Giving By Example

By Holly Morse-Ellington

Photography by Lanewood Studio

 

 

It is always a pleasure to take a moment and recognize those who make a positive impact on the lives of others. Founded in 1987, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Southeastern Chapter hosts the National Philanthropy Day each year and honors those who reach above and beyond the call of civic duty to strengthen the foundations of our community. This year, the AFP National Philanthropy Day award honorees have not only built healthier, better educated, and more prosperous neighborhoods, they have also served as role models for generations of philanthropists to come. 

To celebrate the spirit of giving, this year’s AFP recipients share what drives them to champion the growth and success of others.

 

Linda Minks Hood, Leadership Fundraiser Honoree

 

Passion Fuels Purpose

Lynda Minks Hood: Leadership Fundraiser

 

When Lynda Minks Hood speaks about her motivation to give, she speaks from experience. Hood has an extensive track record in fundraising for March of Dimes, United Way of Greater Chattanooga, Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga, and American Cancer Society, among others. “You have to have that passion to do fundraising. You gotta have that spark,” says Hood, who is presently chairwoman for Erlanger Health System Foundations.

“I’m honored and consider it a privilege to work on the Foundations board to raise money,” Hood says. “To me, it is a world-class hospital, but we’re going to continue to make it world class and move onward and upward.”

Organizations and events that seek advancements in heart and cancer treatments carry special significance for Hood. In fact, they directly impact what she refers to as her “why” for activism. Her dad suffered a major heart attack and was one of the first to receive groundbreaking procedures that afforded him another 28 years. Hood herself successfully overcame stage 4 breast cancer. Both received care from Erlanger Health System.

“I don’t want this next generation to have to go through what we go through, the chemotherapy and radiation. It breaks my heart to see anyone go through that. I think it would be awesome for my grandchildren to say, ‘What was cancer?’”

Like many volunteers, Hood carves out time for charitable service while multitasking career and personal responsibilities. “Faith and family are first. Then job. And then volunteer work,” says Hood, who is also executive director of the Chattanooga Bar Association. “I just enjoy helping others. Whether it’s early in the morning, lunch meetings, or after work, you find the time to do it.”

When it comes to fundraising, Hood always aspires to surpass the goals set by the organization she’s working with. “Let’s say the organization goal is $100,000. I want to strive to do $200,000,” she says. “Anything over that is gravy.”

Hood credits guidance she’s had along the way for providing a framework to put her passion into action. “I have had many amazing mentors and learned so much from them. I hope that I’ve been able to pay that forward,” Hood says. “I do what I do for the people who came before me and for the next generation.”

 

 

 

Sankofa Fund for Civic Engagement, Corpotate Philanthropist Honorees

Wade Hinton, Karitsa Mosley-Jones, and Carmen Davis

 

Collective Change

Sankofa Fund for Civic Engagement: Corporate Philanthropist

 

Launched in 2015, the Sankofa Fund is a giving circle comprised of 16 active members. A shared philosophy on philanthropy – give your time, your talent, and your treasure – rallies their call to action. “Our mission is to pool our money and resources, and then we fund projects or programs that really support the African American community in Chattanooga,” says James McKissic, president of ArtsBuild and a Sankofa founding member. “We dig deep into the community and fund projects that otherwise might not happen without an infusion of resources.”

Sankofa’s symbol, a bird that looks back as feet point forward, is rooted in West African traditions and imagery. “What it stands for is, as we’re moving forward into the future, we are also always looking back at our ancestors, where we came from, and the things that made us who we are,” McKissic says.

He shares that a hurdle for people in need of support is figuring out where to turn and who to ask. “We give our talent to help people connect to opportunities and broaden people’s social networks,” he says. “Most of us in the group are very successful professionals in a variety of careers, but what we like to do is give back to the types of programs and projects that benefited us while we were growing up as young people in the community.”

At the start of each fiscal year, members contribute an amount of money, that varies person by person, to the fund. “From that pot, as people come to us throughout the year with needs or different concerns within the community, we meet and vote on which projects we’d like to fund or support,” he says. Some of the programs Sankofa has supported include funding for group college tours, summer art and educational camps, mobile classrooms, and band instruments for Brainerd High School.

