MAHONING, SHENANGO VALLEYS Group honors top fund-raiser, volunteers

Philanthropy and volunteerism are unique to America, said YSU's president.
HOWLAND -- "Volunteerism is the rent you pay for the space you occupy on this earth," said Kenneth J. Wilson of Boardman, chosen outstanding volunteer fund-raiser for 2001 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Mahoning/Shenango Chapter.
Wilson was recognized for spending more than 1,000 volunteer hours working on the Youngstown YMCA and Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County capital campaigns.
He was personally responsible for obtaining more than $1 million worth of pledges and gifts for the YMCA campaign that raised $4.4 million, and was active in raising $729,000 for the library campaign, more than 70 percent of the goal, before the public campaign began.
Wilson is president of the Youngstown YMCA and library boards of trustees and is chairman of the Boardman Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a trustee of Beeghly Oaks and is past president of the Boardman Booster Club, Boardman Rotary Club, Boardman Civic Association and Four Square Club.
He has been the announcer for Boardman High football games for 16 years.
Speaker: Dr. David C. Sweet, president of Youngstown State University, was keynote speaker at the 11th annual National Philanthropy Day event Tuesday at Avalon Inn.
"Philanthropy is critical to YSU, the community and the future of this area and the nation," he said.
Sweet said philanthropy and volunteerism are unique to America, and noted that responsible citizens give back to their communities through their work, wisdom and wealth.
He said philanthropic giving is expected to fall short of expectations this year because of the terrorist attacks, a slowed economy and rising needs. "We need to redouble our efforts for local campaigns, such as the United Way," he said.
Others recognized by AFP Mahoning/Shenango for their philanthropic activities included:
UNational City Bank, Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist. Thomas Hollern, Northeast Area president, said National City is committed to the communities it serves financially and encourages its employees to get involved and play a role in their communities. National City is involved with the United Way, Youngstown Foundation, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce and is a founding member of the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic.
UYoungstown Wolves Club, Outstanding Civic Organization. Joseph Vitello, president of the club, said since it was formed in 1954, the Youngstown Den has given $313,000 in scholarships to students at YSU. Additional philanthropic activities include contributions to Beatitude House, and the YSU Dana School of Music for an opera major to study in Italy with an opera company.
UJessica LinSilvestri, Outstanding Young Philanthropist, a new award. Jessica, seriously injured when she was struck by a car in 1993, was in and out of consciousness for two weeks and in the hospital for 45 days. She came home in a body cast and a wheelchair and had to learn to walk again. Now an active senior at Struthers High School, she spearheaded a community campaign, Call To Protect, to collect cell phones for victims of domestic violence.
Cellular phone companies refurbish the phones so victims can dial 911 and one nonemergency number. She also volunteers with the Tod Squad at Forum HealthTod Children's Hospital, is a counselor at Camp Fitch and collects clothing to donate to the Youngstown Rescue Mission.
UGeneral Motors Assembly/United Autoworkers Local 1112, Special Recognition. The award was accepted by Maureen Midgley, plant manager, and Jim Graham, president of Local 1112. Midgley said large organizations have an opportunity and a responsibility to pull people together to help the community. Graham said GM Lordstown annually gives between $750,000 and $800,000 to United Way.
Linda Kostka and Jo-Ann Crank were the event's co-chairwomen.

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