The winners of Greenspun Media Group's Angel Awards exemplify the caring and compassion found throughout Southern Nevada.
For instance, Bob Sheridan of Cox Communications has devoted a large part of his life to volunteering. He’s pitched in with the Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts, the United Way, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Cox Charities’ golf tournaments. “Volunteering takes our minds off ourselves, and puts our focus on doing something for other people who may be dealing with a difficult personal situation,” Sheridan said.
Another of our honorees, Stacey Wedding, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a small child; it was a diagnosis that influenced her philanthropic spirit into adulthood. She took some of the lessons she learned helping educate others about diabetes and molded them into Professionals in Philanthropy, an altruistic organization that’s celebrating its 11th anniversary.
It’s an honor to give a tip of the hat to the Sunrise Children’s Foundation, which has been instrumental in helping so many young lives in Southern Nevada — more than 150,000 children and families annually.
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts may only be five years old, but it’s growing up fast. The Angel Award honoree has become instrumental in helping bring an arts education to Southern Nevada. For instance, it created the first annual Heart of Education Awards, honoring outstanding Clark County School District teachers.
When it comes to big dogs in the world of nonprofits, few are bigger than United Way of Southern Nevada. We’re honored to celebrate them, in part for their 60 years of service. The agency’s inaugural Day of Caring brought together more than 1,000 Southern Nevadans who donated their time at 23 nonprofit agencies and 16 schools — and that’s just one day in a long calendar of giving for United Way.
We’re happy to shine a spotlight on SR Construction, which has integrated giving into its corporate culture. The company has raised money to help seniors, the Red Cross, Three Square, Best Buddies Nevada and multiple programs for veterans, among others.
Another company helping Southern Nevadans be the best they can be is Barrick Gold Corporation. In 2016, the company invested more than $9.7 million into our communities. They’ve been strong supporters of education, the arts and environmental stewardship.
We’re proud to name them all winners of our Angel Awards.
Keep your eyes open for our Giving Guide, where you’ll also get profiles about local organizations you might not have heard of before now. The profiles explain volunteering opportunities that are available and myriad ways that you can help. Our index of nonprofits at the back comes from Internal Revenue Service records and is one of the most comprehensive lists of charities in Southern Nevada that you will find. It's a resource that we couldn't bring to you without the support of the Caesars Foundation and MGM Resorts International. We’re also grateful to the Westgate for hosting the Angel Awards event.
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Volunteer of the Year
Executive Field Director, Network Operations, Cox Communications, Las Vegas
Adeep sense of purpose and lifelong desire to serve others have defined Bob Sheridan over the course of his life and his 40-year career in telecommunications.
A recipient of the Cox Outstanding Leadership Award, Sheridan has volunteered with the Boy Scouts and its Eagle Scout Recognition Day and participated in United Way of Southern Nevada’s Loaned Executive Program. He was also a volunteer in the Catholic Engaged Encounter ministry, and is an active participant in Cox’s employee-funded and managed Cox Charities program.
As co-chair of the company’s annual Cox Charities Golf Tournament in 2015 and 2016, Sheridan was instrumental in helping to raise close to $300,000 through sponsorships, event participation and vendor donations. Tournament proceeds are donated to numerous local nonprofits through Cox Charities.
“I consider myself a servant leader at work, and I think that carries over to volunteering,” Sheridan said. “I’ve been fortunate in my career to work for companies like Cox that really promote volunteering and making a positive impact in the communities we serve.”
To get others on board for volunteer activities, Sheridan tries to reframe volunteering “so they can see it as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to recognize how fortunate we all are to be in a position where we can help others. Volunteering takes our minds off ourselves, and puts our focus on doing something for other people who may be dealing with a difficult personal situation.”
Sheridan’s goal for the remainder of 2017 is to continue volunteering at Ronald McDonald House Charities in whatever capacity he feels he can make a positive difference. “That includes making sure we have enough Cox volunteers to make lunches on the first Thursday of every month. And before long we’ll begin preparing for the 2018 Runnin’ for the House 5K Run and Fun Walk.”
— Howard Riell
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Humanitarian of the Year
Founder & CEO, Professionals in Philanthropy
As founder and CEO of local consulting firm Professionals in Philanthropy, Las Vegas native Stacey Wedding has been dedicated to fundraising and volunteering since childhood, having been diagnosed with Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes at age 2.
“I’m not sure I’d be doing what I do today professionally if I had never been diagnosed with diabetes,” said Wedding, who holds a degree in communications from UNLV. “From serving as a poster child for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to mentoring other newly diagnosed children and their families, I experienced the gift of giving, which shaped my extracurricular activities in high school and college, my job choices, and ultimately my decision to start my own company, Professionals in Philanthropy.”