Sankofa evaluates proposals across four target priorities: Strengthening Families, Community & Economic Development, Entrepreneurial and Art & Culture Activities, and Education & Youth Development. “We have heated and energetic meetings when we’re trying to figure out where to put the money and how to make the most use of it in the community,” McKissic says, “but we always end up as friends in support of whatever we decide.”

As a team, there isn’t one specific program they go after. Instead, they allow for flexibility based on each request. “People will come to us with their project ideas or even with emergency needs, like they need $500 more to be able to do an HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) tour for spring break. We want them to come to us with their needs, and we want to get excited about helping make those a reality.”

Since its 2015 kickoff, Sankofa Fund has awarded over $120,000 to applicants. As members prepare to celebrate Sankofa’s fifth anniversary, they’ve set a goal to raise and allocate $50,000 in 2020 alone. “A lot of times we have a stereotype about philanthropy, and we think that it’s the rich men that look like the Monopoly guy,” McKissic says. “But when you break it down, every person in our city and every person in our community using the time, talent, and treasure model can be a philanthropist.”

 

 

 

Clair Calhoun, Youth in Philanthropy Honoree

 

Building Futures

Claire Calhoun: Youth in Philanthropy

While a student at Girls Preparatory School, Claire Calhoun joined Partnerships in the Community to explore volunteer opportunities. She gravitated toward several organizations, including Habitat for Humanity.

“The motivation behind Habitat’s mission is inspiring,” Calhoun says. “They focus on building a home rather than just a house. They focus on lifting people up.”

Habitat’s annual Women Build connected Calhoun with her teachers and women throughout the community – and instilled lessons beyond the classroom. “I knew these women were tough, but to see them go out and apply that in their actions – like ripping off sideboards – it’s one of the most empowering community events I’ve been to,” she says.

Trish King, history teacher and faculty sponsor of Partnerships in the Community, was instrumental in opening pathways for Calhoun. “Ms. King helped me find that link between everything I’ve been given and everything that I can give back,” Calhoun says. “With everything Ms. King has taught me, I’ve challenged myself to be more involved in things that matter, and in doing so, I’ve found a true love of service.”

In some ways, the student became the teacher. “I saw Claire grow from a quiet participant into a strong leader,” King says. “She’s really interested in learning about the world and its challenges and thinking about ways she can contribute to make it a better place. I feel that I’ve learned from her.”

As she’s discovered her voice for change, Calhoun has learned the importance of understanding the communities she’s serving. “Going forward with my commitment to community work, I definitely want to ensure that I don’t lose sight of the people I’m trying to work with,” she says. “In my pursuit of getting the project finished, it’s always good to step back and ensure that you know the people you’re trying to help. You are doing it for the community, not just to finish a task.”

In addition to Habitat, Calhoun spearheaded
a project to create a native plants garden at Middle Valley Elementary School and formed a school club aimed at environmental conservation.

“I hope I bring more kids my age into community service,” Calhoun says. “If you have the means to help somebody else, if you’re in a good position to do that in your life, then I think you should. It can have a strong impact, and I’m honored to be a figure for that.”

 

 

 

Barbie Standefer, Outstanding Philanthropist Honoree

 

A Breath of Fresh Air

Barbie Standefer: Outstanding Philanthropist

 

With decades of volunteer service under her belt, Barbie Standefer advocates for the performing arts, education, and wellness of our community. “There are just so many wonderful volunteer opportunities in this town, from helping the homeless to helping with varying health issues, whether it be lung, cancer, or heart,” Standefer says. “You just have to walk down the street, and you can see some area in which you can help – and of course it helps if it strikes a chord with you personally, so your heart follows your efforts.”

Of the many organizations for which she devotes her time and efforts, two in particular resonate on a personal level. Standefer, along with two dozen volunteers, co-founded Friends of Special Children in 2002. The group formed to provide services that enhance the lives of children with special needs. “I have had two very dear friends with children who have disabilities, and I’ve seen how their lives have been affected,” she says of forming the organization.

