Celebrating generosity during 2019 National Philanthropy Day

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Those who give can benefit as much as those who receive was the main takeaway from honorees at the recent National Philanthropy Day celebration, presented by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Tampa Bay Chapter.

Philanthropists, volunteers, fundraisers and representatives from non-profit organizations throughout the Tampa Bay area gathered at the Tampa Airport Marriott on Nov. 15 to honor those who give their time, talent and treasure.

Three of the seven 2019 National Philanthropy Day honorees – Anne Eason, Jordan Peloubet and Richard Gonzmart – have ties to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.

Gayle Sierens Volunteer of the Year honoree Anne Eason

From Anne Eason’s perspective as a psychologist, there is a direct relationship between helping others and feeling positive personally.

In 2012, Anne and a fellow parent at Robinson High School in Tampa developed a plan for a college and career center focusing on lower-income students and run entirely by volunteers. For the past seven years, Anne has recruited, trained, and managed a team of 20 volunteers who raise awareness about the range of options available to students and help them reach their goals.

Today, Robinson is a top school in the Hillsborough County School District for completion of college applications, boasting a FAFSA completion rate of 59.1% compared to Hillsborough’s overall rate of 47.3%. And Anne’s model is serving as a prototype for other schools in the Tampa Bay area.

Youth in Philanthropy honoree Jordan Peloubet

High school sophomore Jordan Peloubet has raised more than $115,000 for kids in the African village where he once lived. The funds will build a soccer field for the children of Arusha in Tanzania.

“Your age doesn’t matter, any way you can make someone’s life better is meaningful,” said the 17-year-old when he received the honor.

Jordan believes the project will have a tremendous impact on the lives of the children of his village. This field will provide a safe alternative to streets and garbage dumps for kids to continue their passion for the game and bring joy to other kids.

Philanthropist of the Year Richard Gonzmart

Richard Gonzmart, fourth-generation owner and operator of the Columbia Restaurant Group, became emotional when speaking to the crowd. He recounted how, as a young boy, he learned a childhood friend was dying of Leukemia. This early experience has helped drive him to support Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation.

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay presented a $10,000 check to Gonzmart as part of National Philanthropy Day, and he donated those funds to Moffitt Cancer Center. In addition to being a generous donor, he serves on Moffitt’s Board of Directors and regularly raises money for the organization through his 5K race, Richard’s Run for Life.

As an alumnus of the Academy of Holy Names and Jesuit High School, Richard has invested his success at each school through multiple change-making gifts. He is also a strong supporter of Meals on Wheels of Tampa and the Tampa Bay History Center. 

Congratulations to all the Honorees:

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay is thankful for the hard work of the National Philanthropy Day honorees, and for all philanthropists.

Anne Eason, Ph.D., Gayle Sierens Volunteer of the Year
Nominated by LEAP Tampa Bay College Access Network

Jordan Peloubet, Youth in Philanthropy
Nominated by Stonehill Innovation

Sandra Diamond, Spirit of Philanthropy
Nominated by Pinellas Community Foundation

Copperhead Charities, Philanthropic Service Organization of the Year
Nominated by Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties

Quantum Peak Consulting, Philanthropic Small Business of the Year
Nominated by University of South Florida Foundation

Jabil, Philanthropic Corporation of the Year
Nominated by American Heart Association of Tampa Bay and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation

Richard Gonzmart, Philanthropist of the Year
Nominated by Academy of the Holy Names, Jesuit High School, Meals on Wheels, Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation, and Tampa Bay History Center

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay was honored to be the presenting sponsor for the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Tampa Bay 30th Annual National Philanthropy Day Celebration. The event was today, Friday, November 15th at 8:30 AM at the Tampa Airport Marriott Hotel.

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