2020 Community Champions

Association of Fundraising Professionals – Hampton Roads Chapter (AFP-HR)
Celebrates National Philanthropy Day 2020

 

 

During a time when everything closed down, our community stepped up. These Community Champions make a difference every day and continued to do so during the global pandemic. To celebrate National Philanthropy Day 2020, AFP-HR members honor and celebrate these one-of-a-kind heroes who have displayed compassion, kindness and the “Power of Philanthropy” in Hampton Roads!

Mark your calendars now for National Philanthropy Day 2021 on Monday, November 8, 2021!

1 - Anchor Scholarship Foundation

When the world shut down because of COVID-19, Anchor Scholarship Foundation persevered and continued to support the educational dreams of U.S. Surface Navy families. In June 2020, wanting to make a larger impact in alleviating college debt for its scholars, ASF increased its annual scholarship amount by 25% and distributed over $106,000 in funding for tuition-related expenses incurred by Surface Navy spouses and children. Thank you to all Anchor Scholarship Foundation corporate and individual donors. Because of you, how to pay for college is one less worry for our military families. www.anchorscholarship.com

 

2 - Stan Baldwin

Stan Baldwin joined the Chesapeake Bay Academy board in 2006 after hearing about the school through a colleague at Amerigroup where he served as general counsel. Stan was touched by the mission of the school and the children it serves. By 2014, Stan became Chairman of the Board.  Over his 6-year tenure Stan co-chaired a capital campaign, helped secure a grant from the prestigious EE Ford Foundation, supported legislation to expand tax credits for schools educating children with learning disabilities and raised $1M annually. Stan Baldwin created a lasting legacy at CBA. Thanks, Stan, for all you’ve done for our Chesapeake Bay Academy community. 

 

3 - Bank of America

A longtime supporter of EVMS, Bank of America did not hesitate to respond immediately as we entered the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial institution generously committed one of the first major gifts to EVMS’ COVID-19 Fund. Their unwavering support has enabled EVMS to respond to the unanticipated costs of the pandemic - supporting our vital and selfless healthcare workers. We were able to procure additional supplies for our clinics, provide telemedicine to our patients and meet the educational needs of our students as they shifted to a virtual learning environment. EVMS cannot thank Bank of America enough!

 

4 - McLemore Birdsong, Jr.

Mac Birdsong is a charter member of the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.  An ardent supporter of the Center, he, along with his family and business, Birdsong Peanuts, made the largest gift to the 2002 capital campaign that renovated our building into the Suffolk Center. Mac joined the Suffolk Center board in 2013 and served as Vice Chair and Chair.  During his tenure he was instrumental in securing a $150,000 gift, the largest gift since the initial capital campaign. He created and secured pledges for the Center’s Working Reserve fund improving the Center’s sustainability for the future. 

 

5 - COVID-19 Sewing Task Force for Hampton Roads

C.J. Robinson, a nurse turned stay-at-home mom, knew she had to do something for her former co-workers to ensure they had necessary protective equipment when COVID-19 hit. A single Facebook post asking for volunteers for homemade masks grew into the COVID-19 Sewing Taskforce for Hampton Roads. Women and men of all ages sewed furiously for seven weeks. More than 1,400 dedicated volunteers made 40,487 masks that were distributed to 76 groups including area hospitals, senior living communities, physician offices, home health agencies and to us at EVMS. Thank you to C.J, the COVID-19 Sewing Task Force and all of the volunteers who provided masks to our community healthcare workers!

 

6 - Dollar Tree | Family Dollar, USAA, Virginia Natural Gas

Through a combination of corporate gifts and individual donors, United Way of South Hampton Roads raised over $2.5 million for the Coronavirus Recovery Fund to provide direct financial assistance to our hardest hit neighbors and support to nonprofits on the frontlines. We want to express a special thank you to the top corporate contributors to this effort for their unwavering support of our mission and their commitment to our community during this crisis. Thank you to Dollar Tree | Family Dollar ($250,000), USAA ($100,000) and Virginia Natural Gas ($85,000) for being our Community Champions!