Over the years, the organization has raised more than $1.4 million for Signal Centers School. “Our group is made up of fun-loving but extremely dedicated and hard-working volunteers,” Standefer says. “Our hearts are all in it.”

And their passion results in many highlights. For one, Friends of Special Children funded Chattanooga’s first fully accessible playground. “People have come from all over to see the playground and get ideas for their own,” Standefer says. Friends of Special Children also helped Signal Centers build a recreational facility, named in memory of philanthropist Maxine Block Alper. “Until that building was constructed, whenever there was a rainy day, our Signal Centers kids had no play area,” she says. “Now there is a wonderful rec center where they can get their exercise and whoop and holler. It’s just so delightful to see them over there.”

Standefer is also passionate about improving lung care. “Lung issues have deeply touched my family, from exercise-induced asthma to three members having emphysema, one having cystic fibrosis, and then two having lung cancer,” she explains.

When CHI Memorial began a capital campaign to fund a new lung center, Standefer believed the project was a perfect fit. “It seemed like an ideal way to share our blessings with the community to get the best lung care possible for Chattanooga and the surrounding areas,” she says. Standefer and other community members banded together to help establish The Buz Standefer Lung Center, named in memory of her husband.

In conjunction with the Lung Center, Standefer serves on the board of Friends of Memorial. This year, the efforts of this group will concentrate on raising funds to support the Breathe Easy mobile coach. The mobile coach will provide screening and facilitate early detection for best possible treatment outcomes. “This is the first of its kind in the country,” she says. “Many people in rural areas don’t have access to or have the funds to leave their job and come to town for diagnostic screening, so this will help.”

As more and more households juggle hectic careers and family schedules, finding time to breathe, let alone volunteer, may seem overwhelming. “Lives are so full, and people are always on the go,” Standefer says. “But volunteering is still a valuable need in our community, maybe more so than ever. I hope young people will take the time to get involved in some project and put their heart and efforts behind it. It’s beneficial to the community, but their lives will be enriched as well.”

 

 

 

AFP National Philanthropy Day Past Honorees

1987 – 1st Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Hugh O. Maclellan, Sr.

 

1988 – 2nd Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: H. Clay Evans Johnson

 

1989 – 3rd Annual    

Outstanding Philanthropist: Scott L. Probasco, Jr.  

           

1990 – 4th Annual    

Outstanding Philanthropist: Hugh O. Maclellan, Jr. 

Corporate Philanthropist: Provident Life/Accident Insurance

Leadership Fundraiser: Mai Bell Hurley

1991 – 5th Annual    

Outstanding Philanthropist: Ruth Street                                         

Leadership Fundraiser: James D. Kennedy, Jr.  

                                   

1992 – 6th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: All Contributors to the Aquarium

Corporate Philanthropist: 20 Largest Aquarium Sponsors

 

1993 – 7th Annual    

Outstanding Philanthropist: Ruth S. Holmberg     

Corporate Philanthropist: McKee Foods Corporation                          

Leadership Fundraiser: Joseph F. Decosimo

 

1994 – 8th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Daniel and Joan Frierson

Corporate Philanthropist: American National Bank and Trust Company

Leadership Fundraiser: John P. Guerry                                              

Young Volunteer Fundraiser: Mary Navarre Moore

1995 – 9th Annual    

Corporate Philanthropist: Chattanooga Coca Cola Bottling Co.

Leadership Fundraiser: John F. Germ                                      

Young Volunteer Fundraiser: Dr. John W. McCravey

                       

1996 – 10th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Jo Ann Cline Yates                  

Corporate Philanthropist: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee

Leadership Fundraiser: Mrs. Frank McDonald

Young Volunteer Fundraiser: Joseph H. Davenport III                      

                  

1997 – 11th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Mervin and Helen Pregulman

Corporate Philanthropist: Bi-Lo, Inc.

