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Friday, November 14th the community gathered at the AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) 27th Annual Cornerstone Awards Presentation to recognize and thank four remarkable honorees.

The Community Foundation’s own Linda Smith was honored as the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser.  Linda led our Foundation through an incredible period of transition, launching our community impact and resident engagement work, as well as a period of development and fundraising that secured more than $20 million in gifts.  The Community Foundation would not be making the strides we are now without Linda’s leadership.  Linda’s leadership isn’t limited to the Community Foundation; she also lends her abilities to the Alliance with the Washoe County Medical Society, Family Promise of Reno/Sparks, and the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.  It was a great day for this Foundation when Linda joined our Board.

I would also like to recognize the other honorees, including “It’s My Community Store, LLC” as Outstanding Corporation, NV Energy Foundation as Outstanding Foundation, and Kurt Mische of KNPB as the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser of the year.  All of us in Northern Nevada are fortunate to have such incredible leadership and professionalism in our philanthropic sector, and it is terrific of AFP to provide this recognition.

Paul Laxalt who passed away earlier this year was given a special tribute at the Cornerstone Luncheon.  Paul was a wonderful spirit and great friend who I miss every day. His loss is a great blow to the community.  Paul was well known in the philanthropic sector for his abilities and larger than life personality.  His accomplishments at Saint Mary’s and Catholic Charities affected and continue to help thousands of people in our community.

Finally, one more recognition was given at the event, and that is the Spirit Awards.  The Community Foundation of Western Nevada named Beth Schuler, whose board leadership and personal commitment to the Foundation’s new work on community initiatives and our increased marketing efforts deserves special recognition.  Beth goes over and beyond what is expected of board members, reflecting her personal passion for philanthropy and youth.

Tune in next week for the announcement of the 100% Giving Board winners. These are the charities in town that are recognized as having 100% of their board members making personal gifts to support their organizations.

We connect people who care with causes that matter.

Chris Askin, President & CEO

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