PRESCOTT, Ariz. – The Yavapai County Community Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of its 2010 Joy of Giving awards, which honor the exceptional commitments of local individuals and organizations in providing valuable philanthropic services to the residents and nonprofit community of Yavapai County. Nominations for this annual, prestigious award come from throughout the community. Award recipients will be honored with a $1,000 gift made in their name by YCCF to the nonprofit of their choosing.
Robert and Barbara Mariano have been selected as Philanthropists of the Year, Jodi Padgett will receive the Philanthropic Leadership Award, Court Appointed Special Advocate of Yavapai County has been chosen for the Community Benefactor award, and Credit Union West will be recognized as Business Philanthropist of the Year.
This year’s award recipients will be honored by YCCF during its annual Joy of Giving Awards dinner sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. The ceremony will be held on Friday, October 29 at 6:15 p.m. in the Sedona/Verde Ballroom at the Prescott Resort in Prescott. The public is invited to attend and reservations can be made by contacting Tracey McConnell at 928-499-9795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert and Barbara Mariano will be jointly presented with the Philanthropists of the Year award. Among their contributions to the community, Bob and Barbara have been instrumental in bringing a Hospice Home to Prescott. Although it required years of work to bring the right partners and funding together, Bob and Barbara worked tirelessly until their goal was met. Today, Hospice Home is open to anyone in need of near-end-of-life care and assistance. The Marianos’ efforts will benefit countless local families for years to come.
In addition to the Marianos’ work with Hospice, they are selfless volunteers for many other local causes. Bob chaired the record-breaking Capital Campaign for the Yavapai Regional Medical Center and served on the Board of Directors for Yavapai Big Brothers, Big Sisters, chairing the Board Development Committee and assisting with the Capacity Building Campaign. Bob and Barb served on the boards of Prevent Child Abuse and the Sharlot Hall Museum, and they have become a Big Couple to an at-risk boy through YBBBS.
“This couple has worked as a dynamic team to better the lives of all the residents of Yavapai County,” said nominator Yvonne Rogers of YBBBS. “They are the kind of people who make this a great place to call home.”
YCCF will present Jodi Padgett with the Philanthropic Leadership Award for her extensive, multifaceted generosity in support of numerous nonprofits serving the residents of Yavapai County. For years, Padgett has supported the nonprofits she cares about through both her volunteer service and her financial contributions. A breast cancer survivor, Padgett has participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-day, 60-mile walk for breast cancer and is in training for her third walk. She has also held fundraisers at her Skull Valley ranch in support of the cause, at which she donated wine from her Painted Lady Vineyard. She continues to contribute $5 per wine bottle sold to benefit Susan G. Komen.
Padgett has been an ardent supporter of community foundation work for nearly a decade, having served on the Yavapai County Community Foundation Advisory Board. She continues to serve as a member of the Arizona Community Foundation Investment Committee and numerous YCCF grant committees. Padgett is also an annual and planned gift donor to YCCF. Padgett has served on the Board of Directors of the Highlands Center for Natural History since 1999 and has given generously to the HCNH each year.
Yet another local organization to receive Padgett’s continued support is Yavapai County 4H/Expo. Padgett has repeatedly assisted in the annual auctions, and has purchased an animal every year to support the children who raised the animals. (Her ranch is now home to such critters as a pet duck and the family goat, Wayne.) Padgett regularly supports such organizations as the Nature Conservancy, Prescott Chamber of Commerce and Yavapai County Humane Society, and educational institutions including Prescott schools and the Orme Ranch School. As a financial advisor at Taylor & Padgett Wealth and Legacy Strategies, Padgett often gives her time and expertise to community service, be it through her work with seniors or her accounting advice to nonprofits. She also devotes her energy to causes like the Preventative Elder Abuse Council, including a case in which she worked with PEAC after discovering an instance of potential financial abuse by a caregiver.
“Jodi gives quietly and with grace, never wanting to place herself center-stage,” said Fiona Reid of HCNH. “She has always said she is a ‘wannabe philanthropist.’ Perhaps with this award she can finally accept the fact that she long ago graduated to that status!”
The Community Benefactor Award will be granted to CASA of Yavapai County, a 21-year-old nonprofit working to support community-based volunteers who have been certified by the Supreme Court to assist abused, neglected or abandoned children involved in the juvenile court system. Since it’s inception in 1989, 550 trained volunteer CASA volunteers have served a total 1,415 children between the ages of birth and 18 who are wards of the court across Yavapai County. Volunteers are screened and trained to step in and advocate for these children’s educational, medical, psychological, physical and placement needs, as well as help to arrange family visits for the children when appropriate.
“Imagine what it would be like to lose your parents,” said nominator Kristi Edwards, formerly of YCCF. “Now, into your life come dozens of strangers: police, foster parents, social workers, judges, lawyers and more. Having a CASA means having by your side a trained and committed adult who has been appointed by a judge to watch over and advocate for your best interests. It can make the difference between homelessness and a safe home, between dropping out and completing school, between unemployment and success, between jails and becoming a productive member of society.”
Business Philanthropist of the Year will be awarded to Credit Union West, a not-for-profit organization that is known for their adherence to the credit union principal of “people helping people.” In the past 12 months alone, CUW has distributed more than $94,000 throughout Yavapai County. Furthermore, they generously sacrifice their staff time, operating costs, travel costs and supplies to the numerous worthy projects they support financially.
“The best part of working with Credit Union West is that they have truly become partners with us in whichever program they chose to sponsor,” said nominator David Irvine, executive director of HCNH. “Their staff is incredible to work with and they provide excellent advice and council. Their partnership provides much needed financial support, but also technical assistance, marketing expertise and a friendly team of collaborators.”
This year, CUW has been a major sponsor of signature events for nonprofits including Yavapai Big Brothers, Big Sisters, HCNH and the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Northern Arizona. CUW has also always been a dedicated supporter of the military, and has recently supported projects such as Operation Welcome Home to benefit troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Operation Military Kids with the American Legion Auxiliary, the Military Services Monument for Prescott Valley and Valentines for Veterans, among others. Additional local nonprofits to benefit from CUW’s recent support include YCCF, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and Foundation, Heritage Zoological Society, Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley Chambers of Commerce, United Way of Yavapai County, Coalition for Compassion and Justice and many more.
The Yavapai County Community Foundation is a 17-year-old permanent philanthropic endowment for the enduring benefit of the community. It secures, manages and allocates donors’ gifts for charitable purposes in the County while working to improve the quality of life for local residents. To learn more, call 928-499-9795 or visit www.yavapaifoundation.org.