Founded in 2006, Professionals in Philanthropy was created with the goal of assisting generous individuals and organizations in strengthening our communities. Committed to supporting its clients in philanthropic outreach and investment, the firm offers two divisions, strategic philanthropy and nonprofit, with specialties including board governance, organizational development, team building, storytelling and grant writing.
“We are big believers in capacity-building — teaching our clients to fish rather than giving them the fish — so they can focus on making the greatest difference possible,” Wedding said. “Giving back is in our blood, so we’re also very proud that our success as a company has enabled us to make ongoing gifts of time, talent and treasure. Professionals in Philanthropy donates 10 percent of its gross revenue to nonprofits each year and volunteers 500 hours annually.”
As the firm celebrates its 11th anniversary, plans are in the works to launch a workshop series in September for executive directors, along with more national public speaking and a storytelling tool to help those in the sector better share their successes, according to Wedding, who serves as board chair of the UNLV Honors College Advisory Board, Wagging Tales Rescue board member, and one of the founders of Nevada’s Big Give, in which she remains an active volunteer.
— Danielle Birkin
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Foundation of the Year
Sunrise Children's Foundation
Sunrise Children’s Foundation is celebrating 25 years of service to the Southern Nevada community this October, offering services such as early childhood intervention, Early Head Start and WIC (Women, Infants and Children), all free of charge.
SCF is a nonprofit corporation organized solely for pediatric health and education. It provides multiple programs throughout Clark County, employs 195, and touches the lives of more than 150,000 children and families annually. The organization’s mission is helping children fulfill their potential of safe, healthy and educated lives.
The foundation delivers a full spectrum of services from birth to age 5, and provides a comprehensive continuum of care to ensure that children in Nevada have a good shot at success. SCF administers programs that support areas focusing on optimal child development, including prenatal care and breast-feeding education; health and development; wellness, nutrition and health education; parent education; literacy skills; and positive family relationships.
“Every nonprofit faces difficult times,” said Executive Director Dave Sanberg, “yet all that’s needed is to request help from the universe and angels of many types to come to the rescue. Sunrise Children’s Foundation is made of teams of angels: they are our supporters, our almost 200 employees, our over 12,000 parents, and certainly the children who benefit from our collective service and labor.”
Sanberg and his colleagues continue to find ways to lower expenses. “Nonprofits have to be creative in finding ways to manage expenses to be both mindful of the need for employees to earn higher wages, and yet sustain the quality of care we offer families. Ideally, we don’t want to sacrifice quality or the number of services we offer as we don’t want to lose the momentum in our community, so financial efficiency will always be one of the top priorities.”
— Howard Riell
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Cultural Advocate of the Year
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
Since opening five years ago, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, a nonprofit organization, has transformed communitywide access to the performing arts in Southern Nevada.
As the region’s world-class performing arts center, The Smith Center presents music, theater and dance from around the world that local residents wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to experience live.
To illustrate its impact, more than two million guests have come through its doors. It has provided groundbreaking education and outreach programs for hundreds of thousands of students and teachers, often at no cost to participants.
“Education is in our DNA at The Smith Center,” said President and CEO Myron Martin. “We provide arts education experiences never offered before in Southern Nevada through our many education and outreach programs.” This includes presenting and hosting educational matinee shows in its theaters for more than 370,700 local students and teachers. Performed by local, regional and international artists, these shows provide early exposure to the arts that many students wouldn’t otherwise enjoy.
“We have helped 25 Southern Nevada elementary schools develop their own sustainable theater programs through our Disney Musicals in Schools initiative,” Martin said. “We have also provided professional development training for more than 5,200 Southern Nevada educators on how to integrate the arts across all subjects.”
Beyond this, The Smith Center has spearheaded new education awards programs in Southern Nevada. In 2016, it created the first annual Heart of Education Awards, honoring outstanding Clark County School District teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students. As Martin said, “We have already witnessed this program as having tremendous impact, including with supporting teacher recruitment and retention at CCSD.”
Goals for the coming months include expanding efforts to provide arts education experiences to even more students and teachers across Southern Nevada.
— Howard Riell
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Nonprofit of the Year
United Way of Southern Nevada
United Way of Southern Nevada was founded in 1957 with the simple objective to provide support for charitable organizations through community financial campaigns. Sixty years later, United Way of Southern Nevada is on the forefront of community change, offering a host of programs designed to help children and families build better lives.
Indeed, in 2016-2017 the organization touched the lives of thousands of Southern Nevadans, including 526 children who received a quality early education; 4,900 students who received mentoring and tutoring, 9,555 high schoolers who had access to resources that allowed them to graduate on time; and 1,846 seniors who received nearly $500,000 in energy-bill assistance.
