector and how to be involved in addressing societal problems in the process of making over $1MM of grants to hundreds of local non-profit organizations.  The Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children is a program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center that serves abused and neglected children through the collaboration of medical, legal, family, psychological and legal systems.  The Mayerson High School Service Learning Program serves over 100 area high schools in their efforts to offer meaningful and educational experiences of community service. Over the past 23 years it has served tens of thousands of students.  Access and Shalom Family are programs in the local Jewish community for young adults and families with young children that have been strengthening these respective social networks for over 10 years.

As Directors of the Mayerson Foundations, Donna and Neal have been responsible, along with their family, for providing funding to hundreds of area non-profit organizations.   Important capital grants were made to establish the Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Jewish Community Center, and the new School for Creative and Performing Arts.  With an interest in funding innovative solutions, they have helped a number of organizations in their early start-up phases.  Of note are: Child HeLP which is a medical-legal partnership at Children’s Hospital, Project Search which is now an international program that helps adults with developmental disabilities find meaningful employment, Public Allies – a diverse leadership program for young adults, the McMicken Dental Clinic providing free dental services to homeless adults, Give Back Cincinnati which is a community service program for young professionals, the Freestore Foodbank’s Capacity Building Program training member pantries on best practices in food storage and distribution, and recently Mortar that trains and develops urban entrepreneurs.

Together, the Mayersons founded Hummingbird Coaching Services, the first company to provide personalized wellness and life coaching over the Internet.  After successfully building it up over 7 years they sold it to Humana who continues to offer this one-of-a-kind service to its customers.

Dr. Donna Mayerson played a key role in establishing the TAP Program at the University of Cincinnati which provides on-campus residence to high school graduates with cognitive and developmental disabilities so they can have meaningful college experiences and graduate with university certificates of completion.  It is a leading program of its kind in the country.  And, Dr. Mayerson volunteers as a psychotherapist at the Good Samaritan Free Health Center, provides telephonic consulting to people worldwide on the application of character strengths, is active in teaching courses and workshops on character strengths and consulting with area organizations on their implementation of character strengths, and serves on the board of the Hearing, Speech, and Deaf Center of Cincinnati.

Representing Neal’s broad ranging interests, in addition to producing Hidden Treasures, an award winning music CD which is a tribute to Cincinnati’s King Records, he also introduced instant hand sanitizer as a consumer product category, working with Gojo Industries to bring the Purell brand to consumers.  Further, he has been awarded a U.S. Patent for inventing a new and improved way for groups of people to have conversations online.

The Mayersons enjoy their family and friends as well as music, tennis, and Nature.  They consider themselves very fortunate to have had the tremendous collaborators they have been privileged to work with over the years.

Volunteer of the Year

John A Mongelluzzo

Nominated By ~ Stepping Stones

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John joined the law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold in 2012. He was named Partner-in-Charge of the Cincinnati office and has served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Committee since 2013. John was elected to the firm’s Management Committee in 2015.

Before joining Calfee, John spent five years as Executive Vice President, Business Administration, Legal Affairs and Secretary for MSC Software, and before that, he was Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel at SDRC for more than 15 years.

John is the President of Stepping Stones’ Board of Trustees and chairs its Executive Committee. John has served as Chair of the Stepping Stones’ Development Committee and a member of its Personnel Committee. John also serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Cincinnati American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, is a member and past-Chair of its Heart Ball Events Leadership Team, and is the organization’s incoming Board Chairman. In 2016, John and his wife, Kerry, co-chaired the American Heart Association’s Cincinnati Heart Ball. John is currently a member of the American Cancer Society’s Cincinnati Golf Classic Executive Committee.

For many years John served on the Board of the Dan Beard Council Boy Scouts of America, was Vice Chair of its GSAL Committee, and participated in the Boy Scouts Mentoring Program. John was a member of the United Way Tocqueville Society and has served on the ArtsWave Cincinnati’s Community Campaign Cabinet as well as the boards and various committees of the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati Nature Center. John served as the President of the Board of StarShine Hospice and Palliative Care, and as Vice-Chair of the Flying Pig Marathon.

