Interested in sponsoring our 40th Anniversary? Check out our sponsorship guide here.

Thank you for celebrating another year of continued community giving and growth with us. We hope you enjoyed your time learning about the impact individuals and communities are creating! Majora Carter’s message was uplifting and inspiring. Watch the recording below in case you missed it (or if you want to hear it again!)

Get Caught Smiling?

Not everyone got a chance to take the stage, but many folks still made it into the spotlight! Take a peek through our gallery on Flikr to see who you can pick out in the crowd. Who knows maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of yourself! Download your favorites and feel free to use them on your social media. Make sure to tag @cfsww or add #takeroot #cfsww to your post so we can show you our appreciation!

View the Gallery

Dive in Deeper

Majora offers a thought-provoking perspective on persistent poverty and its relationship to talent retention in her book, Reclaiming Your Community. Majora touches on her brother’s murder, her experiences as a woman of color, some of the projects she’s undertaken and obstacles she’s overcome. Get a copy for yourself, share it with a friend, and continue your learning journey!

Buy Majora’s Book

Phone a Friend

Our luncheon has people talking! We love hearing about the fruitful conversations you’ve been having with your friends and family. To keep the discussions going, we’ve compiled a few of Majora’s guided questions for you here.

  • Is a talent-retention approach to neighborhood revitalization realistic in your opinion? Why or why not?
  • What do you believe is the root cause of so-called gentrification?
  • How does your company, non-profit or government agency use strategies for reducing brain drain in communities you are focused on or operating in?
  • What are some talent-retention strategies that would make your organization or community more attractive to people who have options to go elsewhere?
  • Is there an organizational capacity where you are (or at connected organizations) to intervene in the liquidation of property held by or to be acquired by people of color? How can you help more land from slipping out of community members’ control?
  • What commonly reoccurring challenges to your community’s quality of life (e.g., dog poo, loud music, garbage, pests) can you approach local government to help solve? What can you act on yourself?
  • Who are some local individuals leading on aspects of community reinvestment and wealth creation currently where you live? Do they have your support? Why or why not? Are you one of them?

Cheers to another great year of thoughtful community building. We can’t wait to see you all at our celebration in 2024!

Thanks to our Sponsors!

This generous group of sponsors makes this inspiring afternoon possible each year. Sponsorships are available for purchase online. For more details, please contact [email protected].

Gold Sponsors


Sterling Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors


Philanthropist of the Year Award

The Community Foundation established the Philanthropist of the Year Award to recognize and celebrate individuals, couples, families or foundations that serve as exemplars of generosity in our community through outstanding charitable support, leadership and service.   

2023 – Mark Matthias and Ali Novinger

2022 – Ron and Terry Prill

2021 – Gary and Christine Rood

2019 – Jim and Judith Youde

2018 – Al and Sandee Kirkwood

2017 – Greg and Michele Goodwin

2016 – Bob and Pauline Kirchner

2015 – Bob and Sharon Lewis

2013 – Jim and Kay McClaskey

2012 – Steve and Jo Marie Hansen

2011 – Lee and Connie Kearney

2010 – Joe & Teresa Pauletto

2009 – Steve and Jan Oliva

2008 – Wes and Nancy Lematta

2007 – David and Patricia Nierenberg

2006 – Ed Firstenburg

2005 – Ed and Dollie Lynch

2004 – Leslie Durst

2004 – Ray Hickey Foundation

2004 – Margaret Pulliam

Friend Of The Foundation Award

The Community Foundation established the Friend of the Foundation Award to recognize individuals and organizations who provide both professional and personal support to the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington and its mission.

2023 – First Pacific Financial

2022 – Vaughn Lein

2019 – James Martin

2018 – Brett Bryant

2017 – Michael Burgoyne, CFP®

2015 – Pabst Holland & Reynolds, PLLC

2013 – Richard Melching

2012 – Scott and Jody Campbell

2011 – Max B. Kamp

2010 – Vernon F. Peterson, CPA

2009 – Brot Bishop, Jr.

2008 – Michael Minnick

2007 – T. Randall Grove

2006 – Jeanne Kojis

2005 – William C. Dudley

2004 – Rhona Sen Hoss

2003 – David Kenny

2002 – Ron Legg

2001 – Karen Sahlstrom

2000 – Jeanne Mack

2000  – Freeman Keller

2000 – Larry Smith

Community Champion Award

The Community Champion Award celebrates individuals or organizations that are deeply engaged in their communities and tackling the most pressing issues of our time.

2023 – Karen Morrison

2022 – Geri Hiller

2021 – Anna Cruz

2021 – Merril Firestone

2019 – Don and Margaret Fuesler

2019 – The Ryan Family

2015 – David and Diane Difford

2012 – Harris Dusenbery

2012 – Margaret Colf Hepola

Catalyst Award for Philanthropic Innovation

The Catalyst Award for Philanthropic Innovation is reserved for southwest Washington’s most influential changemakers to recognize individuals who have achieved lasting community improvement through innovative philanthropic approaches. These visionaries combine extensive amounts of time, talent, treasure, ties and testimony to advance original approaches that have transformed southwest Washington organizations, places and communities. 

2016 – Ed Lynch

2011 – Mary Granger