Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year: Gulshan and Neelam Sethi
Gulshan and Neelam Sethi have served Southern Arizona community initiatives and are recognized for their compassionate leadership that inspires others to give. Neelam was honored as a Remarkable Mom in 2014 by Tu Nidito and is dedicated to children’s futures. Neelam serves Children’s Museum Tucson, the Fox Theatre, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, and Angel Charity for Children. Neelam is passionate about connecting her Indian culture with the Tucson community and was the force behind the Family Arts and Music Experience (FAME) program at the Children’s Museum and bringing Bollywood to the Fox Theatre. Gulshan is a cardiothoracic surgeon at Tucson Medical Center. Gulshan is also passionate about children, the arts, health and wellness and has even been known to don full clown regalia at the Children’s Museum to hand out balloons! The Sethis have been involved with many other successful events and fundraising endeavors and most importantly, dedicate not just resources, but their time, energy, kindness, and passion to the causes they support.
Outstanding Corporate or Foundation Philanthropist: Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. and Wallace Research Foundation
Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, Inc.
Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, Inc. exemplify excellence in corporate philanthropy. Freeport McMoRan engages in philanthropy at the community and employee level, elevating nonprofit organizations in the communities in which they conduct business. Freeport McMoRan dives deep into local initiatives and convenes Community Partnership Panels with key stakeholders to discuss areas of greatest need and to identify funding target areas. The company has served the Sahuarita and Green Valley communities donating more than 1.7 million dollars through its Community and Social Investment Funds that support innovative programs that impact health, education and the environment. Their investments have enabled a fall prevention and medical advocacy program and brought the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to the Sahuarita Unified School District providing college readiness programming as well as recognition awards for teachers and students. The NMSI is notable as Freeport McMoRan provided $500,000 toward the total cost of the program leveraging community support to successfully raise more than $300,000. As an employer, Freeport McMoRan inspires philanthropy in its employees by supporting United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and providing matching funds to its employees’ donations up to $40,000 per year. Freeport McMoRan motivates volunteerism by supporting its employees’ time in the community and providing donations to employee-selected charities.
Wallace Research Foundation
The Wallace Research Foundation, led by Linda Wallace Gray and her brother Henry Wallace, provides sustained and dedicated funds to the local community and organizations globally. The Wallace Research Foundation has supported The Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Arizona Land and Water Trust, Habitat for Humanity, and Tohono Chul to name just a few. Their support of animal welfare, wildlife, nature conservancy as well as mental health and youth leadership, is especially appreciated as the Foundation allows nonprofit organizations to utilize funds to support areas of greatest need, including less attractive but necessary operational projects. The Wallace Foundation also invests in capacity building and innovative programs, shining examples of thoughtful and forward-thinking philanthropy. The Wallace Research Foundation achieves global impact with gifts that impact poverty in Ecuador, wildlife rescue in Cambodia, and research of early Mexican culture. The Wallace Research Foundation works quietly and without fanfare to support its recipients and fund programs that complement the work of others in the community, leverage gifts from additional funders, create work that is locally and globally significant, and connect with the public in meaningful ways.
Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Lynne Wood Dusenberry
Lynne Wood Dusenberry has lived in and served the Tucson community for more than 30 years. Lynne serves in multiple volunteer leadership positions within United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Arizona Theater Company, Angel Charity for Children, Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, and Pima Council on Aging. Lynne is known for her dedication and the inspiration she creates in others to invest their time and funds to worthy causes. Her leadership and mentorship has ensured the success of countless programs, events, campaigns, and organizations. Lynne’s giving reaches a breadth of causes from the arts to literacy to financial stability and independence. Lynne is a previous recipient of the Spirit of Philanthropy award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Arizona Chapter, YWCA Women on the Move Award, Ann-Eve Johnson Award from the Junior League of Tucson, and the University of Arizona bestowed Billy Joe Varney Award for Excellence. Lynne, a retired attorney of more than 33 years, is truly a community volunteer, advocate and fundraiser extraordinaire.
Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Dana Dawson
Dana Dawson is owner of Development PLUS, a Nonprofit Fundraising and Campaign Management Consulting Company, has been designated as a Certified Non-Profit Consultant (CNC), and since 1985 has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). In his more than 25 year career, Dana has raised more than $100 million dollars for a diverse variety of agencies large and small in Canada and the United States, including Safari Club, the Alzheimer’s Society, and Women’s Place for Abused Women. Dana is recognized for his leadership within the organizations with which he works as well as in the community. He transforms organizations with his strategic guidance and inspires organizations to become more confident and engage more proactively and effectively. Dana is also greatly recognized for his ethics, compassion, generosity, and professionalism, at times donating his time and funds to organizations he serves. Dana has assisted in myriad capacities throughout his career, including most recent local service as Regional Chief Development Officer of the American Red Cross and Vice President of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Dana is also a licensed, emergency foster parent and has welcomed nearly 100 children needing emergency care into his home.
Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy: Girl Scout Junior Troop 486
The efforts of Girl Scout Junior Troop 486 impacted more than a dozen causes in the 2013-2014 school year, including Ronald McDonald House Charities, Casa Maria Soup Kitchen, and Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA). Their service included selling cookies and using the proceeds to benefit local charities, collecting food, donating books to their school library, creating gift baskets, and making and serving meals. Their work with HSSA helped the girls to earn the Bronze Award, the first level in earning the highest leadership award that the Girl Scouts offers. To earn this award the 11 members of troop 486 explored and identified issues in the community, developed a plan to address the need, and took action to be young leaders in our community. In cooperation with HSSA the girls toured the shelter, made posters about the needs of pets in our community, handed out HSSA materials at their cookie booths to gather donations, and led fundraising at a local restaurant ultimately donating food, toys, bedding, and funds to HSSA.