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FORT WAYNE, IN— The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Northeast Indiana Chapter recently hosted the Annual National Philanthropy Day® celebration event to recognize those individuals and organizations in the local community whose generous gifts of time, expertise, and resources have made Northeast Indiana a better place.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Northeast Indiana Chapter takes great pride in announcing the northeast Indiana 2013 Outstanding Philanthropist Award Winners.

Four awards for Outstanding Philanthropy were presented, including:

· Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (K-12th grade) – Megan Gearhart
Megan has always been an outstanding volunteer for the Relay For Life in Allen County, but when cancer struck her life very personally this year with her father’s cancer diagnosis, she really took advantage of the opportunity to help do something great and give back. Megan took initiative and rallied for others for a Relay For Life activity at her school, generating interest in the cause and spreading the word about the American Cancer Society’s Mission, services and programs. In addition to giving other students the ability to fight back by joining her team, she managed to personally raise over $4,500 to help aid the fight against cancer. To put this into perspective, most individuals raise $100. Megan set a vision for herself and exceeded that vision by staying determined, positive and resourceful.

· Outstanding Philanthropist – Ben and Sharon Eisbart
Ben and Sharon Eisbart are true philanthropists and leaders in our community. They both give generously of their time, talents, and treasure to numerous organizations in the community. Ben and Sharon have supported the Civic Theatre actively over the last three decades. Between the two of them, the Eisbarts have served on virtually every Civic Theatre Committee, hosted numerous events in their home, and continue to be strong supporters of the Arts in our community. In addition to their support of the Civic Theatre, it would be difficult to find a community organization that Ben and Sharon have not supported. Ben has worked for more than three decades in elected and appointed capacities in local, County and State Government, as well as serving in leadership roles in numerous not-for-profit organizations. Sharon, too, has served on numerous Boards sharing her experience and financially supporting each cause. Sharon was one of the Founders of Francine’s Friends and continues to serve on the Francine’s Friends Board.

· Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist – Jophiel – Julie Eckert Clancy
Julie Eckert Clancy is the President of Jophiel, a fine women’s clothier in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for 19 years. More importantly, Julie is a member of the Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) Board of Directors, making a significant impact on ECA and our community since joining in 2011. With Julie’s passion for enriching people’s live and her belief that education starts at birth, Julie has used her talents to help promote Early Childhood Alliance and its programs.

· Outstanding Nonprofit Leader – Dawn Gallaway
Dawn has been a board member at Community Action of Northeast Indiana (CANI )for five years. She has had profound impact on the Board and CANI over that time. In her work as the Resource Development Chairperson, she has led the efforts that have increased Board participation in fundraising exponentially, and our annual giving revenue has increased nearly double over that time period. She was the critical factor in helping CANI develop our Hopewell Pointe Project. This $5.4 million project is a subdivision of 35 new homes for lower-income families in Waynedale. Residents are living the dream of home ownership because of Dawn’s tireless work on this project.

National Philanthropy Day is set aside to recognize individuals who donate their resources for the enrichment of the community and the world in which we live. Whether they give locally, nationally or internationally, the bottom line is that philanthropic giving enables nonprofit organization to assist others. They live out the National Philanthropy Day belief that you can Change the World with a Giving Heart.
Thank you to all who nominated an Outstanding Philanthropist. Learn more about National Philanthropy Day and AFP at

Awards: AFP Outstanding Philanthropist awards await their respective recipients.
Outstanding Philanthropists 2013: Pictured Barb Richards, MC; Jennifer Renner, CANI Development Supervisor and AFP President; Ben and Sharon Eisbart, honorees; Phillip Colglazier, Executive Director of Fort Wayne Civic Theatre
Outstanding Young Philanthropist 2013: Pictured Jennifer Renner, CANI Development Supervisor and AFP President; American Cancer Society Representative; Megan Gearhart, honoree; Kevin Gearhart, honoree’s father.
Crowd: Jennifer Renner, AFP President addresses the crowd during the National Philanthropy Day Celebration.