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Association of Fundraising Professionals: Southern Arizona Chapter

2015 Honorees

Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year: The Alan & Jan Levin Family
The Levin’s are a model family of intergenerational donors and volunteers.  Alan has served on the board of The University of Arizona Cancer Center, while Jan is a member of the Arizona 4-H Hall of Fame. Alan and Jan are both members of the YMCA’s Capital Campaign Advisory Board.   The couple and their family volunteer their time, money and resources to help support many charities, including El Rio Community Health Center, Child and Family Resources, Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, Tucson Medical Center Foundation, Pima County 4-H, YMCA, Tucson Girls Chorus, Echoing Hope Ranch, Parent Aid and the Arizona Cancer Center.  Alan Levin was raised with the values of working hard, being grateful for what you have been given and helping your neighbors along the way.  Alan believes “There are so many people out there who can succeed if they just have someone to give them a helping hand. And if they succeed, then that’s just a benefit to us all.” The Levin’s leadership and vision for our community coupled with their extraordinary financial support of myriad charitable causes has improved the quality of life in our community for Tucsonans, particularly children.

Outstanding Corporate or Foundation Philanthropist: Marshall Foundation
The Marshall Foundation was the first private foundation in Arizona and has supported local nonprofit organizations since 1930. Louise Foucar Marshall was the first woman professor at the University of Arizona and a successful entrepreneur who dedicated herself to the work of her Foundation.
With an annual distribution of over $1-million to local nonprofits and scholarship programs, the Marshall Foundation has distinguished itself as a true leader in charitable giving in the community.   From capital investments to program support, the Foundation positively impacts a wide array of organizations that improve the quality of life for many in Southern Arizona. The Marshall Foundation supports San Miguel High School, Tucson Festival of Books, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, YWCA of Southern Arizona, Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, Pima Council on Aging, Literacy Connects, Gabriel’s Angels, Youth on Their Own, Community Food Bank, Tucson Unified School District, Marshall Home for Men, Salvation Army, Arizona Theatre Company, and many more local organizations serving our community. This organization has been an important part of the fabric of Tucson for 85 years and a vital partner in the work of organizations throughout the region.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Jill Rich
Jill Rich has touched thousands upon thousands of lives through her commitment to volunteering and fundraising, having been volunteering and raising funds for causes and social services in Tucson for more than 50 years. Jill has, for decades, been a strong advocate for the homeless, the hungry, and all those who need a helping hand.  While the list of Jill’s accomplishments on behalf of our community is exceedingly long – her devotion to the Lost Boys of Sudan is illustrative of the way she is “all in” when it comes to helping those most in need.  Jill is the Social Action Chair for the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, the Board Chair of the local Federal emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and serves on the board or committees of Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN), Long Cares Foundation, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Temple Emanu-El and more.  Jill is the founder and president of the Sudanese Promise Fund, Board President of the Academy of Math and Science, and has served as a board member for the Hearth Foundation and the Winter Shelter Program.  Her volunteer and fundraising activities also include the American Red Cross, Primavera Foundation, Tucson Planning Council for the Homeless, Arizona’s Children Association, and Catholic Social Services.  She is the president of the Mitzvah Corporation, a nonprofit for those with emergent needs to provide immediate assistance. In addition to her personal philanthropy, Jill involves and inspires others to give and to join her in raising funds for our community.

Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Edna Meza Aguirre
The trait that sets extraordinary fundraising professionals apart is a deep belief in the vision and mission of the organization they represent.  Edna brings this commitment to Planned Parenthood every day.  Throughout her career, she has demonstrated professionalism, enthusiasm and passion, while still giving back to the fundraising profession and the community.  She serves on the City of Tucson’s Charter Review Commission and the Borderlands Theater Board, and has brought her enthusiastic leadership to the boards of Caregiver Consortium, Child and Family Resources, Chicanos Por La Causa Foundation and the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation. Edna’s leadership can be felt not just in Southern Arizona, but throughout the State of Arizona, as a proud advocate for women’s rights and elder care.  Edna serves on the Board of AFP as this year’s Diversity Chair and has been instrumental in obtaining the Chapter’s “Friends of Diversity” designation from AFP International.  Edna was selected in 2014 as a Fellow in the National Op-Ed Project, and is a dedicated role model, teacher and mentor.  For 16 years, she has volunteered with Banner University Medical Center, offering comfort to premature newborns.  Edna exudes gratitude and a zest for life that is made better through charitable gifts.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy: San Miguel High School’s Club Pag-asa
For nine years, Club Pag-asa has supported the Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center, which is a transformational facility for the rehabilitation of convicted male youth offenders in the Philippines.  In the 2012/13 school year, Club Pag-asa expanded their support to include other organizations: St. Lasalle Hr. Secondary School in Tuticorin, India, which provides a high school education for poor and lower caste students; Lasallian Lwanga District of Africa, Child Discovery Centre, in Nakuru, Kenya, which provides shelter and meals for street children who would not otherwise have a home, meals or adults to send them to school; the Kino Border Initiative, a program run by the Jesuit order to provide meals; as well as a women’s shelter for migrants recently deported to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.  This support hosted by Club Pag-asa not only provides essential funding to these organizations, but also unites the San Miguel community.  Each student is made aware of the plight of others and is inspired to make a difference.  Through these activities, the members of Club Pag-asa have stood with some of the most marginalized people in our world and have assisted them in their moment of greatest need.  They truly put love into action, in a way that crosses borders and cultures.