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The Association of Fundraising Professionals, an international professional development organization, each year honors philanthropists who have made significant contributions to their communities.

The chapter has chosen to honor the Sedona Women, Dames Who Make a Difference, as the Outstanding Philanthropic Organization of the Year; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona as the Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation; Eugene Munger as Volunteer of the Year, and Traci Corey of Yavapai County Community Foundation as Outstanding New Fundraising Executive.

These organizations and individuals will be honored during a luncheon Thursday, Nov. 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Agave Conference Center, Best Western Inn of Sedona.

The luncheon will be preceded by a workshop given by fundraising expert Kayt C. Peck of Flying Pigs Creative Services from 9 to 11 a.m.

The Sedona Women has been in existence for about 10 years and is open to all women who care about Sedona and the Verde Valley.

Some of organization’s projects include:

Helen Wolfe Scholarship — The Sedona Women awards up to three $2,500 annual scholarships in honor of our founder, Helen Wolfe. Scholarships are awarded to women who are re-entering students whose education has been interrupted or to students who are planning to resume their education.

Sedona is Water Wise — The Sedona Women took on the project of Water Wise several years ago to raise awareness and move residents and businesses to a much higher level of action to protect this most valuable resource.

Sedona Winds and Kachina Point Health Care — In 2008 and 2009, the Sedona Women created and hosted nine special events at the centers.

Elderly Christmas Gift Program — This program was started by The Sedona Women new board member Brenda Cosse, as a way to help elders living in the Verde Valley. Gift bags containing gift certificates, shampoo, soap, blankets, socks and slippers and cash are distributed. This year’s plan is to distribute 532 gift bags, during the holidays, to the Meals on Wheels recipients in Cottonwood and the residents of Verde Valley Manor.

Art Placement in the Roundabouts — The Sedona Women have pledged $10,000 to the city, via the Arts in Public Places Committee, toward the development and placement of art in the roundabouts.

Giving Gardens — Giving Gardens is a community service project sponsored by the Sedona Women to assist those in need within our community, including retired seniors, singles, and young families who struggle to afford the basic necessity of groceries. Its fundamental vision is to heighten the awareness of need and to increase food donations to the Sedona Community Food Bank.

Verde Valley Sanctuary — The Sedona Women repainted, put in new curtains, provided new towels and bedspreads, and updated bathrooms to create an atmosphere that was cheery for the residents.

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