Six Midlands-area corporations, service groups and individuals were honored Thursday for their charitable giving and community service.
The recognition came during the S.C. Central Carolina Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals awards program as part of National Philanthrophy Day.
Love Collins III was named this year's outstanding fundraising executive. Collins, the executive vice president for institutional advancement at Benedict College, was noted for his fundraising in higher education.
Steve Morrison and Mary Kennemur received the volunteer fundraiser award. The two have chaired the United Way of the Midlands campaign the past two years and contributed more than 300 hours of combined service.
Darla D. Moore received this year's outstanding philanthropist award for her support of higher education.
The Hammond School Red Cross Club was named outstanding youth group fundraiser. The club raised more than $1,000 in its first year and assisted the Red Cross and the Oliver Gospel Mission.
Colonial Life and Accident Insurance was named outstanding group fundraiser. The company was noted for the success of its 2009 United Way campaign, which raised more than $281,000 and had more than 87 percent employee participation.
Palmetto Health received the outstanding corporation award for its general community assistance as well as its support of the United Way. The hospital system annually sets aside $350,000 for community work and has contributed more than $2.5 million to the United Way since 2000.
Thursday's keynote speaker was Kresge Foundation president and CEO Rip Rapson, who talked about challenges nonprofits are facing in these strained economic times and the need to establish priorities for giving. His $2.8 billion private foundation, based in Detroit, supports nonprofit organizations in health, the environment, community development, arts and culture, education and human services - awarding 342 grants totaling $181 million in 2008.
Alicia Smith, National Philanthropy Day co-chairwoman, thanked those atThursday's gathering for their combined efforts to improve the community.
"Everyone here has contributed to the great community that we are," Smith said. "We should all give ourselves a big pat on the back, because it's through the efforts of this community that change can happen."
The Association of Fundraising Professionals promotes the development and growth of fundraising professionals to preserve and enhance philanthropy and volunteerism.
National Philanthropy Day is held each November to recognize philanthropy and those active in the philanthropic community.