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Posted November 9, 2009

Mary Bales to be honoured as Philanthropist of the Year on Nov. 13

Burlington - Can someone really change the world with a giving heart? According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), people can through the giving of one's time, talent or treasure.

And to prove it, seven philanthropists from across the Golden Horseshoe region will be recognized for their commitment to supporting and inspiring philanthropy in their communities through a National Philanthropy Day (NPD) awards presentation on Friday, Nov. 13 at Burlington Golf & Country Club from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Recipients include Mary Bales, the Walker Family, Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington, Betty and Bruce Birmingham, The Madge Group, Taylor DeCoste and Thérèse and Kent Newcomb.

In the Wellington, Waterloo Region, Mary Bales will be honoured by AFP Golden Horseshoe Chapter for inspiring change nominated by the University of Waterloo.

Mary Bales is an award-winning real estate agent, respected board member and outstanding community leader. Her innovative approach to meeting community challenges has included founding Heartwood Place, a not-for-profit organization to address the need for affordable rental housing, and raising funds for a women's shelter. Mary is a model philanthropist, giving generously of her time, talent and treasure.

"Mary exemplifies the spirit of the University of Waterloo," says Paul Dickson, Stewardship Officer, Principal Gifts, University of Waterloo. "She's a leader and visionary, and is extremely innovative in her approach to helping citizens in the Kitchener-Waterloo community. She works tirelessly with Heartwood Place to fill the affordable housing gap within the region, as well as devoting much of her time and financial assistance to many other organizations that she's passionate about, including the University of Waterloo."

"Our Chapter's celebration honours the top philanthropists across the Golden Horseshoe region for their gift of time, talent and treasure. I applaud each and every one of our award recipients for their exceptional commitment to supporting and inspiring philanthropy in communities across the region," said Cheryl Soderlund, National Philanthropy Day Chair.

"I would like to give special thanks to this year's sponsors: Presenting Sponsor, KCI, Ketchum Canada; Co- Sponsor, Graphic Ideas/Carolan Communications; Award Sponsors, Telus - Youth Philanthropist of the Year Hamilton and Crossroads Consulting - Philanthropist of the Year Niagara; Creative & Print Sponsors, Hellingman Communications and Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning."

The Minister of Canadian Heritage has officially declared Nov. 15, 2009 as National Philanthropy Day. NPD was established 23 years ago to honour all the contributions philanthropy has made. NPD provides an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of giving and all that it has accomplished, and all it can do in the future. This year, more than 125 communities will participate in NPD events and celebrations across the globe.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals represents 26,000 members across 172 chapters in Canada, the United States, Mexico and China. AFP was established to advance philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice effective and ethical fundraising. AFP Golden Horseshoe Chapter was established in 2006 and has grown to 100 members strong.

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