Peoria, Ill. (WEEK) - Some of the most generous people in the heart of Illinois were recognized publicly today. It happened at the 34th National Philanthropy Day luncheon. The ballroom was full of storytelling, laughs and even some tears as seven awards were given.
National Philanthropy Day is held annually by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The central Illinois chapter president, Danielle Easton, says one of the goals for the day is to encourage more service in the community.
"One of our goals today- people that are walking away have a good sense of the community, some of the great things going on already and to just really be inspired to do more", said Easton.
Some of the recognized groups included the Illinois Central College Women's Basketball team for outstanding youth philanthropy, and Mark and Jeannette Kleine, who were recognized after contributing $1.5 million to OSF Healthcare St. Mary medical center.
Collectively, recipients mentioned that they don't do it for the recognition, but because they understand the importance of giving back.
Recipient of the outstanding fundraising executive, Rich Draeger, credits his wife for the motivation.
"I wanted to give her a little sunshine today too because she's a big part of what I do. I joke, 'even at an event like today where she gets lunch counts as a date night for me'. So, she's a very big part of what i do, as is my mother-in-law and family."
Draeger says he hopes this event can motivate more people to volunteer their time, talent or treasure.