National Philanthropy Day Celebrated in Houston

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This year the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Houston Chapter celebrated  National Philanthropy Day on November 19 with a grand luncheon and awards ceremony at the Hilton Americas Hotel, downtown.

In the spirit of collaboration, Aurora Grants & Consulting took this opportunity to invite our new clients in 2015 to celebrate with us. In attendance were Mika Hasler, Founder/Director of the Mika Hasler Young Artist Competition, Steven Holloway, Founder/Director of P.A.C.E. Youth Programs, Don Ray, Board Chair of Noah’s House, and Jennifer Schiebel, Art Instructor at Klein Oak High School, winner of this year’s Youth in Philanthropy Award. Those unable to attend were George Youngblood, Co-Founder/Director of Teen and Family Services, and Jason Roberts, Founder/Director of FamilyPoint Resources.

2015 Honorees Angela Seaworth and Susan Coulter

2015 Honorees Angela Seaworth and Susan Coulter

Aurora Grants contract grant writers, readers and consultants in attendance included Kathy Sullivan, Laura Wheless, Katy Atkiss and Linda Beeman. Also missing were Susan Byrd, Dr. Gary Patterson and Suzy von Lengerke.

It was an incredibly moving occasion, honoring Houston’s top philanthropic individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations, and recognizing how their gifts of time, talent and resources have shaped our community. This year’s honorees were: Lester and Sue Smith, winners of the Maurice Hirsch Award for Philanthropy and hands-down the most entertaining and inspirational speakers of the day; Virginia ‘Ginni’ Mithoff  as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser; Bristol-Myers Squibb, winner of the Houston Business Journal Outstanding Large Corporation Award for its work with HIV vaccines in the developing world; St. Thomas High School, winner of the Outstanding Fundraising Program – More Than $2 Million Award for its successful campaign raising over $70 Million to purchase land adjacent to its campus; The Cullen Trust for Health Care, winner of the Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation Award for its Gold Humanism Honor Society; Baylor College of Medicine, winner of the Outstanding Community Service Organization Award; KHOU 11 News , winner of the Outstanding Communications Partner Award; M. Anne Murphy, CFRE, winner of the Byron Welch Award for Lifetime Achievement; Susan H. Coulter, J.D. of the Houston Methodist Foundation, winner of the Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year Award; Angela Seaworth, ACFRE and Director of Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership, winner of the M. Anne Murphy Award for Professional Advancement; and the Klein Oak High School Student Council, winner of this year’s Youth in Philanthropy Award for raising $60,000 to construct a Habitat for Humanity house in Northwest Harris County within five months.

Aurora Grants & Consulting thanks the winners, our clients, and all philanthropists – large and small – who help to make our world a little bit better every day.

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Richard Beeman