John was named one of Cincinnati’s “Top Forty Business Leaders Under 40” by Cincinnati Business Courier and is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Finnegan McCarthy

Nominated By ~ Cancer Support Community

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At 12 years old, Finnegan McCarthy serves as a junior ambassador CSC.  From fundraising through lemonade sales to speaking in front of 200 people at a convention, his passion for programs supporting families and children impacted by cancer is evident.

When Finn was a young boy, his father was diagnosed with cancer and has been battling the disease with a variety of treatment and surgeries. Despite being young, Finn recalls details about the surgery, visits to the hospital, seeing where his father received radiation treatment and the life-threatening surgery. Finn and his family have a strong bond and it has grown even deeper despite increasingly difficult years.

Finn and his mom, Nancy, participated in programs offered by Cancer Support Community throughout the journey. These family programs included “Walking the Dinosaur”, kids in the kitchen, social connection events, youth specialty programs and more. Both Nancy and Terry have also participated in support programming at the center. Nancy and I first met the family when they volunteered at the center in the courtyard and in preparation of the first backyard bash event celebrating national survivor’s day. All the boys worked tirelessly with joy and humility.

At the age of nine, Finn decided to host a lemonade stand to raise contributions to Cancer Support Community so that “he could help more families like his”. Finn raised money for family programs in both 2016 and 2017. Finn’s philanthropic heart and initiative led us to a presentation at a company sales meeting. The company was so impressed with his heart, they awarded Cancer Support Community a 10,000 gift toward programming in Finn’s honor. Finn’s enthusiasm for helping others has been contagious – his elementary school embraced continuing the joy of helping others.

Emerging Leader in Philanthropy

Rose Nemec

Nominated By ~ Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

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Rose Nemec, GE Aviation, is in her sixth year of running the Year of the Girl program.  The program now reaches seven underserved schools in Cincinnati area and over 80 fourth- through sixth-grade girls with STEM and self-esteem after-school projects.

Rosa provides outstanding leadership and her tireless efforts over the past five years has supported Girl Scouts through recruitment of volunteers and facilitation of both short term programs during the school year and summer day camp programs at Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s Day Camp.

During the school year she works to recruit, training and facilitate STEM focused curricula with girls that allows girls in underserved areas to experience STEM and be mentored by females in STEM fields. She also supports recruitment and training of volunteers to the day camp.

Since beginning her time as a volunteer with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Rosa has recruited over 265 volunteers. These volunteers have provided a total of 5,520 hours to impact 620 girls. The quality of the program has attracted corporate and industry support.

In addition to her contributions to Girl Scouts, Rosa is a GE leader in mechanical design and hardware.  She’s been recognized with a GE Aviation Engineering Excellence Award – Innovation, for overcoming challenges related to new material technology.  Despite her busy work schedule, Rosa’s extensive contribution of time and leadership skills to ensure girls are exposed to STEM – and enjoying STEM activities – reflects her generous spirit and gifts of positivity and engagement.

Innovator of the Year

bi3/Jill Miller

Nominated By ~ Ignite Philanthropy

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bi3 – Bethesda Inc.’s grantmaking initiative to transform health in Greater Cincinnati  — was nominated by Ignite Philanthropy.  President of Bethesda, Jill Miller, and bi3, one of Ohio’s largest health-focused grantmakers, is challenging the status quo by funding new approaches like StartStrong, a place-based program to reduce infant mortality and improve maternal and infant health.  bi3 forges collaborations between TriHealth and community-based organizations to tackle community health issues and improve the health of all people.

Since 2010, bi3 has invested more than $33 million to transform health and health care in our region, ranking it as one of Ohio’s largest health-focused grantmakers. They’re a philanthropic investor willing to make large grants, take informed risks and to push collaboration between a health system and community organizations to address our most pressing health issues. They are unique because Bethesda Inc. is a sponsor of TriHealth, which makes bi3 able to envision and scale projects faster than other health grantmakers.

