July 12, 2012

Saginaw Community Foundation honors philanthropists, volunteers

Our philanthropists and volunteers work hard to build our community. The Saginaw Community Foundation honors its outstanding philanthropists and volunteers each year at the Annual Celebration in June.


Joe Madison was honored with the Frank N. Andersen Spirit of Philanthropy Award, which was established in 1994 in honor of the great philanthropist.


“The purpose of the award was to honor an individual who has a history of outstanding philanthropic leadership and has demonstrated an extraordinary personal commitment to improving the quality of life for Saginaw County citizens,” said Reneé Johnston, president and CEO of the Saginaw Community Foundation. “We also wanted to encourage and recognize philanthropy in Saginaw County.”


Madison served on the SCF Executive Committee, Nominating Committee, the Building Search Committee and the Asset Development/Marketing Committee. He also was the FORCE Coordinator and was instrumental in coordinating 10 Make A Difference Day youth and volunteer service activities.


“Joe joined the foundation’s board in 2000,” Johnston said. “With everything he was involved with over the past 12 years, we probably should have hired him as a member of the SCF staff.”


Madison serves on the Bridge Center for Racial Harmony committee, Saginaw Township Community School’s Foundation board and the fundraising committee for the Saginaw Promise.


Past recipients of this award include Frank N. Andersen, Richard Wolohan, Wally Bronner, Lloyd Yeo, Ted Braun, the Shaheen family, Marty Stark, Sue Pumford, Paul Chaffee, Culli Damuth and Gen. David Hall.


Nicholas Gorney, a recent graduate from Swan Valley High School, was awarded the SCF Youth Award.


“Four years ago, we thought it would be appropriate to identify and recognize youth in our community for their tremendous efforts to make a difference,” Johnston said. “The SCF Youth Award criteria is based on qualities of outstanding philanthropic spirit, cooperation with others, and generosity of time and talent.”


Gorney, nominated by Kay Wejrowski at Swan Valley High School, is known for volunteering his time to improve his school and help other students.


Rob Baker from Frankenmuth High School was recognized with the Dr. Mridha Teacher of the Year award. The award, offered through the Mridha Foundation Teacher of the Year Endowment Fund held at the foundation, grants $750 to the Saginaw Intermediate School District to support the recipient’s educational and professional development.


“If teachers are stimulated, it makes our students even better,” Debasish Mridha said. “I want to honor teachers who go beyond their duty to inspire and instill wisdom and vision so students can go back into the community and do good.”