Statement issued Tuesday by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northeast Indiana Chapter:
November 15, 2011: Community volunteers were honored at an awards ceremony this morning in recognition of their outstanding philanthropy in Fort Wayne. The 8th Annual National Philanthropy Day event was hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northeast Indiana Chapter (AFP).
National Philanthropy Day recognizes individuals and organizations whose generous gifts of time, expertise, and resources have made Northeast Indiana a better place. Awarded were:
• Outstanding Individual Philanthropist – Vietnam Veteran Howard P. Rice, Jr., Lt. Colonel USAR (retired) has been serving his country and community since 1953. Since he began volunteering at the Volunteer Center @ RSVP, Colonel Rice has served in a variety of programs that provide military family assistance. These programs include: the Military Tax Preparation program which provides free tax preparation assistance to families of deployed military service members; Operation Yellow Ribbon and Operation Military Kid, which provide assistance to children of deployed military service members; Operation Stand-Down Fort Wayne, which provides services to homeless veterans; and Volunteers as a Resource On-Base, which helps guide military families through the complexities of filing for programs like SNAP Food Stamps, Medicaid, and unemployment benefits to ensure they receive the support they need. “Volunteering is just another extension of service,” said Colonel Rice. “I can’t be on the front lines anymore, but I can be here at home, continuing to serve in other ways.”
• Outstanding Family Philanthropists – When Denise and David DeMarchis’ son Joe was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the Turnstone Center for Children & Adults with Disabilities was there to give them the help they so desperately needed. In return, the grateful DeMarchis family wanted a way to give back. Through the family business, Matilda Jane Clothing, Denise and David DeMarchis and 11-year-old Joe DeMarchis allocate proceeds from the sale of fabric bags called Joe’s Turn to support Turnstone and the therapeutic programs it provides to people with disabilities. The family also donates clothing to more than 100 families annually through the company’s Spread the Love program and donates countless items to local charities for silent auctions. In addition, the DeMarchis family supports the Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Hemiplegic & Stroke Association, and the Tiny Sparrow Foundation. In the DeMarchis household, philanthropy is truly a family affair.