September 14, 2009

The Cameron Foundation recognizes four outstanding local nonprofits with $90,000

For the third consecutive year, The Cameron Foundation has selected four local nonprofits to be recognized for their outstanding community service and organizational management. The awards will be officially presented to The American Red Cross – Southside Area Chapter; Crater Community Hospice; Pathways-VA, Inc.; and Virginia’s Gateway Region at The Cameron Foundation’s Annual Grant Awards Ceremony on October 27, 2009.

The awards are the result of two annual recognition programs for nonprofit organizations within the Foundation’s service area of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and the counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, Sussex, and the portion of Chesterfield County lying south of Rt. 10.

For the Cleveland A. Wright Award for Outstanding Community Service, members of the community were encouraged to nominate an organization that they felt had demonstrated a commitment to caring and generosity of spirit, as well as openness and accessibility. This award was named in honor of The Cameron Foundation’s first president (and current board member) for his exemplary and untiring commitment to the Foundation’s mission. By the June 18 nomination deadline, 14 nominations had been received, representing a total of nine organizations. Eight of the nine candidates were eligible for consideration. The organizations were then contacted and invited to submit an application by July 9. Led by Foundation director James L. Thacker, Jr., a panel of seven community representatives reviewed the applications and voted to honor The American Red Cross – Southside Area Chapter with an unrestricted $40,000 gift.

For the Excellence in Organizational Management Award, nonprofit organizational staff or board members were encouraged to apply on behalf of their organization. The application process was similar to an internal audit or self assessment, and organizations were encouraged to use it as an opportunity to measure themselves against national best practices in organizational management. It was anticipated that this program would see a smaller pool of candidates due to the rigorous nature of the process, and the number of applications received by the July 9 deadline totaled four.

Along with committee chairman and Foundation director Dr. Gurpal S. Bhuller, six additional community members from The Cameron Foundation’s service area reviewed the applications and voted to honor Crater Community Hospice with the first place unrestricted gift of $30,000 for demonstrating excellence in overall organizational management. This recipient was honored with the Cleveland A. Wright Award for Outstanding Community Service in 2007, the first year of both recognition award programs.

The review committee also voted this year to recognize Pathways-VA, Inc. and Virginia’s Gateway Region each with an honorable mention gift of $10,000 for exemplifying excellence in one or more of the specific areas reviewed during the scoring process. Pathways-VA, Inc (formerly Petersburg Urban Ministries) was honored with this honorable mention in 2007 and 2008; and Virginia’s Gateway Region was honored with it, as well, in 2007.

The review committees of the Cleveland A. Wright Award for Outstanding Community Service and of the Excellence in Organizational Management Award are made up of volunteers who live or work within the community. They are identified by the Foundation staff and board members, invited to serve and approved by the Foundation’s board. Each committee is chaired by a member of the board. Committee members for the Cleveland A. Wright Award for Outstanding Community Service include: Melaney A. Caldwell, M.D., Chequila H. Fields, The Hon. Vanessa C. Justice, Angela M. Orrell, R.N., B.S.N., Pastor J. David Tolbert and Dr. Robert L. Turner. Community members for the Excellence in Organizational Management Award include: Dr. Virginia R. Cherry, Dr. Ray L. Drinkwater, Earnest H. Greene, Lynn H. Saunders, Heather Turbyne-Pollard and Carol D. Woodward.

“With the challenges that so many of our local nonprofits are facing to meet their day-to-day needs in this economy, we appreciate the effort that all of this year’s applicants made to vie for such highly competitive recognition awards,” said Handy L. Lindsey, Jr., Foundation president. “Both programs remind us of just how important the nonprofit sector is to our quality of life in this community. For the 2009 honorees, I hope the announcement of these awards will shine an even brighter light on the critical contributions that they are making every day,” he added.

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