On March 12, 2018, a standing-room only crowd at Arena Stage celebrated the life-long dedication of Carol Thompson Cole to the Washington DC region, 45 years of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and the incredible giving spirit of the national capital region at the 2018 Celebration of Philanthropy.
In addition to honoring Carol Thompson Cole, President and CEO of Venture Philanthropy Partners, with the 2018 Civic Spirit Award, the evening raised more than $600,000 to support local causes, and showcased performers and artists that make up the vibrant local art scene and have benefited from The Community Foundation’s support.
Proceeds will help The Community Foundation expand charitable resources and ensure that equity, access, and opportunity are available to all who live in the region. The Foundation is the largest funder of nonprofits in Greater Washington – having invested $1 billion in 10,000 organizations during its 45-year history.
Last year, The Community Foundation granted more than $78 million to about 1,700 nonprofit organizations, 64% of which directly serve the Greater Washington region. In addition, it received more than $67 million in contributions during the year – a testament to the generosity and commitment of our community of givers.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was on hand to congratulate The Community Foundation and Carol, “It is our nonprofits who are right there by our side, connecting residents to opportunity and empowering Washingtonians across all eight wards. And it is so great to have a partner like The Community Foundation, which gives out nearly $80 million annually to support a diverse range of issues in DC and beyond – including their generous support of the Safer, Stronger Opportunity Grant Fund. Philanthropies are our partners in making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. Their nonprofit grantees are our partners in providing children and teens with safe and engaging after school activities.”
Civic Spirit Award Honoree Carol Thompson Cole remarked on the significance of the evening and the award, “I am proud and truly honored to receive the 2018 Civic Spirit Award. Many thanks to The Community Foundation for recognizing my life’s work to help make this city and region one of the best places to live, go to school, work and do business.”
David Bradt and Katharine Weymouth served as co-chairs of the Celebration. Kaiser Permanente was the premier sponsor. Other major sponsors included Brown Advisory Morgan Stanley, Nancy and Jorge Kfoury Foundation, and Mario Morino, co-founder of Venture Philanthropy Partners.
The evening featured performances from Arts for the Aging, Community Bridges, DC Youth Orchestra, GALA Hispanic Theatre and Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company, Justin Trawick and The Common Good, Paula Brown Performing Arts Center (pictured), Young Artists of America, and Vanny.