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Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo opens nomination process to award $1 million in honor of local change-makers

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Mon, Feb 11th 2019 11:55 pm

Community encouraged to nominate someone who has made difference in lives of Western New Yorkers

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo – a local nonprofit organization committed to helping individuals, families and organizations make their charitable goals a reality – is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019. To mark this milestone, the Community Foundation will award $1 million in honor of 12 local change-makers who have made a difference in the lives of Western New Yorkers. Voting will occur through a communitywide nomination process.

“The Community Foundation has helped ignite change in Western New York alongside our clients for 100, years and our board of directors felt strongly that our celebrations in 2019 should reflect the people who have committed to make Western New York a vibrant and inclusive region with opportunity for all,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president/CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. “The Centennials will celebrate everything we stand for as an organization – focused forward.”

The Centennial Awards will recognize individuals in four award categories:

•The Community Award – This change-maker saw the hidden potential in a place and took a leadership role to transform it.

•The Cause Award – This change-maker has dedicated time and passion to addressing a pressing issue facing the region.

•The Champion Award – This change-maker has made a meaningful change for a group of people.

•The Up and Comer Award – This change-maker is an emerging leader currently mobilizing action around a place, an issue or people.

Beginning today, individuals can nominate living change-makers who have made an impact in the eight counties of Western New York for The Centennials. Nomination forms can be found online at CentennialAwards.org. Nominations are due by 4 p.m. March 22.

Here is how the $1 million will be awarded:

•Four winners (one per category) will each be honored with $200,000: $100,000 to make a one-time grant to a local nonprofit and $100,000 to create an endowment that will allow them to make grants in their name forever. 

•Eight finalists will each grant $25,000 to a WNY nonprofit of their choice.

Once the nomination process closes, all nominations will be reviewed and 12 finalists will be chosen by a Centennials selection committee. This distinguished group of community leaders represents what the Community Foundation has committed to as an organization: excellence, experience, racial and ethnic diversity, the arts and culture sector, education, the environment and our geographic footprint. The full list of selection committee members can be viewed at CentennialAwards.org.

“On behalf of the board of directors, we are honored that so many highly regarded individuals in our community have enthusiastically joined our effort to honor change-makers in our community,” said Francisco M. Vasquez, Ph.D., chair of the Community Foundation board. “We want this celebration to really highlight the fact that everyone can have an impact through the Community Foundation.”

The Community Foundation is a foundation of foundations. Today, it has over $485 million in charitable assets, serves more than 400 active clients, and is carrying on the legacies of an additional 500 clients. In 2018 alone, the organization awarded $22 million at the request of its clients to create a lasting impact in Western New York and beyond.

Winners of The Centennials will be announced in September at a celebration event at Kleinhans Music Hall.

For more information on The Centennials, visit CentennialAwards.org. For more information on the Community Foundation, visit cfgb.org.

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