Alaska News

Alaska philanthropists honored at annual award luncheon

Alaskans ranging from ages 11 to 94 received awards Thursday at the Alaska National Philanthropy Day luncheon in Anchorage.

It's a day reserved annually for honoring kindness, said keynote speaker Janice Pettey. The 10 people and organizations recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Alaska Chapter had given away birthday presents, dressed up to entertain hospital patients and aided in disaster relief.

This year's recipients:

• The Outstanding Business in Philanthropy award went to Era Alaska, the in-state airline, for its work providing in-kind transportation and donations to nonprofits from the American Red Cross to World Eskimo-Indian Olympics and Spirit of Youth.

• The Outstanding Small Business award went to Snow City Cafe for demonstrating leadership by encouraging both employees and customers to volunteer and for hosting charity events like its annual Thanksgiving dinner for kids from Camp Fire Alaska.

• Anchorage couple Eric McCallum and Robin Smith received the Outstanding Philanthropist award for investing and mentoring small-business startups.

• Jean Kaufman was recognized with an Outstanding Volunteer award. At 94 years old, she's volunteered with 54 organizations in Alaska like the Salvation Army and Providence Alaska Medical Center.


• Eleven-year-old Sarah Mixsell received an Outstanding Youth award. She started donating her birthday presents when she turned 9 years old and soon after founded the nonprofit organization Alaska Kids for Kids, where she asks people to do the same on their birthdays.

• Brooke McPheters, a teenager who was hit and killed along Abbott Road in August along with her friend Jordyn Durr, received a posthumous Outstanding Youth award for her volunteer work with organizations including the Salvation Army Meals on Wheels program, the Muldoon Library and The Children's Lunchbox.

• Joanne Phillips-Nutter, the director of development and marketing with Camp Fire Alaska, was given the Outstanding Professional award for her work with the youth development organization and years spent serving as a youth mentor.

• The Eugene R. Wilson award went to Joseph Usibelli and Peggy Shumaker for making extraordinary contributions to Alaska philanthropy. They have donated more than $4 million to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Anchorage Daily News