The Piñon Awards: Honoring Excellence in the Non-Profit Sector -

Non-profit organizations have been called the life blood of any community that truly cares about its members. It’s tireless work that usually receives no recognition, beyond the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies a job well done. Now in its 36th year, the Santa Fe Community Foundation continues its mission to rectify that situation, by once again selecting and awarding local nonprofit organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the community at large. The 36th Annual Piñon Awards take place Thursday, October 6, beginning at 5 p.m., in the La Fonda on the Plaza Ballroom.

Winning nonprofits must meet certain criteria in order to be nominated, much less awarded. Among those are, a proven track record for at least three years in northern New Mexico, and alignment with one or more of the Foundation’s funding priorities: Arts & Culture, Animal Welfare, Civic & Economic Opportunities, Education, Environment, and Health & Wellbeing. They must also have a 501(c)(3), or tribal identity.

“This is one of our most time-honored traditions,” said Christopher Goett, president and CEO of the Santa Fe Community Foundation. “For over three decades, the Piñon Awards have allowed us to shine light on the people and organizations that are driving positive change across our region with unwavering commitment, generosity, and innovation.”

This year’s awardees include an individual and five organizations serving the Foundation’s funding region of Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, and Santa Fe counties, who were selected from over two dozen nominations submitted by the public. The winners will each receive an unrestricted grant and airtime on KSFR’s Community Matters radio show, to discuss the impact of their work.

This year, the awards go to the following organizations:

NDI New Mexico – winner of the Courageous Innovation Award, which honors an organization that uses a bold approach to solve a persistent problem in the community. NDI New Mexico provides innovative programs that help children develop discipline, a standard of excellence, and a belief in themselves that will carry over into all aspects of their lives.

Gerard’s House – winner of the Quiet Inspiration Award, which honors an organization that provides consistent high-quality services and opportunities, despite changes in the external environment. Since 1997, Gerard’s House has helped more than 10,000 children and youth regain hope, stabilize physically and psychologically, and restore sustaining relationships with family and friends in the face of serious loss.

The Food Depot – winner of the Tried and True Award, which honors an organization whose hallmark it is to work quietly and respectfully among a wide range of people in the community. With a simple vision of creating healthy, hunger-free communities, The Food Depot has created a network of partners to develop solutions to hunger in northern New Mexico.

STEM Santa Fe – winner of the Visionary Award, which honors an organization that is making measurable progress toward a well-articulated and achievable vision for what is to come. STEM Santa Fe advocates for, develops, and provides STEM programming, mentoring, and resource for youth – especially underrepresented groups – to realize their potential and expand their opportunities in a dynamic world.

The Sky Center – winner of the Resiliency Award, which honors an organization that is building the resilience of those most vulnerable to emergencies, including efforts to respond to natural disasters, public health crises, and/or systemic injustices. The Sky Center meets the challenge of youth suicide in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico, through lasting solutions that encourage confidence, courage, connection, and hope.

Tom Starke – winner of the Philanthropic Leader Award, which honors an individual, family, or family foundation with a proven record of financial generosity and/or volunteer leadership. In his quiet and understated manner, Tom is a force for good in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico, as well as a tireless advocate and strategist who creates services, programming, and awareness regarding substance abuse.

Help celebrate these innovators in the non-profit realm, at the 36th Annual Piñon Awards, and who knows, maybe you’ll even be inspired to lend a hand, yourself! For more information, or to reserve your place, visit the website.

This article was posted by David Salcido

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