Outstanding philanthropy leaders from across Mississippi gathered in November at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson for National Philanthropy Day as the 2013 Philanthropist of the Year, Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year, Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year and Community Champions were recognized by the Mississippi Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) were announced.
Chris Blount, president of the Mississippi Chapter of AFP, proudly recognized Mississippi AFP’s Philanthropist of the Year as Wiley Hatcher of the Madison Charitable Foundation. Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year went to Bishop Ronnie C. Crudup Sr. of the RECH Foundation and Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year went to George Bassi of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.
Wiley Hatcher is a native of Oktibbeha County, graduated from Greenwood High School and later began residence in Port Gibson. After graduating from high school, he immediately became involved in the surveying business, which led to acquiring a pipeline engineering company. In 2008 he sold the company and founded the Madison Charitable Foundation with the sole mission to give money to help people in need without publicity or recognition. The foundation has given over $17.5 million from 2008-2011 to over 50 areas in education, arts, health, sports, museums, children’s homes and medicine in Mississippi and nationally. Hatcher was co-nominated for the award by Delta State University and Mississippi State University.
Hatcher humbly said, “I want to help people in need without publicity or recognition.”
J.O. “Joc” Carpenter, foundation board member and friend said, “Wiley’s instructions were purely to give the money away. Through my experiences with the Madison Charitable Foundation, I’ve found truth in the adage, ‘to give is better than to receive.’ Being able to provide financial support and see how it can make a difference in the lives of so many people — it does your heart good.”
Keith Fulcher, executive director of the Delta State University Alumni and Foundation said, “We are thankful to Wiley and Joc for the Madison Charitable Foundation grants that are given in memory of their good friend Allen Burrell. No amount of grants can replace the loss of Allen, but their funds help make a college education possible in Allen’s name.”
Jud Skelton, director of Development for Real Estate at Mississippi State University said, “I believe that Wiley Hatcher’s generosity and willingness to help other Mississippians in need is a characteristic that all of us should strive to achieve.”
Former University of Mississippi Chancellor Robert Khayat added, “It is clear that the Madison Charitable Foundation has a sincere desire to help people in need.”
Suzan Thames, chairman of the Board of Friends of Children’s Hospital and Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children said, “The Madison Charitable Foundation’s generous donation to our children’s hospital will greatly enhance the quality of medical care of the sick and injured children in our state.”
Previous Philanthropists of the Year include John D. Bower, Elaine Graham Hancock, The Phil Hardin Foundation, Bob and Sara Hederman, Warren Hood, Dudley and Robbie Hughes, Stuart C. Irby Jr., Jean Lindsay, Mac McCarty, Anna McLean, Jerry O’Keefe, John Palmer, Joe Frank Sanderson, Joe and Kathy Sanderson, Robert E. Smith and Leila Clark Wynn.
Bishop Ronnie C. Crudup Sr. is the Administrative Bishop for the Fellowship of International Churches and senior pastor of New Horizon Church International in Jackson. Crudup has spent 35 years in service to the community through his personal gifts and in his dedication to turning around urban and rural communities with focus in the African American community in their volunteering and philanthropic work. He is also the founder and CEO responsible for the introduction of the “We Make It Better Foundation,” which exists to make life better for all through Philanthropy and Activism. He was nominated by Frederick Rogers of the RECH Foundation. Previous Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers include Earle F. Jones, Sarah Jones Nelson, Suzan Brown Thames, Sheriff Malcolm McMillin and The Junior League of Jackson.
George Bassi is the executive director of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. He has spent the majority of his 26-year development career at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel. His accomplishments include initiating the museum’s first development program, securing $1.1 million for operating budget, managing an annual membership drive that secures approximately $175,000 each year, completing a successful $5 million capital campaign to expand the museum and continuing to manage a small development shop of two and a number of volunteers. Prior to the museum, he held the position of assistant director of Alumni and Foundation at Delta State University. Bassi was nominated by Derek Alley of Arthur Alley Associated. This is the first year for the Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year award.
Maggie Wade, mistress of ceremonies, recognized the state-wide philanthropic efforts of the Community Champions as: Bishop Ronnie C. Crudup Sr. of the RECH Foundation, Keith Gaskin of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Wiley Hatcher of the Madison Charitable Foundation, Robbie Hughes of the University of Mississippi Medical Center-MIND Center, Marcia Lane of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Janice McGee of Community Place, Margaret McLarty of Mississippi Food Network, James A. Peden, Jr. a Jackson lawyer and board member of Community Place, Gloria Walker of the Walker Foundation and Joe Ann Ward of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Chris Blount and Amanda Fontaine, co-chairs of Mississippi’s National Philanthropy Day, expressed their appreciation to all philanthropists who have raised the bar high through communal and charitable generosity. To view photos from the event, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsualumni/sets/72157638834198965/.