2013 National Philanthropy Day: the Association of Fundraising Professionals pays tribute to respected philanthropists

MONTREAL, Nov. 15, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - On this National Philanthropy Day, the Quebec Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP-Québec) will honour those individuals and businesses in Quebec that play a significant role in making our world a better place through their volunteering efforts and contributions to community organizations. Taking place at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the event will be the largest gathering of philanthropists and fundraising professionals in Quebec.

On this occasion, a glowing tribute will be paid to the memory of the Honourable Paul G. Desmarais, who passed away earlier this fall, for his contribution as a great and exemplary Quebec philanthropist. His daughter, Sophie Desmarais, will be in attendance to accept the honours and say a few words. Additionally, Hilary M. Pearson, President of Philanthropic Foundations Canada, will be guest speaker.

"National Philanthropy Day aims to shine a light on the vital commitment of donors and volunteers to our local charitable organizations and foundations. Let us not forget that these organizations depend on the support of the community to achieve their missions, which are essential to the development of our society. In addition to recognizing the winners of the 2013 Award for Excellence in Philanthropy, the event allows us to bring together and honour all those who give back to the community," said Denis Lalonde, Director of Development and Operations at the Canadian Cancer Society and President of AFP-Quebec.

The winners of the 2013 Award for Excellence in Philanthropy were selected by a jury chaired by Charles Sirois, Chairman of Telesystem, Chair of the Board of CIBC, and Founder and Chairman of Enablis. The following prizes will be presented:

Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year: Mr. Lorne Trottier
Mr. Trottier is undoubtedly a great philanthropist. He has donated nearly $40 million to his alma mater, McGill University, thus enabling the creation of the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design, among other initiatives. Some of the numerous other beneficiaries of Mr. Trottier's support are the Ecomuseum Zoo, the Royal Victoria Hospital, and Polytechnique Montréal.

Outstanding Volunteer of the Year: Mrs. Sheila Kussner
Mrs. Kussner is an outstanding motivator who has mobilized hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donors, raising millions of dollars for the development of psychosocial oncology in Quebec. Mrs. Kussner founded the Hope & Cope organization, which is affiliated with the Jewish General Hospital. Notably, she is an Officer of the Order of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Quebec.

Outstanding Career in Philanthropy: Mrs. Nahid Aboumansour
Mrs. Aboumansour is Executive Director of Petites-Mains, an organization that she co-founded in 1994 to help immigrant women integrate into society. Thanks to Mrs. Aboumansour's compassion and energy, in 18 years, over a thousand women have been able to learn a trade and emerge from isolation. Mrs. Aboumansour is the recipient of many accolades, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year in Philanthropy (less than 250 employees): Egzakt
Egzakt, a communications company based in Trois-Rivières, is proof that any small company can have a large impact. This enterprise has been supporting the Mauricie Regional Office of the Canadian Cancer Society for the past 16 years. By offering its services, actively raising funds and donating more than $20,000, Egzakt has had an impact on the fight against cancer and is a vital contributor to philanthropic life in the Mauricie region

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year in Philanthropy (250+ employees): National Bank
Proudly supporting many local and National causes, National Bank is known particularly for its involvement with youth. It has donated more than $1 million to various projects across the country through its One for Youth program. The Bank also contributes to its own initiatives such as Défi sans bruit.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (under 18 years of age): Ariane Thomas
Only 11 years old, Ariane is already a dynamic and inspiring philanthropist! Touched by her friend Nicolas— an ambassador for Opération Enfant Soleil who suffers from an arteriovenous malformation—and aware that she is lucky to be healthy, Ariane makes and sells jewelry to help sick children. Ariane has given over $60,000 to Opération Enfant Soleil since the start of her involvement with the organization, donating $16,026 in 2013 alone.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (18 to 25 years): Daniel Khoury
Actively involved with the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation since the age of 15, Daniel has led many fundraising initiatives. Now 22, he manages La Récolte Rose, which comprises over 50 young volunteers, whom he motivates to discover their own talents and inspires through his enthusiasm for the cause.

Jury Special Mention Award: Défi-Jeunesse 1km des écoles privées pour Sainte-Justine
The jury was deeply moved by Défi-jeunesse 1 km des écoles privées pour Sainte-Justine (1 km private school youth challenge for Sainte-Justine), an activity involving over 51,000 young people grateful to be healthy enough to run on behalf of those who cannot. Overseen by ambassadors and patients treated at the hospital, and organized in more than 50 schools, this activity has raised over $2.5 million for CHU Sainte-Justine.

About AFP
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is the largest association of professional fundraisers in the world. In the province of Quebec, AFP has over 220 members, the majority of whom hold decision-making positions in charitable organizations. The AFP represents the largest movement to be actively promoting to the general public charitable giving and an understanding of the social impact of fundraising, while also fostering professional development and evolution in fundraising through awareness-building, research, education and certification programs. Finally, AFP establishes strict ethical standards in fundraising, to which all its members must adhere.

SOURCE ASSOCIATION OF FUNDRAISING PROFESSIONALS

For further information:

Julie-Anne Houdayer, Manager, AFP-Québec
514 918-6572 / afpquebec@gmail.com