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  • Diverse group of Kansas Citians announced as the 2017 Philanthropy Awards Honorees

    January 26, 2017
    Kansas City, MO – Nonprofit Connect is thrilled to announce the 2017 Philanthropy Awards Honorees.  Dr. William A. and Mary Reed will be honored as the Philanthropists of the Year, The Miller Group as the Business Philanthropist of the Year, Frank Byrne as the Nonprofit Professional of the Year and Linda and Terry Ward as the Volunteers of the Year.
    Nonprofit Connect will also honor Brian Stewart and Jessica Best as the Emerging Philanthropists of the Year, Sarah Reape as the Emerging Nonprofit Professional of the Year, Jake Jacobson as the Emerging Volunteer of the Year, Artists Helping the Homeless and Saint Luke’s Hospital for the Excellence in Collaboration Award, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City for the Excellence in Impact Award.
    2017 Philanthropy Award Honorees
    Dr. William A. and Mary Reed                                                                                  
    Philanthropists of the Year

    The Miller Group                                                                                                            
    Business Philanthropist of the Year

    Frank Byrne                                                                                                                       
    Nonprofit Professional of the Year

    Linda and Terry Ward                                                                                                   
    Volunteers of the Year

    Jessica Best and Brian Stewart                                                                  
    Emerging Philanthropists of the Year

    Sarah Reape                                                                                                                      
    Emerging Nonprofit Professional of the Year

    Jake Jacobson                                                                                                                  
    Emerging Volunteer of the Year

    Artists Helping the Homeless and Saint Luke’s Hospital                                              
    Excellence in Collaboration Award

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City                                                  
    Excellence in Impact Award
    The Philanthropy Award recipients are a diverse group of Kansas Citians who have impacted the community through giving of their time, talent and funds, according to Executive Director Luann Feehan. Nonprofit Connect honors those who embody the spirit of giving in Kansas City by awarding the Philanthropy Awards annually. To date, the organization has honored over 185 established leaders and businesses in the Kansas City area for their contributions to the community. Nonprofit Connect will honor the award winners for their philanthropic contributions to the Kansas City community at the 33rd Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon.
    With more than 1,000 members of the nonprofit and for-profit community attending every year, the Philanthropy Awards Luncheon is Kansas City’s oldest and largest celebration of giving. The funds raised at the Awards Luncheon allow Nonprofit Connect to continue to offer education, resources and networking so that area nonprofit organizations can more effectively achieve their missions.
    The Awards Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, May 10 at 11:00 a.m. at the Muehlebach Tower at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. The 33rd Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon Chairs are Casey Simmons and S. Sloane Simmons.
    The Philanthropy Awards Luncheon is open to the public. For more information about the Awards Luncheon, including tickets and sponsorships, please visit www.npconnect.org.
    Nonprofit Connect is a membership organization and is the first source for nonprofit professionals, volunteers, students, funders and businesses seeking opportunities to network, learn and grow. Nonprofit Connect links the nonprofit community to education, resources and networking so organizations can more effectively achieve their missions.

    2017 Philanthropy Awards Honorees
    Dr. William A. and Mary Reed, Philanthropists of the Year
    Born into poverty, Dr. William A. Reed went on to establish himself as a passionate champion for cardiovascular health and hunger alleviation. Dr. and Mrs. Reed have given millions to the University of Kansas Hospital, including a substantial gift to jump-start the heart transplant program. And through the Reed Family Foundation, the couple generously supports Harvesters- The Community Food Network.
    The Miller Group, Business Philanthropist of the Year
    The Miller Group was founded on a solid set of values and commitment to the community. The insurance broker has committed to giving at least 10 percent of annual profits back to the community, and in 2016 they gave 20 percent. And with the support of the agency, employees volunteer and serve on nonprofit boards including Cornerstones of Care, Hope Faith Ministries and Homes from the Heart.
    Frank Byrne, Nonprofit Professional of the Year
    Frank Byrne’s tenure as Executive Director at the Kansas City Symphony has been marked by strong audience growth, increased fiscal sustainability and the Symphony’s move to perform in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. He has nearly doubled the operational budget from $8 million to $15.6 million, implemented dozens of new community programs and created an environment where artistic excellence truly flourishes.  A musician himself, Byrne’s passion makes it possible to transform hearts, minds and communities through the power of symphonic music.
    Linda and Terry Ward, Volunteers of the Year
    Linda and Terry Ward truly put the community first, as evidenced by their full resume of dedicated board and volunteer service. Whether through Terry’s devotion to change on the North Kansas City School Board, Linda’s impact at the Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri, or the couple’s support of Metro Lutheran Ministry, the couple has made a difference for countless education, arts, social services and civic organizations throughout the years.
    Jessica Best and Brian Stewart, Emerging Philanthropists of the Year
    Jessica and Brian provide vision, determination and philanthropic spirit to many nonprofits throughout Kansas City. Together the couple has supported and raised funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and more, and recently created and co-chaired the inaugural fundraising event for a college and career savings program through United Way of Greater Kansas City. Notably, Jessica and Brian share their philanthropy with others and often invite friends to join their efforts to give back.
    Sarah Reape, Emerging Nonprofit Professional of the Year
    In 2015, Sarah Reape was selected to lead the launch of The Literacy Lab’s programming in Kansas City. Under her leadership, the organization has experience significant growth, served over 500 children in 2015-2016 school year and exceeding the goal by 25%. Sarah’s combination of relational and technical skills, as well as her commitment to improve the lives of others through service, puts her on the path to become a great nonprofit leader for Kansas City.
    Jake Jacobson, Emerging Volunteer of the Year
    Jake Jacobson is a tremendous volunteer and advocate for so many nonprofits in Kansas City. He enthusiastically supports the Ronald McDonald House Charities and National MS Society Mid-America Chapter among others, and he famously emcees for many races and events including WIN for KC. Best of all, Jake truly leverages his social media network and expertise, uniquely spreading awareness and engaging others to rally around so many causes.
    Artists Helping the Homeless and Saint Luke’s Hospital, Excellence in Collaboration Award
    Artists Helping the Homeless has been called “the safety net for the safety net.” By bringing together highly diverse organizations focused on helping individuals get off the streets, AHH, Saint Luke’s Hospital and many others are addressing gaps and improving the collective impact of Kansas City homeless services. AHH assisted over 1,843 individuals in 2015 by providing transportation, creating transitional living facilities, and focusing on an innovative approach tailored to the individual.
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City, Excellence in Impact Award
    Nationally the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization is the largest youth mentoring nonprofit, but our Kansas City BBBS organization truly goes above and beyond in our community. In recent years the organization has strategically grown staff, budget and the number of children served, earning BBBS Agency of the Year three out of the last four years. Their solid operations and innovative marketing and fundraising helped the organization break records in 2016, as 100% of participating high school seniors graduated.
    Jackie Baker, Director of Marketing
    (816) 888-5605