May 25th, 2024

Awards celebrating philanthropy


By Dale Woodard on November 16, 2021.

Herald photo by Dale Woodard - Mayor Blaine Hyggen, along with Association of Fundraising Professionals southern Alberta chapter president Joyanne Mitchell and awards committee chair Ben Kwan, raise the Inspiring Philanthropy Awards flag Monday morning at city hall.

In a time of some much-needed positivity, the 2021 Inspiring Philanthropy Awards brings a sliver of light.
It also highlighted individuals and companies alike as the 2021 Inspiring Philanthropy Awards were announced via a flag raising Monday morning a Lethbridge City Hall.
“We’ve been hosting the Inspiring Philanthropy Awards in Lethbridge for about seven years now and obviously it’s to celebrate philanthropy,” said Ben Kwan, chair of the 2021 Inspiring Philanthropy Awards organizing committee. “I find it so important, especially these days, to celebrate so many of the positive things that are going on in our community. We’ve had a pretty rough couple of years with everything going on and sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the social media world. We just wanted to bring a little bit of positivity back and try to shine a light on the good things that are happening.”
Celebrating its seventh year, the Inspiring Philanthropy Awards offer a chance to celebrate people in the community who make a positive difference in the lives of others as the Southern Alberta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals revealed the six honourees being acknowledged in 2021.
This year’s award winners are FWBA Architects in the Corporate category nominated by the University of Lethbridge, Lealta Building Supplies in the Small Business category, nominated by Lethbridge College, Chad Chief Moon in the Indigenous Philanthropist category, nominated by Crowsnest Pass Ravens Lacrosse, Sherry Davis in the Individual & Family category, nominated by the University of Lethbridge, The Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the Philanthropic Group category, nominated by Lethbridge College and Chris Rowley in the Southern Alberta Hero category, nominated by United Way of Lethbridge & South Western Alberta.
The actual awards were presented to the honourees before Monday’s ceremony via a virtual format due to COVID-19 protocol, as they were in 2020 as well.
In honour of National Philanthropy Day, City Hall was lit in blue and gold Monday evening.
Kwan said people give back in different ways.
“Financial gifts obviously make a major impact in different causes, but so does time. Time matters and we appreciate the time and talent of people that make a difference in our not-for-profit organizations or even just around town.”
Kwan said Lethbridge had previously been named as one of the most philanthropic cities in Canada.
“I said we were top-seven, but when you look at that statistic, four of the communities are pretty small communities,” he said. “So in terms of cities, we’re top-three. I think that matters, it means a lot. We’ve been at that level for quite a few years now. It’s easy to see some of the negative things, but there are a lot of positives going on in Lethbridge as well.”
Kwan said it was a challenge to select this year’s honourees.
“There are just so many amazing people in our community, especially those who were nominated this year as well. I think it might be a positive thing in the future to share what some of these other nominees are doing for our community, because they’re just as impactful. The ones that won this year resonated well with our panel, but they’re all deserving.”
Each day, a video will be released on the AFP’s Facebook page detailing each honouree’s philanthropic contributions to the community. They can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/AFPSouthernAlbertaChapter

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