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

It’s The Piñon Awards time again! 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 37th year, the Santa Fe Community Foundation continues its mission to celebrate these unsung heroes, by once again selecting and awarding local nonprofit organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the community at large. The 37th Annual Piñon Awards take place Tuesday, October 10, 2023, from 5 – 8 p.m., at La Fonda on the Plaza.

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.

“Our community’s resounding support this year not only underscores the vital role of local nonprofits, but speaks to the strength of this year’s awardees,” said Christopher Goett, President & CEO of the Santa Fe Community Foundation. “We’re looking forward to celebrating their many contributions during our awards ceremony this fall.”

This year’s awardees include four 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 $5,000 grant with underwriting support from Enterprise Bank & Trust.

“This year’s honorees have displayed a tremendous commitment to our region’s most vulnerable families and communities,” said Dion Silva, Regional President of Enterprise Bank & Trust. “It’s our great honor to support their missions.”

This year, the awards go to the following organizations:

Searchlight New Mexico – winner of the Courageous Innovation Award, which honors an organization that uses a bold and courageous approach, based on sound theory, to create new solutions to persistent problems.  Searchlight New Mexico delivers high-quality journalism and investigative work for the betterment of our community. Their fearless reporting confronts abuses of power, corruption, and racial and economic inequities — ultimately driving positive change across our region.

Scott’s House – winner of the Quiet Inspiration Award, which honors an organization whose hallmark is to work quietly and respectfully among a wide range of people in the community and has earned the longtime support and trust of its constituents. With a dedicated and compassionate team of volunteers, Scott’s House provides exceptional end-of-life and respite care for low-income individuals in need.

New Mexico Acequia Association – winner of the Resiliency Award, which honors an organization that builds the resilience of people and communities most vulnerable to emergencies, such as natural disasters, public health crises, and systemic injustices. The New Mexico Acequia Association enhances the resilience of our region by protecting our water and acequias, growing healthy food for families and communities, and honoring our cultural heritage. Following 2022’s devastating wildfires, the association has worked tirelessly to restore northern New Mexico’s damaged acequia systems.

Institute of American Indian Arts – winner of the Tried and True Award, which honors an organization that has served the community for over a decade with consistent and high-quality programs, services, and opportunities despite changes in the external environment. A beacon of excellence in Indigenous academics, the Institute of American Indian Arts has empowered creativity and leadership in Native arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning, and outreach since 1962.

Help celebrate these innovators in the non-profit realm, at the 37th Annual Piñon Awards, and who knows, maybe you’ll even be inspired to lend a hand, yourself! The event begins with cocktails and conversation at 5 p.m., in the Lumpkins Ballroom at La Fonda on the Plaza. The awards will be given out beginning at 6 p.m., followed by a catered dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, or to reserve your place at the table, visit the website.


This article was posted by David Salcido

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