By Tim Kalinowski on November 18, 2020.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Alberta Chapter named its 2020 honourees for this year’s National Philanthropy Day Inspiring Philanthropy awards with a special event at city hall on Tuesday.
The honourees include: Enel Power for Indigenous outreach; University of Lethbridge graduate Terry Whitehead for the individual or family philanthropy; Lethbridge COVID-19 support for the philanthropic group award; Shawn Hass of Hass Wealth RBC Dominion Securities for small business philanthropy; the Lethbridge College LEO group for youth philanthropy; and well-known local everything, Knud Petersen, as southern philanthropy hero of the year.
While unable to host the usual award banquet this year due to COVID-19, Shonna Lamb, president of the AFP Southern Alberta Chapter, hoped many citizens of Lethbridge would celebrate these individuals and groups who contribute so much to the community with their acts of charity and kindness.
“There is no banquet this year,” she said, “so we have decided to pivot and make a try at the online campaign. It has been exciting and interesting to look at different ways to share the stories from this (Inspiring Philanthropy) event that is not traditional to us.”
The AFP has commissioned special video features of this year’s honourees to be viewed on their website.
“Starting today (Tuesday) and going to Nov. 23 one honouree will be unveiled, and there will be three four-minute videos that will be shared,” Lamb explained.
Lamb said a common factor which emerged when the committee took stock of each of the honourees was an “unsung hero” profile, and a way of giving which expected no return from those who received their support.
“Often what happens when we sit around the table and look at the honourees, or the folks who have been nominated, often there is a lot of work that is being done that we don’t actually see,” she said. “It’s not really public; it’s not really visible. So one of the common themes is that by sharing these stories we hear about this work that is being quietly done. It’s exciting and inspiring to bring those stories to the surface.”
AFP southern philanthropy hero of the year, Knud Petersen, certainly fits Lamb’s profile. Petersen is involved in many organizations and volunteer capacities in the City of Lethbridge. For Petersen, honoured as he is to receive the award, philanthropy simply goes part and parcel with his way of being in the world.
“I was always the guy that stuck around at the end of the dance to put away the chairs, and all these kinds of things,” Petersen admitted. “It drove my family and my kids crazy.
“I don’t really think about it so much,” he added, “but now that I have been retired for 25 years, and I have had lots of time to be involved in the community level. I am fortunate to have been able to contribute to some causes which are dear to my heart, and it’s basically living out my dream, I would say, is being involved.”
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