The StartStrong project and a grant to Beech Acres Parenting Center are striking examples of bi3’s long-term commitment to children’s health.

Hamilton County ranks among the bottom 10 percent of counties across the nation for infant mortality. StartStrong launched in 2013 with a $3.2 million, three-year bi3 grant. Additional exit funding was added for year four. The StartStrong initiative connected prenatal, pediatric and maternal care while forming new partnerships across health care providers and community organizations. Thanks to the success of StartStrong, the pilot community of Avondale hasn’t recorded an extreme pre-term birth in more than three years compared with an historical average of a pre-term birth every 26 days. And Avondale went from having one of the highest infant mortality rates among neighborhoods in Hamilton County to one that is lower than Hamilton County as a whole.

Fueled by a $1.1 million bi3 grant, Beech Acres Parenting Center currently is partnering with Cincinnati Children’s Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children and TriHealth Pediatrics to reduce toxic stress and support child health and development. Its groundbreaking program matches pediatric primary care physician practices with parent coaches to assist families in managing adverse childhood experiences (ACES). To date, nearly 4,500 families have been screened, resulting in 1,100 referrals for parent coaching services.

Because of bi3’s commitment to the health of children in Greater Cincinnati, doctors are getting the tools they need and families are being connected with needed resources to ensure children thrive. I’ve been grateful to work directly with bi3 for many years, and it’s been inspiring to see first-hand these and other results. It’s my privilege to recommend bi3 for the 2018 AFP Philanthropist of the Year award.

2017 Award Winners

Philanthropist of the Year

David Herche

Nominated By ~ Cincinnati Works

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Philanthropist of the Year David F. Herche, a business leader with sincere passion, has made a significant difference in our community in the areas of poverty, education, athletics and health. Dave went above and beyond, working with business leaders, friends, and volunteers, Dave has made it possible for Cincinnati Works to triple their capacity to lift more people out of poverty, gave his time, treasure and talent to provide a school in the inner city with the resources, values, and staff to transform it into a place where the students are able to build their confidence and interest in learning how to become a teacher, businessperson, or a doctor, breaking the cycle of poverty. All of the organizations that Dave has touched over the years have great respect for him and are incredibly grateful for his leadership, generosity, and ability to inspire change.

Volunteer of the Year

James “Jim” Dodd 

Nominated By ~ St. Vincent de Paul (Cincinnati)

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Volunteer of the Year James “Jim” Dodd has devoted countless hours over the last 10 years to helping SVDP provide hope, support, and friendship to the forgotten in our community, who are barely getting by, lonely, and suffering. Jim makes everyone feel respected and loved. Whether he is serving families visiting the food pantry, visiting neighbors in need, or providing training and support for our district councils, he does it all with sincere compassion and humility. Every week, Jim visits families in need doing everything he can to help them move forward as they recover and move toward stability. Jim’s neighbor Christina now has a full-time job and can provide for her three children because Jim went above and beyond to help her get back on her feet. Christina is forever grateful for Jim’s kindness.

Jim Dodd is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and is a retired Senior Vice President of Fifth Third Bank. Prior to Fifth Third, he spent 25 years with Bank of Oklahoma in Tulsa where he led the Trust Division during his last 12 years there. Jim has extensive nonprofit experience having served on the boards of the University of Tulsa, Tulsa Opera, Philbrook Art Center and Holland Hall School. Additional board service, while in Evansville, Indiana for 11 years, included the Evansville Museum and the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. After moving to Cincinnati, he also served as a board member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Jim’s involvement with Saint Vincent de Paul includes volunteering weekly in the Edyth and Carl Lindner Choice Food Pantry at the Liz Carter Outreach Center in Cincinnati. In addition, he serves on a Development Committee and the Advisory Board for the Cincinnati District Council. He is an active member of the Christ the King Conference, and is currently serving as president of the Archdiocesan Central Council of Cincinnati. As a member on the National Council, Jim has served on several national committees. In addition he has been appointed to a six-year term as Treasurer of the National Board of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Jim is married to Elizabeth and has three sons and four grandchildren.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Heather Konerman 

