Gateway Center for Giving Recognizes Grantmakers at PhilanthroPLAY, its 2011 Annual Meeting

ST. LOUIS, January 31, 2012– The Gateway Center for Giving held its Annual Meeting luncheon this past Monday, January 30, 2012 at The Magic House.  The theme of this year’s meeting was PhilanthroPLAY and the event was filled with fun as Center President Mary McMurtrey lightly poked fun at its member grantmakers. The event brought together more than 135 grantmakers and nonprofits to look at the state of the Center and celebrate the generosity of our community.

During the business meeting portion of the meeting lead by incoming Board Vice Chair Sue Schlichter of Express Scripts, Center members welcomed in new board members and gave their thanks to outgoing board members.  New additions to the Gateway Center for Giving Board include Michael Yarbrough of the St. Louis Rams and Kirby Burkholder of IFF.  Jane Donahue of the Deaconess Foundation will serve as the Board Chair in 2012.  The Center thanked its outgoing board members which included Kathy Reeves of Enterprise Holdings, Inc., Jill Fivecoat of Northern Trust, and Ann Sullins, former President of the Gateway Center for Giving. Outgoing board members each received a handmade candle from Consolare. is a local nonprofit whose profits benefit victims of crime and violence with advocacy, counseling, crisis response, and more.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Excellence in Grantmaking Awards. Each fall, the Gateway Center for Giving solicits nominations from nonprofits in three categories and the awards are handed out to the grantmakers at the Annual Meeting. The awards celebrate the work of St. Louis area grantmakers by honoring donors who fund programs, efforts, or initiatives that have made a significant impact in the region.  The award winners each received a custom-made award that was designed by apprentices at St. Louis ArtWorks. The “Boomerang Press” team created three colorful and unique awards that exhibit the spirit of the award.

The three award winners were:

  • The Saigh Foundation won the Giving is On Going award and was nominated by a record three nonprofits including The St. Louis Zoo, Webster University, and Wyman Center.  Jeff Huntington, Dr. Beth Stroble, and Christine Ramsey presented the award to JoAnn Hejna, Executive Director of The Saigh Foundation.
  • Maritz won the Giving is on Time award and was nominated by the Arts and Education Council of St. Louis. Cynthia Prost presented the award to Debbie Schirmer, Senior Community Affairs Manager at Maritz.
  • Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis won the Giving is Far Reaching award and was nominated by Rebuilding Together-St. Louis. Jessica Conner presented the award to Sister Joan Kuester, Executive Director of Daughters of Charity Foundation.

Once the luncheon officially came to a close, attendees were set lose to run around The Magic House and play.  Visit the Gateway Center for Giving Facebook page over the coming weeks to see pictures from the meeting.

About the Center

The Gateway Center for Giving is a membership organization made up of grantmakers in the St. Louis region. Founded in 1970 as the Metropolitan Association for Philanthropy (MAP), the Center’s members include corporations, donor-advised funds, foundations, trusts and professional advisors actively involved in philanthropy.

The Center’s 2012 Board includes Cynthia Curry Crim (Commerce Bank), Jane Donahue (Deaconess Foundation), Sue Schlichter (Express Scripts Foundation), Kirby Burkholder (IFF) Lyle Brizendine (Bank of America), Kasey D. Bergh (Nestle Purina PetCare Company), Kristy Collins Biehle (Hermann T. and Phenie R. Pott Foundation), John Fort (John and Mary Kaye Fort Family Fund), Kathy Gardner (United Way of Greater St. Louis), David Krauss (Commerce Family Office), Cynthia Medart (Bland Family Foundation), Matt Oldani (Build-a-Bear Workshop), Mary Swan (Ameren Missouri), Ann Vazquez (Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis), and Michael Yarbrough (St. Louis Rams).


Lindsey Linzer
[email protected]

Categories Event, Gateway Center for GivingTags ,

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