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Idaho philanthropy heroes lauded at event, in publication

Benito Skinner, flanked by his two dogs, started the nonprofit OATHS (Organization Assisting the Homeless Student). Skinner is a senior at Bishop Kelly High School.

You could call Bill “Action” Jackson, 69, a “dumpster diver for charity,” but that would hardly sum up the good he and his wife Jackie have done as they fish out recyclables from construction sites. The recycling program Jackson established became known as iYERP (Idaho Youth Recycling Partnership), and has become the primary operating component for the John William Jackson Fund at the Idaho Community Foundation.  Jackson established the fund in memory of his son, John, who died in a climbing accident on a rare international expedition into Krgyzstan’s rugged mountains. Since 2007, iYERP has raised about $120,000 through donated scrap metal. 

Marian Evans, Sylvia Long-Cochran and Alina Ibrahim from the Boise Bunko Babes approached the Saint Alphonsus Foundation with a new fundraising idea and in October 2009, the first annual Boise Bunko Babes for Boobs was held to raise funds and awareness for women’s breast health. So far, the babes have raised $10,000 for the Women’s Wellness Mobile Clinic, Outreach Services and for mammograms for women who can’t afford them. 

Benito Skinner, 17, knew he needed to fulfill a 30-hour service requirement at Bishop Kelly High School in order to graduate, but he probably didn’t expect to more than triple that requirement while establishing his own nonprofit. OATHS, which stands for Organization Assisting the Homeless Student, is a 501(c)(3) that to date has raised almost $10,000 to help about 150 students through about 20 partnerships, including the YMCA and the Boise School District. 

These are three examples of the 25 heroes that will be recognized Nov. 15 at the 2011 National Philanthropy Day Idaho. Since 1986, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has set aside a day “to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—have made to our lives, our communities and our world.” This year more than 125 communities and 50,000 people worldwide will participate in NPD events and celebrations. 

“All around Idaho, there are examples of amazing volunteers and supporters donating countless hours and dollars in support of a particular mission,” said Lauren Tassos, development officer for Idaho Community Foundation. “We are proud and happy to be able to applaud them and give them the recognition they so much deserve.  They truly change the world with a giving heart.” 

The 2011 National Philanthropy Day “Heroes in Philanthropy” event is slated for 7 to 9 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the Boise Riverside Hotel. Tickets for the event are available for $45 each at the AFP website: http://afpidaho.afpnet.org/IdahoAwardsPhilanthropy.aspx

Read their stories in a special publication featuring local philanthropy, nonprofits, and the 2011 philanthropy heroes. The special section will be available at the event and published as an insert in the Nov. 18 edition of IBR.

About Jeanne Huff

Jeanne Huff is the special sections editor at IBR, editor of Women of the Year, Accomplished Under 40, CEOs of Influence, Money Makers, Leaders in Law, Corporate Guide to Event Planning as well as editor of custom publications including Welcome to Boise, Dining Decisions, Idaho Heartland Living and Travelog.