 

7 - EVMS Students

EVMS medical and health professional students have been resilient, flexible and incredibly responsive to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, stepping up in a myriad of ways. The student-led HOPES (Health Outreach Partnership of EVMS Students) Free Clinic provides telehealth appointments to its hundreds of uninsured patients. The Street Health team sets up computers at a church downtown for homeless patients to utilize for telehealth appointments. Care packages with hand sanitizer, soap and dental supplies were also created and supplied to this vulnerable population. Even more students created face shields and sewed masks – for healthcare providers, patients and community members alike.

 

8 - Kim Fink

As an unwavering volunteer and philanthropist, Kim’s dedication to lifting families out of homelessness is nothing short of awe-inspiring. For over a decade, Kim has volunteered more than 3,000 hours as the ForKids Board Chairman, a Beyond the Bell Tutor, Art Auction opening act director and enthusiastic creator and producer of Story Slam. In its 9th year, Story Slam has raised over $250,000 for ForKids and captivated sellout audiences. Kim’s passion to transform her community is infectious. She inspires both children and adults to see possibilities that didn’t exist before and works tirelessly to make these possibilities become reality.

 

9 - Andrew “Andy” Hodge

Virginia MOCA is pleased to recognize Andrew “Andy” Hodge, Regional President, Coastal Virginia of Atlantic Union Bank as a Community Champion. Andy has served on the MOCA Board of Trustees since 2014 and as Board Chair from 2017-2019. Andy’s leadership and commitment to MOCA has been key to strengthening the museum’s strategic vision and mission, particularly when the pandemic hit Hampton Roads. When the museum’s doors temporarily closed in March, Andy stepped up as an advocate to help ensure that the Museum received critical support. We are honored to have Andy on our team and grateful for all his support.

 

10 - Hope House Foundation Direct Support Professionals

Hope House Foundation’s direct support professionals (DSPs) are essential under normal circumstances but in these unprecedented times have proved to be critical and courageous. They show up providing exceptional services to people with disabilities in their own home.  They do this with compassion, kindness and integrity every day.  Our DSPs help individuals supported with the use of technology to help maintain connections with friends and family and to continue to engage with interest groups and participation in the larger world. What shines brightest is their resilience, which is not just about bouncing back but the resistance to give up.

 

11 - Nansemond-Suffolk Academy

At Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, students, faculty, staff and parents have remained “Saints Strong” during the pandemic, learning from one another, communicating and collaborating with each other, celebrating one another and challenging each other to be their very best. Throughout these unprecedented times, teaching and learning have been transformed and events and activities have been reimagined to meet the needs of all students and their families. Kudos to the Saints community for viewing challenges as opportunities and continuing to engage, inspire and empower the next generation of leaders. 

 

12 - Operation Smile

While the global pandemic temporarily paused Operation Smile’s international programs, the organization was still uniquely positioned to respond to the crisis at hand.  Personal protective equipment was distributed by their teams around the world and donated ventilators helped support overwhelmed hospital systems.  Across the US, Student Programs volunteers began “Serving Smiles,” delivering more than 4,300 meals to hospital workers. Here in Hampton Roads, thousands of face masks, gloves and surgical gowns were donated to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital and CHKD.  They have remained agile throughout the crisis and are committed to answering the call of communities in need.

 

13 - Lisa Pennyfeather

Lisa Pennyfeather is truly a Community Champion. Whether she is serving as the Chair for the Community Builders Awards (CBA) with the Hampton Roads Community Action Program (HRCAP) or volunteering at an event, she contributes her time and resources in support of a greater mission for non-profit organizations. Her unselfish and dedicated service to the community has made a significant difference in the lives of others. It is for that reason, Lisa deserves our heartiest congratulations and recognition.


14 - Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia

Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia is the “Community Champion” for seniors ages 60+ in South Hampton Roads and Western Tidewater. In response to the COVID pandemic, SSSEVA pivoted its normal operations to focus on critical services that empower seniors to remain independent and healthy while staying safe at home. Since March 2020, our staff and volunteers have delivered more than 84,000 nutritious meals, hundreds of personal care items, PPE and necessities. We have embraced new technology using telephone and Zoom to virtually bring Care Coordination, Medicare Benefits Counseling, Wellness Classes and programs to offset the dangers of social isolation.

