EL CENTRO-Distinguished volunteers and community leaders gathered at the 2nd Annual Imperial Valley’s National Philanthropy Day awards luncheon to recognize and pay tribute to the significant contributions humanitarians have made in our lives, our community and the world.
Set at the beautiful Old Eucalyptus Schoolhouse last Wednesday,
guests entered the room, and in the theme of the national event “change the world with a giving heart,â€ warm hugs and greetings were plentiful.
National Philanthropy Day Chairman, Jaime Honold,Â and Imperial Valley Press Publisher, Gerard Delaney,Â were the host for the community occasion.
After lunch, the award presentations and special remarks began, starting with guest keynote speaker, Mr. Gerald McFadden, president and CEO of the Volunteers of America-Southwest. McFadden who has dedicated his career to community services since 1971, spoke about why he believes inÂ National Philanthropy Day, “We have a responsibility to leave this life better than it was when we came into it.”
The room resounded with applause and a standing ovationÂ as Betty YoungÂ received the Philanthropist of the Year award. Young, aÂ life-long philanthropist for over 60 years, has donated many hours and funds to the Imperial Valleyâ€™s less fortunate families, along withÂ the educational facility at the Betty Jo McNeece Receiving Home, which was became in her honor, the Betty Young School.
The Spirit of the Philanthropy (Volunteer of the Year) award went to Betty Jo McNeece for her hard-work and community support. Betty Jo McNeece renovated and transformed a 15-bedroom facility into a 30 bedroom home forÂ vulnerable youth to feel at-home andÂ comfortable inÂ a safe environment.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jack and Joan Tyler of El Centro. The Tyler have been involved with the Imperial Valley Community Foundation (IVCF) since 2007.
Bobby Brock the President of IVCF stated one of the main reasons for the luncheon was to “inspire other volunteers, and it is a chance for the IVCF to say thank you and give back to the volunteers and organizations.”
The IVCF is Imperial Valley’s leading philanthropic organization and facilitator of charitable giving and community needs, they focus on local needs and help inÂ keeping philanthropic earnedÂ dollars in the local community to meet local needs.
The City of Imperialâ€™s First Imperial Credit Union received the Philanthropic Corporation of the Year award for contributing to local organizations and promoting “charity of the month” on social media. They also offered free seminars to the public,Â which are designed to improve financial well-being of the local community.
Brawley Community Foundation, aÂ non-profit corporation that isÂ organizedÂ to improve the quality of life in the north county, donated a check in the amount of $5000.00 to the IVCF at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon.
The following were this yearâ€™s recipients for the Distinguished Philanthropists award: Dr.Hope Davis, the employees of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, friends of the Holtville Library, Sue Giller, Robert Perez, Rabobank, Les Rogers, Clyde Shields, and Harry and Jo Ann Weissman.
The Distinguished Volunteer award went to Marcy Bingham, Chuck and Pat Bucher, Tom DuBose, Luis Estrada, Charles “Chuck” R. Fisher, Aide Fulton, Jeff Green, Emma Jones, Carla Kuhns, Kelly Lugenbeel-Barrios, Blake L. Miles, Gregory S. Smith, Dr. Ron Stillman, and Terri Woelke[envira-gallery id=”45128″]