Donors receive recognition

After giving so much to others, they deserve a moment when they’re given something in return: recognition.

Cue the Las Vegas chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), which on Nov. 14 will honor the winners of the 2017 National Philanthropy Day Awards at the Westgate Hotel. Pegged to National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 15 — designated by the late President Ronald Reagan in 1986 — the awards celebrate the “contributions of donors, volunteers, foundations, leaders, corporations” and others who do philanthropic work.

“This year it was difficult to select the winners as we had so many outstanding nominations,” said Sylvia Wolf, National Philanthropy Day chair for AFP Las Vegas, in a statement announcing the winners in seven categories, chosen from among several hundred nominees. “We’re truly humbled by the impact these winners have made in our community.”

Topping the roster of honorees as Outstanding Philanthropist is Janice Haupt-Allen. Cited for her “deep devotion and commitment to the arts,” Haupt-Allen has been a beloved staple of the Las Vegas community—and a generous benefactor of its culture—since arriving here in 1948. Included in her lengthy list of philanthropic causes in numerous areas: her sponsorship of programs on Vegas PBS and, most notably, her $1 million donation toward construction of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, as a tribute to her late husband, Fred Allen.

Also being feted for decades of philanthropy is Lifetime Achievement honoree Caleen Norrod Johnson, who was chosen for “her lifetime commitment to changing the lives of people in each community where she has lived and worked.” Organizations that have benefited from her fundraising devotion include UNLV, the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada, The Nature Conservancy and the American Cancer Society.

Scrolling down the rest of the winners’ list: 

• Outstanding Corporation: Findlay Automotive Group, recognized for “outstanding commitment to our community’s nonprofits with their Community Spotlight program.”

• Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy: Constandina Ciulla, who is honored for her involvement with the Southern Nevada chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

• Outstanding Development Professional: Pam Long, who is selected for “her unwavering dedication to the mission of Spread the Word Nevada.”

• Outstanding Foundation: The Elaine P. Wynn Family Foundation, recognized for Wynn’s “focus on elevating the impact of philanthropy in Southern Nevada and for her lifelong altruism.”

And in a double honor crossing over two organizations, Stacey Wedding, founder and CEO of Professionals in Philanthropy, will receive the AFP Las Vegas’ Outstanding Volunteer Fundraising honor for “her consistent need to help change lives and her commitment to volunteerism.” That follows her recognition in September as Humanitarian of the Year at the 2017 Angel Awards, given by Vegas Inc magazine.

Additional Angel Award winners: Bob Sheridan of Cox Communications (Volunteer of the Year); The Smith Center for the Performing Arts (Cultural Advocate of the Year); United Way of Southern Nevada (Nonprofit of the Year); Barrick Gold Corp. (Philanthropic Business of the Year – Public); SR Construction (Philanthropic Business of the Year – Private); and Sunrise Children’s Foundation (Foundation of the Year).

Individual tickets for the 2017 National Philanthropy Day Awards are $70 and a table of 10 is $600. For more information, visit

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