Overcoming adversity is in the blood of every native and adopted New Orleanian. Whether we are facing yet another hurricane or cleaning up oil in the Gulf, New Orleans has seen and done it all. With our resilient spirit and ability to crack a joke at the worst and best times, New Orleans culture is founded on the idea that we are all a family, and taking care of our family is as natural to our community as red beans and rice on a Monday.

The New Orleans Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honors our most generous family members each year at the National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon. This year’s selected honorees represent the vast diversity throughout the Greater New Orleans area. Cox Communications is awarded with Outstanding Leadership in Corporate Philanthropy, Carol B. Wise is honored with the Outstanding Philanthropists award; Baptist Community Ministries is recognized with the Outstanding Foundation award, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is selected for the Board of Directors award, Mary Ann Valentino is awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, and Beverly Lamb is honored as the Outstanding Fund Raising Professional. 

This year’s honorees will be celebrated at the 50th Anniversary National Philanthropy Day luncheon and champagne reception on November 11, 2010 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) sponsors National Philanthropy Day events around the globe to honor and recognize members within the community for their generous donations of time and money. Dedicated to professional development and fostering relationships between financial sponsors and nonprofit organizations, AFP has over 30,000 members in 213 chapters throughout the world.

“New Orleans is filled with people and organizations committed to the growth of our community,” says Aimee Freeman, co-chair of the event for Association of Fundraising Professionals. “We are thrilled to honor our philanthropic leaders today.”

For more than 28 years, Cox New Orleans has been committed making the community a better place through active participation in the community. Cox invests more than $100 million annually in in-kind and direct cash contributions, with a community outreach focus on youth and education initiatives.

Since 1988, Carol B. Wise has selflessly devoted her time and financial resources to support women’s and children’s issues, Jewish causes and organizations, and the community at large. Through the Carol B. Wise Family Supporting Foundation, formed in 1989, Wise has become an advocate for giving and an ambassador for philanthropic education.

Baptist Community Ministries (BCM) has been a powerful force for positive change in the Greater New Orleans region. Having long served the region’s healthcare needs as a hospital, the BCM Foundation, formed in 1995, now serves the community through strategic and innovative foundation activities. Specifically, BCM focuses on issues related to health, education, public safety, and governmental oversight. 

Mary Ann Valentino is a prominent woman in the New Orleans philanthropic community. She has served educational, arts, spiritual and social welfare causes over the years. Valentino currently serves on the Board of Ambassadors of Our Lady of Holy Cross College and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Services degree by the college.  She has also served on the boards of the New Orleans Opera Association, the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Sophie Gumbel Guild, WLAE-TV, the Catholic Cultural Heritage Center of St. Louis Cathedral, the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic and the Cenacle Retreat House.

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) is a non-profit organization consisting of a 14-member board of directors representing Basin parishes and regulatory agencies. Established in response to environmental concerns voiced throughout the Basin, the LPBF depends on philanthropy and government grants. As the public’s independent voice, the LPBF is dedicated to restoring and preserving the Lake Pontchartrain Basin’s coast, water quality, and habitats. Through coordination of restoration activities, education, advocacy, monitoring of the regulatory process, and citizen action, LPBF works in partnership with all segments of the community to reclaim the Basin for this and future generations.

Since 1995, Beverly Lamb has served as Director of Development at the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. Lamb manages major gifts, grants, capital campaign efforts, membership, the Julia Jump, the Holiday Home Your, Annual Giving, sales, memorials and tributes, the furniture licensing program, as well as marketing and public relations. Her dedication to nonprofits is found not only in her career but also through her own volunteer work.

For fifty years, the AFP has been recognizing and rewarding generosity within our community. New Orleans is blessed with not only a resilient spirit, but also a strong desire to support our family members. AFP’s annual celebration of National Philanthropic Day recognizes more than the honorees; it highlights the community and the family that they serve.