Takoma Foundation update: Azalea Awards, winter fundraising

by Kevin Adler
Takoma Foundation Board

Though it’s still mid-winter, the hearts and minds of Takoma Parkians can turn to one of the signs that spring is arriving: the Azalea Awards. Nominations are now being accepted civic leaders in 10 categories. The Azalea Awards are co-sponsored by the Takoma Voice and the Takoma Foundation, culminating in a red-carpet ceremony on Saturday, April 16 in city council chambers.

“Takoma Park benefits in an untold number of ways from the contributions of so many people,” said Franca Brilliant, newly elected president of the Takoma Foundation. “Whether it’s the athletic leagues or the beautification of streetscapes and parks or helping people in need–we have people who are making a difference. This is our chance to celebrate and thank some of those people.”

Anyone can submit a nomination in one or more of the 10 categories: Takoma Spirit, Community Activist, Coach, Arts, Green, School Activist, Superhero, Business, Educator, and Mentor. Descriptions of the categories and past winners can be found at the Takoma Foundation’s website, www.takomafoundation.org. Nominations can be made through Tuesday, March 1 by sending an email to azalea@takoma.com. Brilliant said that nominating a candidate is informal, but a short note should describe what the person has done in the community.

In early March, an online ballot will be posted on the Voice’s website, www.takoma.com,
and voting will continue through Monday, April 4. The 2011 winners will
be announced and honored at the awards ceremony on April 16. The event
is free, and it will include music, a light dinner, and other

Fundraising developments

The Foundation’s winter 2010 fundraising campaign raised more than
$11,000, giving it a solid baseline for making grants in 2011. “We’re
very pleased with the response, especially in an uncertain economy,”
said Brilliant. “We had a record number of applicants in our last grant
cycle, and we want to raise as much money as possible so that we can
support all of the worthy projects.”

With an eye to raising the bar on its grant-making ability, the
Foundation’s Board decided that it will encourage past and prospective
donors to consider making large legacy gifts or contributions of
appreciated stock. “Donations of $25 to $100 are the heart of our
fundraising, but large legacy gifts would enable us to do even more in
the community,” said Brilliant. “If prospective donors are concerned
that we aren’t able to handle the paperwork and other commitments that
are necessary to accept these types of donations–we want you to know
that we can.” 

The Community Foundation for Montgomery County and the Community
Foundation-National Capital Region provide technical support to the
Takoma Foundation, including the expertise to handle estate planning
gifts. “These umbrella foundations have been great partners of ours for
years, and we’re working with them to realize the full potential of what
they can do for us. For example, the Community Foundation for
Montgomery County’s enabled us to start taking online donations this
winter,” said Brilliant.

1 Comment on "Takoma Foundation update: Azalea Awards, winter fundraising"

  1. Eleanor Whitman | March 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm |

    I tried to vote in the Azalea Awards, specifically for Loretta Neuman, one of the finest civic activists around. Her work for the Takoma Theatre Conservancy is astounding. Why is there no oppotunity to vote for helping Takoma in such a crucial way??

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