HEEF receives 2007 Philanthropic Organization of the Year Award

In front: Janet Regner, HEEF member and LuAnn Leonard, executive director. In back are Vernon Kahe, office manager and Alice Ferris, GoalBusters Development consultants (Photo by Jim Anderson).

In front: Janet Regner, HEEF member and LuAnn Leonard, executive director. In back are Vernon Kahe, office manager and Alice Ferris, GoalBusters Development consultants (Photo by Jim Anderson).

Nominated by Alice Ferris, Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and Partner of GoalBusters, the Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) was the recent recipient of the 2007 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization award from the Northern Arizona Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Selected from among many non-profit organizations throughout Northern Arizona, the HEEF was honored to receive the award, especially to be selected from among its peers.

According to the AFP, each year National Philanthropy Day (Nov. 14) acknowledges the entire spectrum of services provided by the nonprofit community and recognizes the profound impact that philanthropy has on the fabric of society. On this day the AFP honors individuals and groups who, through their hard work and dedication, have enhanced philanthropy, their communities and the world.

As she introduced the HEEF, Alice Ferris shared her thoughts on why she felt HEEF deserved the Outstanding Philanthropic Organization award.

"What I find most impressive about HEEF is their dedication to being role models. To use an old cliché, HEEF is not about a hand out, but a hand up," she said.

Through their efforts, HEEF demonstrates to other Native nations how to build similar endowments, models the preservation of Hopi traditions, and shows the next generation of Hopi that through education, you can build a better life for yourself. She also touched on the Hopi concepts of Sumi'nangwa and Nami'nangwa, which are fundamental values of the Hopi people, and at the core of what HEEF does every single day, to which Alice added, "Sounds a lot like philanthropy to me."

As she accepted the award, HEEF Executive Director LuAnn Leonard stated, "We recognize that there are many organizations throughout northern Arizona deserving of this recognition and are humbled and thankful to be selected for this award. It is with great pride that the HEEF accepts this award as it honors the visions of our Hopi leaders past and present."

Leonard credits much of HEEF's success to her talented staff of Vernon Kahe, office manager and Sam Tenakhongva, marketing and special events manager, the dedicated HEEF members and their generous donors.

Other 2007 AFPaward recipients included: Outstanding Corporation, First State Bank; Outstanding Foundation, Robert T. Wilson Foundation; Outstanding Volunteer, Debbie Stewart and Mike Beatty; Outstanding Philanthropist, Frances McAllister and Outstanding Fundraising Professional- Kristi Edwards.

The HEEF is a Hopi Tribal government non-profit program qualified under section 7871(a) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. All contributions to the HEEF are tax deductible. For more information on the HEEF or upcoming events contact the HEEF at heef@hopieducationfund.org, (928) 734-2275 or visit www.hopieducationfund.org.

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