Valley businesses, community members honored for giving back

This year's banquet was held at Mr. Anthony's in Boardman in honor of National Philanthropy Day

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – People and organizations who dedicate themselves to giving back were honored Friday by the local chapter of The Association of Fundraising Professionals.

This year’s banquet, in honor of National Philanthropy Day, was the 26th year the event has been held in the Valley.

Catherine Cala, director of alumni engagement at Youngstown State University and event co-chair, said a wide variety of businesses were represented.

“Different types of nonprofits were represented, so we’re really proud of all the work they do and the fact that our community members care enough to recognize them,” she said.

Receiving awards were:

  • Outstanding Civic Organization – Youngstown CityScape
  • Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist – Wal-Mart of Mahoning and Shenango Valleys
  • Legacy Award – Irwin Thomases
  • Outstanding Philanthropist – Herb and Gisele Washington
  • Outstanding Small Business Philanthropist – Mr. Bob Komara, Komara Jewelers
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser – Dorothy J. Pollock
  • Outstanding Young Philanthropist – Kate Jenkins and Sarah O’Malley

The Association of Fundraising Professionals represents more than 30,000 members in over 230 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. Locally, the Mahoning/Shenango Chapter consists of 60 members who are active fundraising professionals for numerous nonprofit organizations, schools and hospitals.

Along with Kate Jenkins, a junior at Canfield High School, Sarah O’Malley also received the Outstanding Young Philanthropist award. O’Malley is a graduate of Greenville High School and Westminster College.

Jenkins discussed what she did to receive the award.

“I sold some of my art and cards and we raised about $2,000 that way, and we got donations from the Junior Leagues of Women and from many other places,” Jenkins said.

Her main goal was to form an art club for Canfield High School. The club is still going on and Jenkins hopes it continues after she graduates.

“We have meetings. We just had a meeting yesterday. We’re currently doing a project, we’re painting aprons. You can paint Starry Night on an apron or a Monet painting on an apron,” Jenkins said.

O’Malley is the one responsible for the Kindness Kampaign at Greenville High School, she was a co-founder when she attended the high school.

“There was probably a group of eight or 10 students. We started it together after one of our friends passed away and we just thought that our community could use a little more kindness. That’s been our mission ever since and it’s been going on since 2008,” O’Malley said.

She is happy that the Kindess Kampaign still continues at her high school.

“My father, John O’Malley, has been a huge proponent of it and he’s really kept it going when all his kids have grown, and everyone who originally founded it grew up and graduated,” she said.