 

15 - Sertoma Club of Norfolk

For many years, the Sertoma Club of Norfolk has been supporting EVMS and other organizations in our community. Their legacy at EVMS remains in The Sertoma Club of Norfolk Temporal Bone Lab, which provides rich educational opportunities for our providers and students. This past year, Sertoma generously supported EVMS’ essential healthcare staff and faculty, providing more than 300 meals in partnership with local restaurants. They continue to show their immense gratitude for frontline healthcare workers and have provided thousands of meals for area hospital personnel, shelters and other community organizations in recent months.

 

16 - Debbie Stitzer-Brame, RN

Before the pandemic, Debbie Stitzer-Brame, RN, Executive Director of Edmarc, was a superhero. Serving Edmarc for over 20 years, Debbie has put her heart into an organization that helps children battling life-threatening illnesses stay in the comfort of their own homes. When March came and many organizations halted operations, Debbie creatively figured out how to safely deliver services and stay connected with families, supporters and volunteers. She nurtured staff through a difficult time and quickly applied for the Payroll Protection Program to ensure jobs were secure. Debbie embodies the power of philanthropy and is a true community champion!

 

17 - United Jewish Federation of Tidewater (UJFT) & Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF)

Faced with the danger of a global pandemic, UJFT and TJF created the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Community. Dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable among us – from 6 weeks to over 100 years old - the COVID-19 Emergency Fund helped Strelitz International Academy and Beth Sholom Village keep our children and our grandparents safe. Funds provided PPE for residents of Beth Sholom Village and desk shields and contactless water fountains for students at Strelitz International Academy. Seniors are our history, and children are our future –the Tidewater Jewish community continues to protect both, through unprecedented times.


18 - Lee Vreeland, Ed.D.

It’s been a challenging year for schools. An Achievable Dream operates four schools in Henrico County, Newport News and Virginia Beach, dedicated to the belief that all children can learn and succeed, and that education can break the cycle of poverty. During COVID-19, President & CEO Lee Vreeland led teachers and staff to go above and beyond to remain connected with students. Teachers worked hard to make sure students and families were equipped with laptops, Wi-Fi, virtual lessons, food, school supplies and hygiene items. 2020 required innovative approaches, but Achievable Dream staff, students and families have persevered.

 

19 - Western Tidewater Free Clinic

During the COVID-19 crisis, Western Tidewater Free Clinic (WTFC) staff and volunteers committed to keeping the Clinic doors open, with the support of our donors. When others stayed home, these frontline healthcare workers stepped up, keeping those they serve out of the emergency rooms. They were true to their mission of providing high-quality, comprehensive healthcare to their at-risk patients and remain steadfast in providing patients a health home at WTFC, following the guiding principle of neighbors helping neighbors. Kudos to this dedicated and talented WTFC team who serve with Helping Hands, offering Health and providing Hope to those who need it most!

 

20 - Randy Williams

Randy Williams is a gem to the Hampton Roads community. He invests time, talent and money into our community. One of his most recent contributions involves becoming a Founding Member and Vice Chairman of Visionaries for Change, a new Hampton Roads Community Foundation philanthropic giving circle that was formed by Black business and civic leaders. Since joining, Randy has recruited other members to the group and assisted with the community foundation’s Black Philanthropy Month Celebration. As the owner of Talley & Twine Watch Company, he mentors teenage boys through several non-profit organizations, including the Young Investors Group of Virginia and Enlightened Minds Mentoring.

 

21 - Friends of or AFP-HR

Serena A. Amerson, CFRE

Kenda Council

Joy Eyrolles, MPA, CFRE

Melissa Hlinovsky

Emily Peck

Nicole Pellegrino, CFRE

Virginia Fundraising Consultants

Amy Weinstein, CFRE

Kate Wilson