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Community Awards 2016


In celebration of philanthropy, the Association of Fundraising Professionals invited you to nominate those who make Greater Cincinnati a stronger and thriving community by supporting your organizations.  The following awards were presented during the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on Tuesday November 15, 2016, at The Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.   


2016 Award Winners! 

Philanthropist of the Year:  Presented to an individual, corporation or foundation with a record of exceptional generosity who:  through direct financial support has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility to a specific organization(s) or cause(s); has taken a leadership role in a specific organization(s) or cause(s); motivates others to participate in philanthropy.  The depth and/or breadth of support to other organizations will be considered.  

Richard Rosenthal - final

Winner ~ Richard Rosenthal
Nominated By ~ 
University of Cincinnati Foundation, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, and National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

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Throughout his remarkable life, Mr. Rosenthal has championed the arts and led the fight for equal justice under the law. As founder and owner of Uptown Arts, he has brought the gift of art, music, and dance to the lives of over 300 inner-city children each year. He serves on various boards of arts organizations. His passion and commitment to justice led him to endow the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice in 2014, which has been instrumental in the release of 24 innocent people wrongly convicted in Ohio. His most recent gift of $15M to The Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) at UC’s Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice at the College of Law – the largest ever for the college and any innocence program – will provide for the program in perpetuity.  


Volunteer of the Year:  Presented to an individual, corporation, or foundation with a record of exceptional generosity who:  through a devotion of time has demonstrated outstanding support to a specific organization(s) or cause(s); encourages others to support an organization(s) or cause(s); is a role model for other community volunteers.  The total hours contributed and the breadth of organizations supported with time will be considered.  

John Silverman - final

Winner ~ John Silverman
Nominated By ~ Talbert House, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Dream House Homes, Inc., Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, and The Seven Hills School

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John Silverman’s energy is fueled by improving the lives of children and families across our community. He is passionate about being a father and has worked tirelessly to raise over $1M for Talbert House’s Fatherhood Project and Camp Possible. He has served as Trustee at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, leading the search committee for the new president. He has devoted countless hours to the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati assisting with the allocations of their funding. He has used his expertise in construction management to ensure The Seven Hills School has a state-of-the-art campus that inspires learning. He’s been hands-on in the efforts to remodel the Cincinnati Museum Center and Union Terminal from project the conception through the current construction. John not only volunteers his time and expertise, but he also makes significant personal contributions to inspire the giving of others. John exemplifies volunteerism at its best. 


Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy:  Presented to an individual, group, organization, corporation or foundation with a record of exceptional leadership and results in encouraging youth (through age 18) to:  learn about and participate in philanthropy by planning and implementing a fundraising program to benefit a specific organization(s) or cause(s); demonstrate leadership in a specific organization(s) or cause(s); serve as role models for other youth and/or encourage other youth to participate in philanthropy. The amount of time spent in service through philanthropy will be considered.   

Katie McElveen - final

Winner ~  Katie McElveen
Nominated By ~  Ronald McDonald House of Greater Cincinnati

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Katie, a student at Loveland High School, started her relationship with Ronald McDonald House five years ago and as a passionate supporter has created ways to comfort guest families with critically ill children. She created a “Greeting Card Club” for middle schoolers to create cards for families to show them someone cares. She organized a dodge ball fundraiser raising $2500. She used her love of art to create “Windows of Hope” – personalized artwork she created about each guest family to inspire them during this difficult time, which now displays 50 works of arts created by 60 students. Her dodge ball fundraiser has turned into a district wide football fundraiser, raising over $11,000. Katie is showing it’s the little things we do that can make a world of difference to others in need, and she truly is an Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy. 


Ambassador of Philanthropy (special award):  Presented to an individual who has served as a spokesperson and champion for the power of philanthropy and the arts in Cincinnati.

Wesley Holm - final

Winner ~  Wesley Holm, HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric
Nominated By ~  (DAV) 
Disabled American Veterans

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Wesley Holm has taken corporate responsibility to a new level. As owner of HELP with a family with a long legacy of service, he specifically supports organizations and efforts that help veterans. A portion of sales over a period of time each year are donated to organizations supporting veterans, resulting in $674,000, including $322,000 to Disabled American Veterans. He leads his company in support of veterans by hosting a hot breakfast to veterans on Veteran’s Day and helping many individuals wounded in services directly. He makes hiring veterans a priority, with a significant number of employees who are veterans, including 40% of his leadership team. He unites customers and community in his efforts by providing them with an “I SUPPORT VETERANS” yard sign. Wesley is truly an Ambassador of Philanthropy in his support of veterans.




Winner ~ Wesley Holm

Nominated By ~ CPA for HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric; Disabled American Veterans