“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my
mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find
people who are helping.’”
― Fred Rogers
In 1944, the newly-formed Columbus Foundation received its first unsolicited gift: a $25
donation from Olga Anna Jones, a teacher, an editor of The Ohio Women Voter, and Columbus’ first city councilwoman. From the start, The Columbus Foundation has been at the center of identifying, cultivating, and inspiring the “helpers” in central Ohio - from donors at every level to the nonprofit organizations they support. At the annual Celebration of Philanthropy, the Foundation takes time to celebrate the helpers, too. Read below for more information on the 2021 Celebration of Philanthropy Awards and Honorees.
The Harrison M. Sayre Award
Given in honor of The Columbus Foundation’s founder and 25-year volunteer director, The
Harrison M. Sayre Award recognizes outstanding leadership in philanthropy in central Ohio. The 2021 award winners, Tom and Nancy Lurie, have devoted their lives to not only giving back to the community, but to inspiring generational giving within their own family. Now three
generations strong, the Lurie family gives their time, talent, and treasure to organizations
supporting the arts, social services, women’s issues, and the Jewish faith. Tom and Nancy have long served on boards and committees with local nonprofits, including the Columbus Cancer Clinic, Temple Israel, Directions for Youth and Families, and the Columbus Museum of Art. Nancy was a long-time volunteer tutor at Columbus City Schools, and Tom has served in board roles with leading national institutions serving the decorative arts world. The Luries are well-known for their thoughtful generosity, leadership, innovation, compassion, and service - having touched countless lives and paving the way for the next generation of philanthropists and community leaders.
The Columbus Foundation Award
Recognizing organizations that have made a difference in the quality of life in our community,
the 2021 Columbus Foundation Award was presented to IMPACT Community Action. With a
mission to fight poverty by providing hope-inspiring help and real opportunities for
self-sufficiency, IMPACT’s core programs center on benefiting those with barriers to success
and stability. During the COVID-19 pandemic, IMPACT, led by CEO Robert ‘Bo’ Chilton, has
been instrumental in preventing evictions for thousands of residents in Franklin County. IMPACT has acted as a local leader in stabilizing families, whose employment opportunities were disrupted as a result of the pandemic, by providing emergency rent, utility, and mortgage assistance. Through coalition efforts with 18 nonprofit partners, IMPACT has helped prevent eviction for 16,000 people, and dispersed $35 million in relief dollars. As part of the award, IMPACT received a $50,000 grant.
About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation serves nearly 3,000 individuals, families, and businesses that have
created unique funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. The Columbus Foundation is Your Trusted Philanthropic Advisor® and one of the top 10 largest community foundations in the United States.