Nominated By ~ Magnified Giving/Holy Cross High School (Covington)

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Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Heather Konerman was nominated by Magnified Giving/Holy Cross High School (Covington). A senior this year, Heather has received Holy Cross High School’s “Outstanding Christian Leadership Service” award the last three years for volunteering in the community, with one year being over 600 hours. Heather is an inspiration, with a passion for philanthropy and a willingness to do what it takes to make a difference. She took the initiative to collect nearly 1,000 baby items for the Rose Garden Mission and donated her $50 award check that she received for the Roger Grein’s “Spirit of Philanthropy” award in 2016. She was deeply touched by the mission and knew the funds were needed to help more babies.

Heather Konerman is a Senior at Holy Cross High School. She is a member of her school’s Magnified Giving Club, currently serving as the club’s president. For the past two years she was responsible for organizing and soliciting raffle donations from various businesses for the school’s pancake breakfast. The event raised money for additional Magnified Giving Charity funds.  As an eighth-grader, she began volunteering at the Cincinnati Museum Center, primarily in the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, where she has logged over 600 hours. She has won many awards including The Prudential Spirit of Community Excellence Award, the Roger Grein Spirit of Philanthropy award, and The Cincinnati Museum Center’s Youth Leadership Award. Heather hopes that she can continue sharing her time, talent and treasure for the rest of her life while inspiring others to give back as well.

Emerging Leader in Philanthropy

Rosemary Oglesby

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Emerging Leader Rosemary Ogelsby-Henry, founder of Rosemary’s Babies, serves as a role model in our community. She has assisted more than 100 teen parents to overcome the challenges of providing for their children. Rosemary knows what it’s like to be a teen parent with no support system, so she wanted to help make it a better experience for others. Rosemary is an example of a teen parent who has broken the stereotype of teen mothers by becoming a college graduate with a master’s degree while raising both of her children to become responsible individuals, with one in college and the other doing well in high school. She is resourceful in many ways and does all that she can to help turn lives around, one family at a time. Rosemary has also taught her children the value of volunteerism and community involvement by serving meals at Tender Mercies and bringing meals to families in need for the holidays. In 2015, she joined the Tender Mercies Associate Board, bringing her leadership and teamwork skills to help the organization grow its capacity to help more homeless adults with mental illness.

2016 Award Winners

Philanthropist of the Year

Richard Rosenthal

Nominated By ~ University of Cincinnati Foundation, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, and National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

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Throughout his remarkable life, Mr. Rosenthal has championed the arts and led the fight for equal justice under the law. As founder and owner of Uptown Arts, he has brought the gift of art, music, and dance to the lives of over 300 inner-city children each year. He serves on various boards of arts organizations. His passion and commitment to justice led him to endow the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice in 2014, which has been instrumental in the release of 24 innocent people wrongly convicted in Ohio. His most recent gift of $15M to The Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) at UC’s Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice at the College of Law – the largest ever for the college and any innocence program – will provide for the program in perpetuity.

Volunteer of the Year

John Silverman

Nominated By ~ Talbert House, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Dream House Homes, Inc., Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, and The Seven Hills School

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John Silverman’s energy is fueled by improving the lives of children and families across our community. He is passionate about being a father and has worked tirelessly to raise over $1M for Talbert House’s Fatherhood Project and Camp Possible. He has served as Trustee at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, leading the search committee for the new president. He has devoted countless hours to the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati assisting with the allocations of their funding. He has used his expertise in construction management to ensure The Seven Hills School has a state-of-the-art campus that inspires learning. He’s been hands-on in the efforts to remodel the Cincinnati Museum Center and Union Terminal from project the conception through the current construction. John not only volunteers his time and expertise, but he also makes significant personal contributions to inspire the giving of others. John exemplifies volunteerism at its best.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Katie McElveen

