The Touchstone Awards recognizes and celebrates programs or projects for their leadership in transforming problems into opportunities and service into action. Each year at a luncheon, the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation recognizes non-profits that have gone above and beyond to improve the region by fostering Generosity, Civic Engagement and Inclusiveness.
Two Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation funded programs – one that prepares young leaders for service on community non-profit boards and another that uses creative writing to empower prison inmates for life beyond incarceration – earned special recognition Monday at the annual Touchstone Awards in the DECC’s Harborside Ballroom.
The Emerging Leaders Board Training initiated by Head of the Lake United Way earned the organization the Touchstone Civic Engagement Award. The program focused on younger people interested in serving on non-profit boards. As older business and civic leaders have retired from those boards, there has been a noticeable lack of young professionals willing to fill in those roles. The Foundation called the program “an exciting opportunity for young professionals to leverage their leadership skills through volunteerism, gain an understanding for what it takes to becomes successful board members, and ensure a stronger, more vibrant non-profit sector for many years to come.” The program will begin it’s third year in the spring of 2020. Visit hlunitedway.org/emergingleaders to learn more.
All Touchstone Award winners received an additional grant of $2,500 to help finance charitable work. Besides the three winners, four more finalists also received an additional grant of $500 to further their efforts.
Winners and finalists in the civic engagement and inclusiveness categories were chosen from among nearly 200 grants provided to nonprofit organizations from the Community Foundation in 2017.
In closing remarks, Community Foundation President and CEO Holly Sampson said, “When we look at our region and our country, it can seem extremely demanding, from a funder’s perspective. Needs are growing dramatically. Problems are becoming more complicated. The complexities require us to find new solutions, new levels of engagement and new opportunities to come together. When we do come together, though, it is amazing to see the power of community to transform lives. All of the projects we recognized today are examples of that.”
Original article, published on October 7, 2019,
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