Leadership Fundraiser: Judy Bellenfant                                              

 

1998 – 12th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Gordon Davenport

Corporate Philanthropist: Newton Chevrolet

Leadership Fundraiser: George Key, Sr. and Tom Edd Wilson

1999 – 13th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Bryan and Kathy Patten & Cartter and Lee Patten    

Corporate Philanthropist: North American Royalties

Leadership Fundraiser: Grady Williams                                             

           

2000 – 14th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Elizabeth Lupton Davenport

Corporate Philanthropist: WRCB-TV Channel 3

Leadership Fundraiser: Jim and Elaine Hill

2001 – 15th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: John T. “Jack” and Alice P. Lupton

Corporate Philanthropist: First Tennessee Bank

Leadership Fundraiser: Phil Whitaker             

2002 – 16th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Linda and Paul Neely

Corporate Philanthropist: Chattem Corporation

Leadership Fundraiser: Patsy Hazelwood                                            

           

2003 – 17th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Joseph F. Decosimo

Corporate Philanthropist: AmSouth Bank

Leadership Fundraiser: Mayor Bob Corker                                           

                                                                  

2004 – 18th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: The Caldwell Family

Corporate Philanthropist: Favorite Markets        

Leadership Fundraiser: Paul Brock                                          

 

2005 – 19th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: The Chazen Family

Corporate Philanthropist: Junior League of Chattanooga

Leadership Fundraiser: Sue Anne Wells

           

2006 – 20th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Brenda Lawson                       

Corporate Philanthropist: WTVC News Channel 9

Leadership Fundraiser: Alison Lebovitz

Youth in Philanthropy: Jordan Thomas

2007 – 21st Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: The J. H. Davenport, Jr. Family

Corporate Philanthropist: Cornerstone Community Bank

Leadership Fundraiser: Helen Pregulman

2008 – 22nd Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Fletcher Bright

Corporate Philanthropist: Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough PLLC

Leadership Fundraiser: Sam Smartt, Jr.

           

2009 – 23rd Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Francis and Gordon Smith      

Corporate Philanthropist: PlayCore

Leadership Fundraiser: Ward Petty

           

2010 – 24th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Dr. Joseph A. and Professor Mary Jackson

Corporate Philanthropist (large): UNUM

Corporate Philanthropist (small): Carrabba’s Italian Grill           

Leadership Fundraiser: Bill Wilder

 

2011 – 25th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: George R. Johnson Family Foundation

Corporate Philanthropist: McDonald’s Chattanooga Co-Op and Brewer Media Group

Leadership Fundraiser: Dr. Fred and Ruth Obear         

 

2012 – 26th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: The Mark and Christine Waldrop Family

Corporate Philanthropist: Starkey Printing Company

Leadership Fundraiser: Dr. Clif and Ruzha Cleaveland

2013 – 27th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Dr. and Mrs. Jim Osborn         

Corporate Philanthropist: Chattanooga Times Free Press

Leadership Fundraiser: Zan Guerry and Dr. Bill Stacy

Youth in Philanthropy: Anna Carroll                           

Nonprofit Professional: Peter Cooper  

2014 – 28th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Franklin Farrow          

Corporate Philanthropist: Hutton Companies

Volunteer Fundraiser: Keith Sanford

Youth in Philanthropy: Ralston Hartness and Thomas West  (ReGenerate)

 

2015 – 29th Annual

Outstanding Philanthropist: Warren Barnett

Corporate Philanthropist: Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel

Volunteer Fundraiser: Charles Lebovitz

Youth in Philanthropy: Miss Morgan McCall and Miss Harper Caswell

 

2016 – 30th Annual            

Outstanding Philanthropist: The Clarence E. Harris Foundation

Corporate Philanthropist: Publix Super Markets Charities

Leadership Fundraiser: Charles L. Arant

Youth in Philanthropy: Jack Showronnek

 

2017 – 31st Annual  

Outstanding Philanthropist: Weldon F. Osborne Foundation, Inc.

Corporate Philanthropist: Adman Electric

Leadership Fundraiser: Dr. Dane and Sheila Boyington

Youth in Philanthropy: Kaitlyn McAfee

2018 – 32nd Annual  

Outstanding Philanthropists: Ted and Kelly Alling

Corporate Philanthropist: M&M Industries

Leadership Fundraiser: Will Clegg

Youth in Philanthropy: Philip Mathews CS

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