Nominated By ~ Ronald McDonald House of Greater Cincinnati

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Katie, a student at Loveland High School, started her relationship with Ronald McDonald House five years ago and as a passionate supporter has created ways to comfort guest families with critically ill children. She created a “Greeting Card Club” for middle schoolers to create cards for families to show them someone cares. She organized a dodge ball fundraiser raising $2500. She used her love of art to create “Windows of Hope” – personalized artwork she created about each guest family to inspire them during this difficult time, which now displays 50 works of arts created by 60 students. Her dodge ball fundraiser has turned into a district wide football fundraiser, raising over $11,000. Katie is showing it’s the little things we do that can make a world of difference to others in need, and she truly is an Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy.

Ambassador of Philanthropy (Special Award)

Wesley Holm, HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric

Nominated By ~ (DAV) Disabled American Veterans

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Wesley Holm has taken corporate responsibility to a new level. As owner of HELP with a family with a long legacy of service, he specifically supports organizations and efforts that help veterans. A portion of sales over a period of time each year are donated to organizations supporting veterans, resulting in
$674,000, including $322,000 to Disabled American Veterans. He leads his company in support of veterans by hosting a hot breakfast to veterans on Veteran’s Day and helping many individuals wounded in services directly. He makes hiring veterans a priority, with a significant number of employees who are veterans, including 40% of his leadership team. He unites customers and community in his efforts by providing them with an “I SUPPORT VETERANS” yard sign. Wesley is truly an Ambassador of Philanthropy in his support of veterans.

2015 Award Winners

Philanthropist of the Year

Otto M. Budig, Jr.

Nominated By ~ Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Symphony & Pops Orchestra, Ensemble Theatre, Music Hall Revitalization Company, and The Carnegie

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Cincinnati’s cultural fiber has been molded largely in part by Mr. Budig’s commitment to our community.  He has been a strong financial and strategic supporter of many organizations including the Playhouse in the Park, The Cincinnati Ballet, the Cincinnati Symphony and Pop Orchestra, Ensemble Theater, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, University of Cincinnati Foundation, Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and Cincinnati Parks Board.  His devotion to philanthropy in Cincinnati has helped create a world-class home for the visual and performing arts.  Mr. Budig’s ability to identify and mobilize other supporters sets him apart as a true visionary.  Otto M. Budig, Jr. personifies philanthropy in Cincinnati.

Volunteer of the Year

Dianne M. Rosenberg

Nominated By ~ The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, 4C for Children, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati Parks Foundation

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Dianne Rosenberg’s “energy is fueled by bringing people together for the greater good of Cincinnati.”  As a volunteer fundraiser she has raised more than $80 million for capital and endowment campaigns and has volunteered countless hours to notable nonprofits such as 4C for Children, Caracole, Artworks, Jewish Family Services, The Jewish Federation, The Jewish Community Center, Cincinnati Parks, The Symphony Orchestra and the Preschool Promise.  Dianne exemplifies volunteerism at its best.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Connor Reed Thomas

Nominated By ~ Darius Powell, Michael Schmidt, and Erman Thomas

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Connor Reed Thomas operates a website dedicated to honoring those who serve our country.  He is active in programs that send care packages to troops and he recently assisted in planning a 5k for the Joseph House that raised money for homeless veterans suffering from addiction.  Connor Reed Thomas is 15 years old and a sophomore at Goshen High School.  Connor’s goals are lofty – he wants to be a military intelligence officer after graduating West Point.  Connor Thomas truly is an Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy.

Ambassador of Philanthropy (Special Award)

Drew Lachey

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Drew Lachey is best known as a member of the pop group 98 Degrees and as the crowned champion of season two of Dancing with the Stars.  In addition to his vocal and dancing talent, Drew is an experienced stage actor with such Broadway roles as Patsy in Spamalot and Mark Cohen in Rent.  Drew is a champion for the power of arts and philanthropy in Cincinnati.  He serves as the host of ArtsWave’s annual Singoff and as a board member at Camp Joy.  A graduate from Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts, Drew is the founder of Lachey Arts, an arts education program focused on using real working situations to better train young performers.  Two-thirds of the participants are on full scholarships.  Wherever Drew goes, he actively promotes both the arts and philanthropy in Cincinnati.

