PRESS RELEASE: Celebration of Philanthropy Draws Large Crowd in Columbus

(Columbus, Ohio) – Nearly 650 of Columbus’ most philanthropic-minded individuals gathered at the 2017 Association of Fundraising Professionals Central Ohio Chapter’s National Philanthropy Day luncheon celebration on November 21, 2017.

The annual event, celebrating it’s 25th anniversary year in Central Ohio, honors those who have significantly impacted our community through their volunteer and philanthropic efforts. The National Philanthropy Day luncheon was emceed by NBC4 anchor, Matt Barnes, and AFP Central Ohio Board President, Carolyn Caldwell of Raising Awareness, Raising Funds, and is reflective of the generous philanthropic spirit that characterizes Central Ohio.
The 25th annual award honorees recognized are:

  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser- The Reverend Monsignor Joseph M. Hendricks
  • Outstanding Small Corporation – Compton Construction
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraising Group – Buckeyethon
  • Leave a Legacy Award (Presented by the Charitable Gift Planners of Central Ohio) – J.W. “Bill” Straker
  • Big Lots Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award – Meagan Warren, Books for Bedtime
  • Outstanding Foundation – The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation
  • Outstanding Professional Fundraiser – Marilyn Frank
  • Outstanding Large Corporation – Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
  • The Columbus Foundation Outstanding Philanthropist Award – Al and Barbara Siemer

Mr. Barnes and Ms. Caldwell recognized the generous sponsors who invested in the event, supporting the celebration and Association of Fundraising Professionals Central Ohio Chapter: Big Lots Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, L Brands, Benefactor Group, Cardinal Health, CompDrug, Cramer & Associates, Creative Living, Nationwide, Ohio Health Foundation, The Ohio State University Office of Student Life, BuckeyeThon, PNC and United Way of Central Ohio. Over 20 additional tables were sponsored, as well. Immediately following the event, guests enjoyed a dessert reception, and received complimentary copies of the Columbus Business First Giving Guide and Sophisticated Giving guide. Other in-kind donors to the event are Live Technologies, Oberer’s Flowers, Grange Insurance, and 90.5 WCBE.
This event is an incredible reminder of what Central Ohio stands for, and what happens when mission, vision, and giving come together. It is truly magnificent to see the impact that can be made when people give of their time, talent or treasure. AFP Central Ohio is honored to play a professional role in connecting the values of those giving-oriented people, families and groups to the non-profits that serve our communities so well. Each year, we come away from this event feeling inspired to continue this work, and we truly look forward to celebrating philanthropy with our fellow citizens at this event, each year” said event chair Stephanie Christie.

Photo (L to R):  Colin Quinn, BuckeyeThon; Susan Holdren on behalf of J.W. “Bill” Straker; Kathryn Dobbs, Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation; Meagan Warren, Books for Bedtime; Blake Compton, Compton Construction; Barbara Siemer; Al Siemer; Marilyn Frank; The Reverend Monsignor Joseph M. Hendricks 

Honoree Videos can be viewed at