Philanthropist of the Year

The Philanthropist of the Year award was originally started at the Volunteer of the Year in 2008. Since that time, the Foundation has named 25 individuals as a recipient. The purpose of the award is two-fold. One is to recognize the tremendous amount of time and financial support local individuals have given to the community through their service. The second is to provide the organizations supported by the philanthropist a grant for their programs or projects. Organization of the Year was added to the celebration in 2022.

recipients and organizations:

2023 – Philanthropist of the Year: Jo French; Organization of the Year: McPherson Housing Coalition

2022 – Philanthropist of the Year: Susan Henson-Meng; Organization of the Year: Steps Against Poverty McPherson County

2021 – Jeff and Danielle Black, MP Naz; Terry and Lilly Hedlund, McPherson Opera House; RoJean Loucks, Childcare Center

2019 – Gloria Schroeder, WACCC; Denise O’Connor-Munsey, United Way of McPherson County; and Naomi Ford, Linda Anderson, and Emma Perrara, Galva Historical Association

2018 – Gary and Rosemary Fisher, Moundridge Historical Association; Vaughn Ingram, Mt. Hope Sanctuary; and Harold Schlender, McPherson Opera House

2017 – David J. Nutt, Lindsborg/DN Fund

2016 – Verla Thomason, Community Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinners; Warren Vincent, Honors Flight
June Anderson, McPherson Hospital; Special recognition – School Super Heroes, school supplies

2015 – Scott Achenbach, Bethany Home; Eric Edwards, STEP MC (formerly Circles of McPherson County); Betty Jo Houchen, McPherson Arts Alliance

2014 –  Bill Toews, Special Olympics; Pat Bruce, McPherson Hospital; Ralph Vogel, Inman Museum; Steve Burghart, St. Joseph Catholic School

2013 – Bill Parker, Habitat for Humanity; Neisha Dahlstrom, STEP MC (formerly Circles of McPherson County); Delonna Barnett & Ruby Janzen, Angels’ Attic

2012 – LaVon Ediger, ReUse It Center; Sondra Frank, McPherson Resource Council; David Nye, McPherson Opera House

2011 – Jim & Barbara Greischar, Community Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinners; Verla Thomason, McPherson Scottish Society; Bill Roth, The Associated Churches of Lindsborg

2010 – Jeff and Sue Odermann, McPherson Outreach

2009 – Patsy Magelssen, Trash to Treasures
2008 – Jim Loving McPherson Family YMCA; Pink Pajama Party Volunteers (now known as WACCC)

2007 – Glen Snell, McPherson County Community Foundation

2006 – Broncos Tournament Volunteers, Shoes & Coats for Kids Fund

2005  – Keith Janzen, McPherson Family YMCA

The McPherson County Community Foundation board reviews all nominations and selects participants to be recognized at a special reception. The event is Thursday, November 14 at 7 pm at the McPherson Opera House. Each award winner will receive a grant for $1000. Funds are made possible by the Foundation’s ‘Dream’ Fund. This fund is designed to match the most pressing and often changing needs of area communities.

Residents serving organizations in McPherson County are eligible to receive the award. To nominate an individual, please submit a one-page narrative describing the person and the philanthropic work they do for an organization or the community. An organization must operate in McPherson County to be eligible for Organization of the Year.  Narratives may be emailed to, faxed to (620) 245-0238, or mailed/delivered to the Foundation office at 1233 N. Main, McPherson. For questions, please call the Foundation office at (620) 245-9070 or toll-free at (866) 245-9070.