There are many not-for-profit orgnanizations in this community who support the less fortunate, the arts, education and other worthy endeavors which make Ithaca and Tompkins County a very special place to live. Each year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, NY Finger Lakes Chapter presents four awards honoring the people and organizations that make philanthropy work in our community. This years award winners are:
Professor Arthur Kuckes was presented with the Philanthropist of the Year award for his major gifts to the Tompkins Cortland Community College Foundation that funds over 60 student scholarships at TC3 annually.
John Potter, the owner of Seneca Beverage Corporation in Elmira received the Corporate Philanthropist of the Year award for his company’s work with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and guidance to Glover house, the Boy Scouts and other organizations.
Brigid Hubberman received the Outstanding Professional Achievement in non-profit leadership award for her un-tiring work in creating and nurturing the Family Reading Partnership.
Lastly, Larry Baum, CEO of The Computing Center received the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year award for his work with the TC3 Foundation, Cayuga Medical Center Foundation, Finger Lakes Wine Center, and other local not-for-profit organizations.
Some of Larry's Remarks
Thank you to the local Association of Fund Raising Professionals for this wonderful award. And special thanks to Bruce Ryan and all the staff of the TC3 Foundation for nominating me. Their work and dedication to the College and Foundation makes the job as Board chair straight forward and has allowed the board to focus on fundraising and friend-raising strategies to move the foundation’s scholarship programs forward.
And thank you to all the not-for-profit professionals who I’ve had the opportunity of working with over the years, many of whom are with us today. I’ve learned that those of you who chose to work for not-for-profits, particularly the smaller ones are just as dedicated and just as driven as any entrepreneur in the private sector. It’s a real pleasure to work with you all.
Over the years, our staff at The Computing Center and I have had the honor of volunteering with quite a few local not for profit organizations. And every single one of them needs to raise money in one way or another. We also know that the “staff” can’t do the development work by themselves. That’s where all of us “volunteers” come in. We’re the feet on the street, finding and making friends, coming up with and organizing events, acquiring the goods and services for this auction or that, and sometimes making the asks. And, oh yes, we’re often involved with leadership gifts in one way or another.
We’ve also learned that being creative about fundraising can make the job easier. It seems that Ithaca and Tompkins County has fully embraced the fun of fund-raising events which seem to be never-ending. Events like:
- “Wimen Swimmen” and a Day of Caring
- Cayuga Medical Center Foundation and other local Gala events
- An Evening To Remember, Cayuga at Twilight
- All the various walkathons, bikeathons, and runathons.
- Auctions, golf tournaments, and “dog and catathons”!
- All the fundraising events that the United Way coordinates each year are just amazing!
- And an event close to us The Computing Center was our 30th Anniversary - $30K Technology Makeover Contest a couple of years ago that provided a full technology makeover to The Learning Web. In addition to receiving the makeover, the Learning Web also recruited a new board member, my business partner and President of The Computing Center, Mary Stazi.
Yes, we’re pretty good at event driven philanthropy and all those activities which creates opportunities for volunteers. It’s been really wonderful to be a part of a community that cares, gives back, and is creative in its support of Not For Profit organizations of every stripe.