Jodi Wong, Illitch Charities and Others Earn AFP Philanthropy Awards

Jodi Wong, Illitch Charities and Others Earn AFP Philanthropy Awards

(AFP, Nov. 11, 2017)

Madison Heights, MI – National Philanthropy Day is Wednesday, November 15, and several Southeastern Michigan residents, companies and organizations have been honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Detroit Chapter for their charitable giving and volunteering.

The philanthropists, volunteers and fundraising professionals were recognized before more than 650 people at the AFP Detroit’s 26th annual National Philanthropy Day Dinner on Thursday, November 9 at The Henry in Dearborn. The annual celebration is one of the largest Philanthropy Day events in the country, bringing together corporate and civic leaders, philanthropists, community volunteers, individual and institutional funders, board members, and not-for-profit leaders.

“The individuals, companies and organizations that we honored have made outstanding contributions that have changed lives, improved communities, and promoted a culture of charitable giving in this region and beyond,” said Steve Ragan, chair of the 2017 National Philanthropy Day Awards Committee and senior vice president for development and external relations at Southwest Solutions. “One of our honorees, Mickey Shapiro, received a surprise congratulatory message from his friend, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, which was read at the dinner. That was one of the highlights of the evening.”

The 2017 AFP Greater Detroit National Philanthropy Day Honorees are:

Mickey Shapiro – Max M. Fisher Award for Outstanding Philanthropist
As a humanitarian, Shapiro’s generosity and compassion for others has saved lives and made a difference in the lives of so many people. His charitable giving is a tribute to the legacy of his parents. Shapiro’s philanthropic support has benefited numerous local and international organizations and led to truly life-changing outcomes.

● Nancy Grosfeld – Edmund T. Ahee Jewel Award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser
Grosfeld has been a champion for education, culture, medicine, science, and social change in the city of Detroit and across the region for decades. She is a trustee of the College for Creative Studies (CCS) and helped the school raise $58 million in its last fundraising campaign. As chair of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s Centennial Fund, Grosfeld is leading a $250 million endowment campaign.

Mercedes Benz Financial Services – Outstanding CorporationAward
The philanthropic and outreach efforts of Mercedes Benz Financial Services focus on four main areas: education, community enhancement, arts and culture, and diversity and inclusion. The company believes every community matters and social responsibility is a “lived” core value among its leadership and employees. Mercedes Benz Financial Services builds real partnerships with the organizations it supports.

● Ilitch Charities – Outstanding Foundation Award
Ilitch Charities is being honored for supporting Detroit-area communities through its innovative, collaborative and measurable programs focusing on community development, human services, education, and recreation. The nonprofit partners with numerous organizations, including The Greening of Detroit, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit PAL, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS), Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and College for Creative Studies (CCS).

● Caleb White – Sparky Anderson Award for Youth in Philanthropy White is the founder of the Caleb White Project (CWP), a non-profit that helps the homeless and less fortunate in Detroit and engages young people in volunteerism. CWP hosts more than 20 events each year, designed to include jobs for youth of all ages. White began working with the homeless at the age of six. Today, he is a sophomore at Detroit Catholic Central High School.

Sherri Welch – Neal Shine Award for Media Commitment to Philanthropy
Welch is currently senior reporter at Crain’s Detroit Business, where she has covered non-profits for nearly 14 years. Much of her reporting focuses on best practices in the non-profit sector. The award-winning reporter takes pride in volunteering at local non-profits and senior citizens’ homes. Welch serves as a mentor to journalism students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

● Jodi Wong, CFRE – Dr. John S. Lore Award for Outstanding Fundraising Executive
Serving for more than 23 years in the philanthropic healthcare sector, Wong has secured millions of dollars to improve the health of children in the region. Her leadership skills were critical in the establishment of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, through which she has built mutually rewarding, lifelong donor relationships.

● William Pickard, Ph.D. – George W. Romney Award for Lifetime Achievement in Volunteerism
Dr. Pickard is a longtime champion of education and the arts. In addition to providing financial support for students and faculty at University of Michigan’s School of Social Work, he has volunteered his time at the school.  Dr. Pickard has served on the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, Western Michigan University, and established endowed scholarships. He also lends his time, talent and support to Wayne State University, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

November 15 was proclaimed as National Philanthropy Day by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. It is a day when people come together to put philanthropy, described as “the love of humankind,” into action and to recognize the change it has brought to communities everywhere.

About AFP
The Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is a membership resource utilized by fundraising and nonprofit professionals throughout southeastern Michigan. AFP exists to foster the development and growth of fundraising professionals, to preserve and enhance philanthropy and volunteerism, and to promote the highest ethical standards in the fundraising profession worldwide. Greater Detroit AFP has more than 300 members from seven counties in southeast Michigan. For more information, visit

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