It was a morning filled with camaraderie, emotion and a common vision as hundreds gathered to celebrate some of Essex County’s outstanding philanthropists and nonprofits at the Essex County Community Foundation’s annual Celebration of Giving breakfast.
Held at the Boston Peabody Marriott on May 7, the Celebration was an opportunity to say, ‘Thank You’ to all of the extraordinary people and organizations working to make Essex County a better place to live for us all. Guests, honorees, sponsors and local dignitaries were united under one shared goal: to improve this place we call home – together. It was demonstrated throughout the morning that serving and bettering our communities does not happen by the few, but rather by the collective and dedicated efforts of the many who care about Essex County.
“We’re being honored, but we actually represent all of you,” said David Tory, as he and his wife, Helen, humbly accepted ECCF’s George Peabody Award, which recognizes the contributions of outstanding philanthropists in Essex County. “You all represent an extraordinary county.”
“We don’t deserve it; everybody does,” agreed Helen.
In addition to recognizing the Torys’ growing legacy, George L. Cushing received the inaugural Professional Advisors Award; Beverly Bootstraps received the Nonprofit Excellence Award; and more than a dozen nonprofits were honored as recipients of the 2015 Fund for Nonprofit Excellence.
Sue Gabriel, executive director of Beverly Bootstraps, one of the leading social service agencies on the North Shore, had nearly the entire room on its feet as she recognized, group by group, all those who do their part to give back to Essex County.“If you didn’t stand up, you’ve got to go home and think about it,” she said.
And that’s part of the point of the Celebration. Not only is the Essex County Community Foundation honored to recognize those who give their time, talents and gifts to make Essex County a better place, but we also hope the Celebration inspires even more “giving where you live.”
“We must all encourage each other to reach our best, and then exceed that,” said Jack Armitage, a member of ECCF’s founding Board of Directors, during the event.
And finally the recipients of the 2015 Fund for Nonprofit Excellence were announced. The Fund for Nonprofit Excellence supports capacity building projects at Essex County nonprofits that help strengthen the infrastructure and governance of the organization. In 2015, ECCF awarded grants to support projects which specifically supported organizations that were undergoing transition including leadership succession, major program or mission transition or changes in strategic direction or focus. 2015 grant recipients are: Beverly Children’s Learning Center, Inc., Backyard Growers, Gloucester Education Foundation, The Gloucester Adventure, Inc., Arlington Community Trabajando, Bread & Roses Housing, Groundwork Lawrence, YWCA of Greater Lawrence, Lynn Economic Opportunity, Inc., Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, LEAP for Education/North Shore Community Action Programs, North Shore Community Development Corporation, Salem Anthenaeum, Salem Education Foundation and The Plummer Home for Boys.
The Essex County Community Foundation would like to thank Rockport Music Education Outreach Program musicians, Jace Mason and Andray Ortiz; our sponsors for helping to make the Celebration possible, and all of those who came out to celebrate collective giving in Essex County.
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photos by ©Brooke Whicher Photography
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