November 15, 2023

Celebrating Philanthropy in Greater Madison

MCF Staff and Board at Philanthropy Day 2023

On November 9, people from across Greater Madison came together to celebrate philanthropy in our community. Madison Community Foundation was proud to once again be the Presenting Sponsor of AFP’s National Philanthropy Day celebration. As an organization whose mission is to enhance the common good through philanthropy, this celebration is a natural fit.

Once again, the Overture Center – a venue built by philanthropy – played host to this event designed to celebrate the contributions of individuals and organizations to the wellbeing and enrichment of our community and the people who live here. This year’s honorees highlight the inspiring ways people in the Greater Madison area are working to help others.

Former MCF board member Pete Lundberg received a Lifetime Achievement award, an award that recognizes an individual or couple who has 20 years or more of philanthropic involvement, who has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility, and whose generosity encourages others to take leadership roles in philanthropic activities.

Pete, who generously gives his time and expertise as well as financial gifts, was nominated by the Aldo Leopold Nature Center for this award. Pete’s action-oriented view of philanthropy has led him to serve on the boards of many organizations in our community, and the financial support he provides though his business, Janus Galleries, has benefited a host of nonprofits in the area.

Also honored for Lifetime Achievement was John Ralston, in recognition for his long-time dedication as a volunteer and fundraiser for Church Health Services, which nominated him for the award. John’s commitment to his community also has led him to support a wide range of organizations in the Beaver Dam area, including the school district.

Pete Lundberg receiving award

Andy and Jenny Czerkas of the River Food Pantry were recognized as this year’s Outstanding Individual Philanthropists. Andy and Jenny founded the River Food Pantry in 2006 after seeing the number of people in Madison who were regularly forced to choose between paying rent and buying food. Today the River Food Pantry serves more than 2,500 people each week.

Roots & Wings Foundation was honored as the Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation, nominated by WayForward Resources. Established in 2019 by Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner, Roots & Wings provides support to more than 150 organizations throughout Dane County and Wisconsin under the leadership of Judy’s daughter Shana Dall’Osto.

Jenny Pressman was recognized as this year’s Outstanding Fundraising Professional. Jenny is a passionate fundraiser, social justice activist and community builder who has dedicated her life to the causes she believes in. Many organizations in our community have benefited from Jenny’s passion and expertise, including the UW Odyssey Project, where she currently serves as the Director of Development and Community Partnerships.

John Sims’ long-term commitment to helping organizations succeed led UnityPoint Health – Meriter Foundation and Madison Children's Museum to nominate him for recognition as the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser. John leverages his community relationships to matching donors to causes they care about, and regularly serves as a mentor to young board members,

Paul Davis Restoration was recognized as the Outstanding Business. Nominated by University of Wisconsin Foundation, the company began fundraising for the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation and for the UW Health Burn and Wound Center. Most recently, the company pledged to complete the funding for the Burn and Wound Center’s $1 million endowment, ensuring it has a steady stream of annual income to meet its mission.

Christian Huber is proof that philanthropy is not just the realm of the older generation. This year’s Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award recipient started giving back when he was just eight years old. Christian set up a lemonade and cookie stand and raised $100 to help save endangered penguins. Now a 14-year-old, Chrisitan’s annual cookie and lemonade stands have raised more than $2,600 to support nonprofits, with the majority of the funds helping families in Dane County.

Join us in congratulating all the 2023 Philanthropy Day winners!

Are you interested in learning how you can have an impact on our community through philanthropy? MCF can help you support the causes that matter most to you, today or through your will or estate plan.

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