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Excellence in Impact

Lauren Mattleman Hoopes' Award Acceptance Speech Transcript

It's my honor to have served as Executive Director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City since 2003, and a great thrill to accept this award on behalf of the Foundation, its board and staff, and all the members of the Foundation Family who entrust us with their time, their talent and their treasure for the betterment of the Greater Kansas City community and beyond. I'd also like to thank our nominators, those many others who wrote in support of us, and, of course, Nonprofit Connect.

It's a unique distinction to have been chosen as the first Community Foundation to receive this award. Our Foundation is one of the oldest independent Jewish Community Foundations in North America. And although our local Jewish community is small, estimated to be around 18,000 people, it has had outsized impact supporting the charitable organizations in the metro area from social service organizations, healthcare facilities to major cultural and academic institutions. Sadly, our city lost two extraordinary Jewish philanthropists over the last 10 days, Henry Bloch and Morton Sosland, both business and civic leaders who exemplify this impact.

Founded in 1959, the mission of the Foundation extends well beyond the Jewish community. Approximately 45% of our advised fund grants support the general community, and 85% of those are made to local charities right here in Kansas City. From Operation Breakthrough to Children's Mercy Hospital to the UMKC Conservatory of Music, almost every nonprofit in our community has been touched in some way by the Jewish Community Foundation. Our Foundation has evolved over the decades to become a multifaceted center for creative philanthropy and a leader in innovative and collaborative programs ranging from youth philanthropy to donor engagement and education to organizational capacity building.

Beyond our financial support of charitable organizations through grant-making, the Foundation has been devoted to the nurture and development of the next generation of givers. Focusing on multi-generational giving and sowing the seeds of generosity and community mindedness among the youngest members of our community, we hope to pave the way for a bright future of volunteerism and philanthropy in Kansas City.

The theme of today's luncheon, Power of One, has a unique resonance for the Foundation. An amazing constellation of individuals, families and organizations, each individual act of compassion, each decision to give, to invest, is inspired, enriched and amplified by the values of the Jewish community. The power of those individual acts enlivened by the joy of being part of something greater than ourselves is transformed by the shared belief of the possibility and the responsibility to help make not only Kansas City but the whole world a better place.

For those of you who have never heard of us before today, hello. It's a pleasure to meet you. On behalf of the Jewish Community Foundation, I invite you to learn more about us and our work. To my old friends who are here, and there are quite a few of them, I just want to say that I'm so glad that you're here to celebrate with us. To all of you, our deepest gratitude for this remarkable recognition. Thank you.