2014 Award Winners

Philanthropists of the Year

Barbara and Larry Kellar

Nominated By ~ CET, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Country Day School, Cincinnati Symphony  Orchestra, Clever Crazes for Kids, and the University of Cincinnati

The Kellars’ support of CET spans nearly five decades and many capacities, including serving on its Premier Circle Committee.   Barbara Kellar currently hosts “Showcase with Barbara Kellar.”  The Kellars have also supported the Cincinnati Ballet for over 40 years, playing an instrumental role in the Ballet’s 50th Anniversary endowment campaign.  The Kellars led multiple fundraising efforts on behalf of Cincinnati Country Day School, while sharing their love of the arts with students.  The Kellars’ three-plus decades of support for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra include helping to grow its corporate sponsorship program.  The University of Cincinnati has benefitted from the Kellars’ support of various individual colleges, athletics, medical research, service as Foundation Trustees, Founders of the McMicken Tower Society, and members of the George Smith Society.

Volunteer of the Year

H. Richard Duval

Nominated By ~ Cincinnati Preservation Association and First Step Home

Dick Duval was nominated for his generous devotion of time, leadership and genuine interest in his community spanning decades.  On behalf of the Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA), Dick Duval has accomplished many specific projects such as converting the Powel Crosley Jr. Estate into the Pinecroft Event Center, and restoring the Emily Rauh Pulitzer Residence.  He has sparked new enthusiasm for preservation, and fostered the creation of the Cincinnati Preservation Collective for young preservationists.  Mr. Duval has scaled back business activities in order to generously dedicate at least 20 hours per week to CPA. First Step Home, a residential drug and alcohol treatment center for women, has been able to expand and enhance their services for their clients due to the dedication of Dick Duval.  His service has taken many forms, including a year off from his business to volunteer full-time to oversee renovation of a residential facility that has housed over 2,800 women and children.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

The Magnified Giving Student Philanthropy Program

Nominated By ~ CancerFree Kids, Nantucket Creative Management, Northern Kentucky University, Roger Bacon High School, Seton High School, and Villa Madonna Academy

The Magnified Giving Student Philanthropy Program provides a financial grant that student participants award to local nonprofits.  Students develop leadership and decision-making skills while researching and identifying potential nonprofits, interviewing nonprofit executives and presenting a case for the nonprofits within their own schools.  Created in 2008, Magnified Giving is one of the largest student philanthropy programs in the United States, with 2500 students from 50 area high school partners participating.  The collective impact on the schools’ entire student bodies is philanthropic experience for an estimated 10,000 students.  This year, more than $80,000 will be awarded to local nonprofits through Magnified Giving Student Philanthropy teams.

2013 Award Winners

Philanthropists of the Year

Rhonda and Larry Sheakley

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Nominated By ~ The Cincinnati Ballet, Lighthouse Youth Services, and the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music

Outstanding Volunteer of the Year

Martha W. Ewalt

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Nominated By ~ Crayons to Computers

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

The Leadership Corps of the Josh Cares Student Advisory Council

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Nominated By ~  Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Josh Cares, Mayerson Foundation High School Service-Learning Program, Roger Bacon High School, and the Ronald McDonald House

2012 Award Winners

Philanthropist of the Year Award

Roger F. Grein

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Nominated By ~ Douglas Heesten and Magnified Giving

Outstanding Volunteers of the Year Award

Nancy Wagner & Patty Wagner

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Nominated By ~ Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award

The Student Task Force of Mount Notre Dame High School

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Nominated By ~ Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati

2011 Award Winners

Philanthropist of the Year Award

Louise D. Nippert

Nominated By ~ Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Outstanding Volunteer of the Year

Don Freed

Nominated By ~ Ronald McDonald House

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award

Wyoming Middle School’s Make it Happen Club 

Nominated By ~ Karen Jordan