Sedona AZ (October 2, 2020) – Each year the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona honors outstanding individuals, businesses, and charitable organizations who have demonstrated exceptional philanthropic spirit, leadership, and volunteerism throughout Sedona and the Verde Valley.
It is in times of emergency that we see what a community is capable of doing. Our community exploded with altruistic activity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals stood up to support their neighbors in incredible ways.
We were not surprised to receive an abundance of nominations this year – more than ever before. It was difficult to select this year’s honorees, but after thoughtful deliberation, we are pleased to announce this year’s winners:
Philanthropists of the Year: Contributors to the Sedona/Verde Valley COVID-19 Community Response Fund
Historically, the Philanthropist of the Year award was presented to an individual who demonstrated extraordinary leadership by financially supporting our local service organizations. This year we are pleased to honor each and every one of the donors to the local COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
These donors prioritized the needs of their neighbors in an unprecedented time of need. Over $511,000 was raised in ten weeks, and that funding was then distributed to 30 local nonprofits to support COVID-related critical services.
In a display of dynamic and responsive philanthropy, many contributors got creative and offered matching gifts, inspiring others in the community to give even more. Match challenges were issued by Sedona Women, Christ Lutheran Church, Rotary Club of the Village, and Seven Canyons.
Nonprofit Organization of the Year: Manzanita Outreach
This past year our community has experienced an unprecedented demand for food due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Manzanita Outreach ramped up its services so quickly and so effectively that we were blown away by their leadership. Manzanita went from serving 1,521 households to nearly 6,500 in a matter of months.
Manzanita Outreach is on track to distribute two million pounds of food this year. We thank them for their hard work and dedication.
Manzanita Outreach will be dedicating their $1,000 honorary grant from ACF of Sedona to support their extraordinary food distribution efforts.
Business Benefactor of the Year: Goldenstein Gallery, Linda Goldenstein, Owner
Over the decades, the Goldenstein Gallery has helped to build the business and nonprofit service sectors of Sedona and the Verde Valley into what they are today. In addition to outstanding philanthropic support, Linda Goldenstein has helped to develop the potential of many organizations as an active board member.
Linda and the Goldenstein Gallery are longtime supporters of the Chamber Music Sedona, Sedona Arts Center, Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, Sedona Gallery Association, Sedona Historical Society, Sedona International Film Festival, Verde Valley Sanctuary, and Verde Valley Sinfonietta.
Goldenstein Gallery has chosen Sedona Area Homeless Alliance as the recipient of its honorary $1,000 grant.
Community Collaborator of the Year: Paul Friedman
Since his retirement as a university professor, Paul has committed his time to bettering our community. Paul is a dedicated and outstanding contributor to the intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual wellbeing of Sedona. He has collaborated across the community to create numerous educational initiatives including over 300 programs at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute, programs at the Yavapai County Jail and Yavapai Juvenile Probation Department, and at the Jewish Community Center of Sedona. Paul has measurably improved our community’s education, mutual understanding, and tolerance.
Paul will be donating his honorary $1,000 grant from ACF to the Osher Life Long Learning Institute.
Volunteer of the Year: Jennette Bill
As a longtime resident of Sedona, Jennette has worked tirelessly to improve our community for decades. She has held positions as diverse as PTA President at her children’s school to Founding President of the Sedona-Oak Creek Education Foundation to President of the Rotary Club of Sedona, where she worked tirelessly to help bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and other instrumental youth-focused programs to the children of the Verde Valley. Jennette is currently the President of the Rotary Club of Sedona Village, where she is leading the club in starting a community garden and hopes to make it a gathering spot for area youth. She embodies what it means to be a true Rotarian—service above self. “It’s a passion,” Jenette says. “I love pulling people together to make these things happen.”
Jennette has designated Verde Valley Caregivers as the recipient of her honorary $1,000 grant from ACF.
COVID-19 Exceptional Volunteer Award: Joy Sinnott
When the pandemic began, we were all wondering what we could do to help. While we were still thinking, Joy had already started sewing masks and gowns for the Northern Arizona Healthcare System. She is now organizing the efforts of over 50 people from SedonaKind and Sedona Women to make both gowns and masks—over 15,250 to-date! She is now working with Crewse/Tewa to help meet the need for PPE on the Navajo and Hopi nations and 30 more organizations in need. At the same time, she is delivering, taking orders, and fixing sewing machines. Her dedication is endless, and her leadership has inspired other groups to join her in her efforts.
Joy has elected to give her $1,000 honorary ACF grant to SedonaKind.
This year’s honorees are an inspiration during times of crisis, showing us how individuals can make incredible differences in the lives of their neighbors. Professional photography and full descriptions of the awardees are available at azfoundation.org/