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. Some of the organizations receiving a grant are McPherson Hospital, McPherson Family YMCA, Circles of McPherson County, Outreach McPherson, and Angels’ Attic of Moundridge.
Recipients and organizations:
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
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 – Boncos Tournament Volunteers, Shoes & Coats for Kids Fund
2005 – Keith Janzen, McPherson Family YMCA
A committee of local residents reviews all nominations and selects the three finalists to be recognized at a special reception. The event is Thursday, November 8 at 7 pm at the McPherson Opera House. Each finalist is given the opportunity to name a McPherson County organization or group as the recipient of the grant award. Grants are $1000 for the first place nominee; $750 for the second place nominee; and $500 for the third place nominee. Funds are made possible by the Foundation’s Community 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. Narratives may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 1.866.245.9070.