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AFP honors businesses, nonprofits in annual awards

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The Ozarks Region Chapter for The Association of Fundraising Professionals held its annual awards celebration yesterday via Facebook Live. 

CoxHealth Foundation and its staff was this year’s big winner, taking home three awards. In total, 10 awards were presented to businesses, nonprofits and individuals, which were selected by an independent panel of judges, according to a news release.  

Two new awards were presented in 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • Nonprofit with the Best Response to COVID-19 (tie): Discovery Center and CoxHealth Foundation 
  • Business with the Best Philanthropic Response to COVID-19: Prime Inc. for its support of CoxHealth 

“When we saw the concept for the COVID-19 unit, we were all just overwhelmed,” said Darrel Hopkins, Prime controller, at the event. “We saw it as an opportunity to inspire hope in the community.” 

Prime Inc. in April donated $700,000 to cover construction costs of the health system’s COVID-19 unit, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. 

Other awards given: 

  • Fundraising Campaign/Event of the Year: CoxHealth Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Campaign 
  • Fundraising Professional of the Year: CoxHealth Foundation President Lisa Alexander 
  • Philanthropic Business of the Year: Volt Credit Union 
  • Philanthropist of the Year: SRC Holdings Corp. President Jack Stack 
  • Philanthropic Foundation of the Year (tie): Darr Family Foundation and Harmony House 
  • Philanthropic Media Organization of the Year: KY3 
  • Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year: Gil & Mary Kay Hostler for Mr. Nick’s Inclusive Playground 
  • Youth Philanthropist of the Year: Memphis Sherman  

Volt Credit Union was nominated for its support of the Child Advocacy Center.  

“It is part of our mission here at Volt that we do this type of work because it’s really in our heart, it’s in our core, it’s in our culture,” said President/CEO Loretta Roney, at the event. “We’re here to serve this community.” 

CoxHealth Foundation’s Alexander said the health system acquired 100,000 face masks and face shields, 12,000 homemade masks and raised $1.2 million in three weeks to build the COVID-19 unit. 

“Thanks to so many donors and supporters, we have a COVID-19 unit and we have the resources that we need to continue this fight,” she said at the event. “We have purchased more (personal protective equipment) in eight months than we would have in six years, and it takes funding to do that.” 

Stack was honored for his work with Habitat for Humanity’s Tool Belts and Bow Ties fundraiser, which exceeded its fundraising goal this year despite having to cancel the event due to COVID-19 precautions.  

“When we have opportunities and are blessed with opportunities, we therefore want to pass those opportunities onto everyone else and that ultimately makes a great community,” Stack said at the event. 

The Hostlers were nominated by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools for leading the effort to raise $500,000 to build an inclusive playground at McBride Elementary School to honor their late son, Nick, who was a special education teacher. 

“The inspiration behind this whole project came from Nick and how he inspired so many people to want to be better and to do better,” Gil Hostler said at the event. “This project is all about what his dream was: inclusion.” 

The honorees were selected by an independent panel of judges: 

  • Courtney Hayes of The Junior League of Springfield Inc. 
  • Stephen Herzog of the Springfield News-Leader  
  • Megan Johnson of 417 Magazine 
  • Louise Knauer of Community Foundation of the Ozarks 
  • Paige Oxendine of Efactory  
  • Carrie Richardson of Leadership Springfield  
  • Karen Ross of Springfield Business Journal  

AFP President Abby Glenn said the organization has presented the awards since 1989. 

In addition to the AFP awards, Community Foundation of the Ozarks presented its 31st annual Humanitarian of the Year to CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards during the event. And Ozarks Health Advocate Foundation presented its 12th annual Child Advocate Award to Angie Siceluff of Good Samaritan Boys Ranch. 

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