Ana and Ismael Jimenez (Agape Salon & Spa).
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEX SLATTERY

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Amid the challenges of the pandemic and economic downturn, philanthropy reached a 40-year high in 2020 with total giving as a percentage of GDP peaking at 2.3 percent. While corporate philanthropy declined during this period, financial gifts via individuals, bequests, and foundations showed promising gains.

pattigrundhofer

Patti Grundhofer

Against this backdrop, on Nov. 5, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Desert Communities Chapter will honor five individuals and one business at its 15th Annual National Philanthropy Day in the Desert Virtual Awards. Patti Grundhofer is the event’s presenting sponsor.

“Even a pandemic cannot diminish the enormous spirit of philanthropy within our Coachella Valley,” says Brian Daly, president of the association’s local chapter. “This has been an exceptional year with countless acts of remarkable philanthropy. This year’s honorees shine a light on the kindness and generosity we witness daily in our valley.”

The Honorees

Agape Salon & Spa

Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation, Corporation, or Civic Service Organization

Agape Salon & Spa owners Ana and Ismael Jimenez grew up in disadvantaged families in Palm Springs, experiencing first-hand the struggle to put food on the table and buy presents at holiday time. They know what philanthropy can mean to children who have experienced poverty, and they have made “paying it forward” an integral part of their business model. They mobilize and encourage their clients, as well as staff, to donate to and support Olive Crest Desert Communities’ many life-changing programs. Agape also fundraises for a charity that brings clean and safe drinking water to developing countries.

LindaRider

Linda Rider

Linda Rider

Outstanding Philanthropist

For more than two decades, Rider’s giving has supported lifesaving medical equipment, scholarships for the arts, meals for families, and women’s health initiatives. She and her husband, Manny, are lifetime members of Big Hearts for Little Hearts Desert Guild, which supports Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, and founders of McCallum Theatre, where her efforts helped increase membership and raise more than $8 million for the education fund.

DawnRashid

Dawn Rashid

Dawn E. Rashid

Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer

Rashid has volunteered in the community for more than 50 years, and stories abound about her infectious enthusiasm and energy. Her work with Big Hearts for Little Hearts Desert Guild stands out because she has been involved in several successful programs, including Build JoyWith LEGOs, Hearts of Hope, and the Restaurant Campaign. When COVID-19 hit, Rashid organized the Pizza Project, partnering with Papa Dan’s Pizza to deliver food to essential workers, including those at Eisenhower Health’s ICU and JFK Memorial Hospital’s emergency room, as well as for Station 50 first responders, local pharmacies, and others.

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Armando Ehrenzweig

Armando Ehrenzweig

Outstanding Nonprofit Founder

Ehrenzweig’s nonprofit organization Get in Motion Entrepreneurs is on a mission to improve economic opportunities and eliminate poverty in Latino communities through entrepreneurship. For 10 years, he has worked to ensure that Latino small businesses and community organizations have the acumen and resources they need to compete and succeed. Ehrenzweig, an immigrant himself, marshals resources needed to teach, mentor, and inspire budding entrepreneurs. He is dedicated to empowering people to realize their American dream.

SolangeSignoret

Solange Signoret

Solange Signoret

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

This award recognizes young people up to the age of 18 who have demonstrated outstanding philanthropic service through volunteering. Solange is being recognized for her outstanding work with Boo2Bullying. Having been on the receiving end of bullying, Solange joined Boo2Bullying as a volunteer and has become an outspoken proponent for children who have been or are currently being bullied. She traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers to address the problems of bullying, and regularly speaks at Coachella Valley assemblies in support of anti-bullying campaigns and youth empowerment.

GailyaBrown

Gailya Brown

Gailya Brown

Outstanding Fundraising Professional

Brown has a record of acheiving great success in raising funds for nonprofit organizations and advancing the profession of ethical fundraising that spans more than 25 years. In the Coachella Vlley, she has worked tirelessly for the past five years, representing a range of clients, including College of the Desert, OneFuture Coachella Valley, Palm Springs Community Concerts Association, and Dezart Performs. Fundraising professionals provide the bridge between generous donors and the causes that inspire them. Brown is a bridge builder, allowing the true essence and joy of giving to shine bright.

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