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Profiles of 2010 philanthropy winners released

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By Jay Lettow
The ARC of Story County

(Nov. 11, 2010) The Story County Alliance for Philanthropy is pleased to announce the 2010 Story County Philanthropy award winners.  The 2010 awards will be presented at the sixth annual Story County Philanthropy Day luncheon on Thursday, November, 18 in Ames at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center at 11:30 a.m. For more information visit

Outstanding Family Philanthropist: Marvin & Janice Walter
Nominated by Jim Frevert and ISU Foundation

Marvin and Janice Walter have a long history of philanthropy in Story County. Organizations such as St. Thomas Aquinas Church, United Way of Story County, ChildServe, Iowa 4-H Foundation and Story County 4-H Foundation, One-Heart Equestrian Therapy, and Youth and Shelter Services have benefited from their generosity. Iowa State University also benefits from the generosity of Marvin and Janice. They are members of Iowa State’s Order of the Knoll, National Cyclone Club and recently made a lead gift to the ISU Foundation for the Agricultural Pavilion.   

Marvin and Janice not only give of their treasure, but also of their time. They provide leadership to the organizations they support. They have prepared and led fundraising campaigns for ChildServe, Octagon Center for the Arts and Story County Ducks Unlimited. It was the diligent efforts of Marvin and Janice that helped secure funding for the USADA-NADL/NADC facility. Their efforts also helped to bring ChildServe into our community. They have also been very involved in the community, serving on boards and in leadership positions for countless organizations. The talents and treasures of Marvin and Janice Walter will continue to touch the lives of many in our community for years to come. 

Outstanding Individual Volunteer Fundraiser: Neala Benson
Nominated by Youth & Shelter Services, Inc.

Neala Benson has been actively involved in many major volunteer fundraising initiatives since she landed in Ames in 1962. She has served on fundraising committees for many organizations in the community including:  Heartwood House, YSS Jacobson Youth & Family Center and Family Life Center and several projects of the Ames Foundation including both the Bandshell and the downtown beautification project. Neala helped spearhead events for Mary Greeley Medical Center as chair of the annual benefit as well as the Fantasy of Trees and also raised the funds for the medical center therapy pool. She was also involved both the Step Up and Dive In campaign for the new Donald and Ruth Furman Aquatic Center, as well as the construction of the house and endowment for the Israel Family Hospice House.
    Neala serves in many leadership roles in the organizations that she helps raise money for.  She has served as President of Ames Kiwanis Club, Ames International Orchestra Festival Association and Festival Guild, Mary Greeley Medical Center Foundation and Auxiliary, and the Ames Foundation. She has been a board member of the Octagon Center for the Arts, Northcrest Retirement Community, Ames Community Arts Council and Ames city-wide PTA. She has served on committees for countless organizations in the community.

Outstanding Group Volunteer Fundraiser: Mary Greeley Medical Center Auxiliary 
Nominated by Mary Greeley Medical Center

Mary Greeley Medical Center Auxiliary was established in 1954, beginning a long legacy of support for the mission of Mary Greeley Medical Center. The Auxiliary utilizes multiple funding resources to raise funds to support the medical center and its programs. Fundraising activities over the years have included the Fantasy of Trees and Lights, Hope Run for Hospice, the annual benefit event, membership drives and one of the largest sources of funds is the Gift Shop located at the medical center. With gifts totaling more than $1.4 million, the Auxiliary is the largest cumulative donor to Mary Greeley Medical Center.
    Funds raised have supported many areas of the medical center including major projects for the Israel Family Hospice House, Cancer Resource Center and the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center. The Auxiliary supports the Big Brother Big Sister program, as well as various patient and guest-centered programs throughout the hospital such as their current project to update the medical center’s Guest House.  They also support future healthcare workers through their scholarship program which awards scholarships to local high school seniors pursuing degrees in the healthcare field. Over the years, the Auxiliary has awarded 174 scholarships totaling more than $165,000.

Outstanding Business Philanthropist: Greater Iowa Credit Union 
Nominated by Volunteer Center of Story County & United Way of Story County

Through its Corporate Giving and Educational Partnership Committee, Greater Iowa Credit Union has structured a philanthropic program that is far-reaching and generous. Many of the organizations that have benefited from their support include United Way of Story County, Volunteer Center for Story County, Bethesda Food Pantry, Iowa State Center, Ames High School Athletics, Octagon Center for the Arts, and the Ames-ISU YWCA. Greater Iowa Credit Union recently gave a gift to the ISU Foundation to establish a lectureship at the College of Business. Greater Iowa Credit Union also encourages their employees to be actively involved in volunteering in the community.
    Financial literacy is a key philanthropic endeavor for Greater Iowa Credit Union. In 2009, they launched the ProjectMoney financial literacy fair for students who developed projects to promote financial literacy. In 2008, Greater Iowa Credit Union and Iowa State University co-sponsored a financial literacy forum presented by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. Along with the Ames-ISU YWCA, Greater Iowa Credit Union developed the Financial Empowerment for Women project which has presented two programs: GIRLS Power and Engaging International Spouses.

Outstanding Youth Philanthropists: Story County Youth Philanthropists
Nominated by Story County Community Foundation

Story County Youth Philanthropists (SCYP) consists of 13 Ames High School students who take on leadership roles to benefit the community. They are supported by the Volunteer Center of Story County and the Story County Community Foundation. SCYP has a grant program they administer and this year they awarded nine grants to local agencies in need. In addition to giving the community grants, SCYP held fundraising events and applied for grants to help sustain the program. They gave presentations at various club meetings at the high school to spread the word about their organization and generate interest in the group. They also spoke to some local civic groups about their activities, as well as contacting local media who wrote articles about the group and their efforts.
    Philanthropy is a new term to many incoming SCYP members. As a member, students have the opportunity to learn what philanthropy is through first hand experience and how they can contribute to their local community. They have guest speakers to learn more about the community, and they perform a community needs assessment. They are gaining the knowledge and skills to become lifelong philanthropists.

Spirit of Philanthropy: JoAnn Mosley

Nominated by LaVon Moore

JoAnn Mosley gives her time, talent and treasure in her daily living to support our community.  JoAnn created a community center out of her home that serves the local African American community as well as people of any racial background with low or no income. Through her outreach, she has a food pantry, free lodging – including giving up her own bed, daily meals, access to her washer and dryer, computer, clothing, bedding, house wares, furniture, baby items and phone. Over the years, she has given away all of her living room furniture to others an estimated ten or fifteen times.

JoAnn not only gives financially to people in need, she also provides coaching to help those who come to her door to become more self-sufficient.  She coaches young single mothers on how they can be successful parents and workers. She talks with young women about how to get work, set boundaries and the importance of having their own money. She offers her advice and an open environment to those in need.

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