Schroeder Named 2019 Philanthropist Of The Year

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Gloria Schroeder was named the 2019 Philanthropist of the Year during the Foundation’s annual celebration. Finalists for the year included Denise O’Connor-Munsey and Naomi Ford, Linda Anderson and Emma Perera. The McPherson High School Jazz Band performed as part of the evening’s festivities. Terri Bornholdt, Board Chair presented an overview of the Foundation’s grant making for 2019 and introduce current board members.

To complete the evening, President/CEO Becky Goss, announced the 2020 Philanthropist of the Year will serve as the kickoff for a year-long celebration of the Foundation’s 20th anniversary. The date for the event is Nov. 12, 2020.

Nomination of Gloria Schroeder:

Submitted by Tandy Wine:

I would like to nominate Gloria Schroeder for Philanthropist of the year, for her heart of
giving and her tireless work in helping those in need wherever she meets them.
Because of her efforts, needs are met, people are encouraged and comforted, and
those around her are inspired to join her in reaching out to others.

Gloria has been involved in numerous local charities.  Examples include helping plan
and participate in many  Women and Children Combating Cancer fundraisers (Men in
Tights, Pink Pajama Party, etc.) as well as being heavily involved in the Relay for Life
activities for the American Cancer society.  Additionally, Gloria has cooked, planned,
prepped or organized for countless events and meals for others.

Through her employer, Farmers Alliance, Gloria has been instrumental in organizing
fellow employees to help with donations and volunteering for activities such as:

  • Meal preparations for Step MC and Loaves & Fishes
  • Supply drives for WACCC combat bags
  • Food donations for the Holiday Food Baskets.

If Gloria is involved, you can be sure all will have a good time!

Here are some organizations, mind you just the ones of which I’m aware that have
benefited from Gloria’s time. energy and service:

  • Relay for Life
  • Women and Children Combating Cancer
  • Loaves and Fishes
  • Step MC
  • Childhood Cancer Walk
  • Holiday Food Basket drive
  • Community Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners
  • All School’s Day Committee

If you could get Gloria to tell you, I’m sure there are many more local events for which
she has volunteered.  In addition to organized charity work, Gloria has also been known
to literally meet a person on the street downtown and suspecting there are needs not
being met, help the person on the spot!  Gloria just has a true heart of service!.

It should be noted that Gloria’s husband Rod is right by her side at many events and
projects, helping support in any way he can, from transporting people, food, and
supplies, to setup and cleanup, to taking his turn in the hot seat in the dunk tank!

McPherson is a better place, and we are better people because of Gloria (and Rod’s)
presence among us!

Nomination of Denise O’Connor-Munsey:

Submitted by Cindy Goldsmith

I am nominating Denise O’Connor-Munsey for MCCF philanthropist of the year.  Denise has always been and continues to be a driving force in this community when it comes to volunteering her time, talents and resources to causes she sees as important and impactful.

It would be nearly impossible to construct a complete listing of all the groups and organizations she has been a part of over the years she has lived in McPherson, not to mention the impact she has had on our community.

She was a huge part of the McPherson Strikers soccer club during the years her kids all played club soccer.  Any school activities that her kids were involved in, you would find Denise as a loyal supporter, booster, organizer, fundraiser and leader. From prom fundraising and decorating, Band Booster Club Board, Soccer Team Parents group providing team meals, sack lunches, and support.

Denise has been on numerous boards over the years including, but not limited to, the United Way, the Library Board, St. Joseph School Committees, McPherson County Community Foundation and Finance Committee, The McPherson Opera House Board, All Schools Day and The Cedars Board.  Not only does she sit on these boards, you can also find her as a part of any finance, endowment or fundraising committee that they would create, or President of the board in some situations.

She has also volunteered for and donated funds to many community organizations such as Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Inc, STEPMC, and McPherson County Food Bank, just to name a few. There is so much more she does for the community that no one sees or hears about.

Denise also recognizes the importance of what impact an endowment fund can have on the community now and for many years to come.  That is one of the reasons she and her children personally set up the Michael O’Connor United Way Challenge Grant fund.  This endowment fund currently has a literacy focus and helps to get books in the hands of children in our community at no charge. She has been a driving force behind bringing the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to McPherson, through the United Way as well as being the inaugural donor to the program.

In her career as a Financial Advisor, she has worked with many of her clients to help them to leave their own legacy, whether through setting up a donor advised fund or a scholarship fund or looking at unique ways for charitable giving through the MCCF.

Denise has a passion for helping people, especially those who may be struggling with their financial situation. She has a passion to help those people in order to make their dreams come true and to be able to put their own passions to work. One example of this is shown through her willingness to help out at MHS Financial Aid night and to meet with students one on one to find ways to make attending college attainable.

Denise’s generous and giving spirit and desire to help those in her community make her a perfect candidate for this honor.

Nomination of Linda Anderson, Naomi Ford and Emma Perera:

Submitted by Sondra Unruh:

For over three decades, three ladies have been at the forefront of keeping history and patriotism alive in the Galva Community. Each could stand on their own for this honor, but together, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Naomi Ford, widow of former long-time Mayor Wayne Ford, is a founding member of Old Empire Days and the Galva Museum. She has spent her entire adult life teaching Galva’s youth about citizenship and patriotism.

Linda Andersen is also co-chairman and passionate about local history with an emphasis on the Santa Fe Trail, which runs through McPherson County. She has been instrumental in placing signage along the trail. She is also historian for Galva Christian Church.

Emma Perera completes the trio. She is very involved with all the above-mentioned activities and also does a “re-enactment” of one of Galva’s founding mothers. She presents programs to anyone who asks! Emma and Linda are also members of the Empire Cemetery Board and spend many hours devoted to caring for our departed ancestors.

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