In order to achieve these positive results, the organization united some 20,000 donors, 2,000 volunteers, 400 nonprofits and 300 companies, introducing a new strategic direction through its Community-based Agenda. Through a process that included reviewing community data, hosting conversations throughout the community and exploring programs across the country, the organization identified some of Southern Nevada’s most deeply-rooted problems, including poverty. The result was the Community-based Agenda, a road map for improving lives and breaking the cycle of poverty that focuses on early childhood education, high school achievement, post-secondary attainment and workforce supports.
Last September the organization also held its inaugural Day of Caring, a community-wide volunteering event during which more than 1,000 Southern Nevadans donated their time at 23 nonprofit agencies and 16 schools. More recently, in March of this year, the organization brought the community together for Nevada’s Big Give, a statewide day of giving. Nearly 5,000 donors supported 300 organizations, raising more than $750,000.
United Way of Southern Nevada is also poised to introduce some innovative tools, including Community Connect and Community Voice, which will help define the organization’s work as well as provide an easy way to view data and track the community’s progress.
— Danielle Birkin
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Philanthropic Business of the Year-Private
For more than 26 years, SR Construction has been committed to strengthening its community and prioritizing opportunities to provide civic service when possible.
The company was founded in 1991 as a full-service general contractor, and has since completed more than 1,200 projects throughout the Southwest.
SR Construction has excelled not only in designing and building health care, hospitality and commercial servicing markets, but in building community relations. This year, as part of the Henderson Hospital team, it conducted a Hard Hat Challenge, raising nearly $10,000 for the Henderson Senior Nutrition Fund, an organization serving at-risk seniors to help keep them out of nursing homes and being able to live independently.
The firm continued its efforts with Henderson Hospital by partnering with Fox 5 in two community charity events: a blood drive that collected 131 units of blood for the American Red Cross, and the “Supply Our Students (SOS)” school supplies drive that assembled more than 1,000 backpacks full of supplies for students in need.
In addition to these charitable events, the SR team participates in the City of Las Vegas Corporate Challenge, donates to Three Square Food Bank, and sponsors a youth basketball team. The general contracting firm recently donated supplies and labor to assist Best Buddies with the renovation of its new office space. Thanks to the SR team, Best Buddies Nevada will be able to better serve over 25,000 individuals within our state.
President Scott Loughridge is committed to supporting America’s veterans by donating annually to the Wounded Warrior Project, Freedom Alliance, Navy SEAL Foundation, and Semper Fi Fund.
“At SR Construction, volunteering and being active supporters of our community are things that are integrated into our company culture,” Loughridge said. “We encourage all of our team members to get involved, and the best way to do so is to lead by example. All of our top-level executives truly set the bar high, as giving back to the community is a personal desire.”
— Howard Riell
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Philanthropic Business of the Year-Public
Barrick Gold Corporation
The world’s largest gold-mining company with a Henderson global connectivity hub — and also some 3,500 employees at mines in Elko, Eureka, Humboldt and Lander counties — Barrick Gold Corporation recently celebrated 30 years of partnership with its host communities in Nevada. During those years, the company has supported community efforts toward education, the arts and environmental conservation.
“The commitment in philanthropy and giving back to our communities goes back to the founders,” said Barrick President Michael Brown, adding that the history of support for Nevada education dates back to the early 1990s and is based on a core belief in the sustainable value of education for individuals, communities and the state.
In 2016, Barrick invested more than $9.7 million in communities in Nevada. Last year, 61 percent of Barrick’s investments went into educational programs in Nevada, and since 2010, the company has invested more than $25 million in Nevada education, including funds for scholarships, STEM programs, classroom equipment and supplies, and classroom technology upgrades.
“And in our rural counties that has also included everything from actual school construction to after-school tutoring,” Brown said. “Our engagement with Communities in Schools is at the core of our involvement with education, and the Public Education Foundation program was our first nonprofit partner in Southern Nevada. We have avoided engaging in ‘reforming’ education and prefer to engage in programs helping kids shine.”
Brown believes every corporate giving program should include a commitment to the arts, and for Barrick, that includes support of Nevada Ballet Theatre, Nevada Arts Advocates, the Nevada Museum of Art and the Creative Coalition.
Conservation and environmental stewardship are part of the daily operations at a mining company, and also a component of Barrick’s outreach, with the company in partnership with the Nevada Nature Conservancy since 1995. Barrick also supports Outside Las Vegas Foundation, Springs Preserve and One Night for One Drop.
— Danielle Birkin