VanDuynes top list of Philanthropy Day winners

Five generous Quad Citians will be honored on Wednesday, Nov. 16, during a National Philanthropy Day Level Up Conference and Awards Luncheon at Bally’s Casino and Hotel, Rock Island.

The Quad Cities Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is hosting the conference which will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. During the noon luncheon, five local philanthropists will be honored as the chapter’s annual National Philanthropy Day award winners.  

The purpose of National Philanthropy Day is to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy — and those active in the philanthropic community — to the enrichment of our world, the organization said in a news release.. 

The five philanthropists to be recognized are: 

Outstanding Charitable Family: Donna and Paul VanDuyne – One of AFP’s highest honors, this award is given to an individual or family, who has made a monumental impact in the community through its support of local nonprofit organizations. Through direct financial support, they have demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility, encouraging others to take philanthropic leadership roles. The VanDuynes were nominated by Barbara Melbourne, vice chancellor of Institutional Advancement at Palmer College of Chiropractic. Among the projects they supported is a new $23 million Paul and Donna VanDuyne Hall. The couple co-chaired the fundraising effort for the student housing development at 1039 Perry St., Davenport, and kickstarted it with their own $2.5 million donation.

Outstanding Planned Giving Professional, David Nelson, president, and CEO of NelsonCorp Wealth Management – This award recognizes an outstanding individual with an enduring record of exceptional leadership skills in inspiring and motivating others to leave a philanthropic legacy through estate giving, charitable bequests or another planned giving vehicle. Mr. Nelson was nominated by the Quad Cities Planned Giving Council, which exists to promote planned giving education for practitioners and to encourage legacy giving by people seeking charitable causes.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Dr. Joe and Ann Lohmuller – This award honors an individual or family who demonstrates exceptional skills in coordinating and motivating groups of volunteers for fundraising projects for the benefit of charitable organizations. The Lohmullers were nominated by Melinda “Missy” Gowey, executive director, Genesis Health Services Foundation. 

Outstanding Civic Service Foundation: Regional Development Authority and Matt Mendenhall, CEO of the Regional Development Authority. This award honors an organization that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement. Winners have a proven record of exceptional generosity and leadership. The RDA and Mr. Mendenhall were nominated by Tracy Singleton, executive director at Together Making A Better Community. 

Outstanding Youth/Youth Group: Teens for Tomorrow (T4T) – This award recognizes service by young people through age 18 who demonstrate exceptional commitment and leadership in the community through their guidance and dedication to philanthropy. Teens for Tomorrow was nominated by Esmerelda Kizer, board member of the Quad Cities Community Foundation. 

The National Philanthropy Level Up QC conference schedule includes:

  • 9:30-10 a.m., registration check-in and continental breakfast. 
  • 10 a.m., An Impact Uprising: How to create organizational growth without sacrificing meaningful connection – Rachel Bearbower, Small Shop Strategies.
  • 11 a.m., Inclusion Starts with I – Kate Hightshoe, Vice President of Diversity, QCR Holdings.
  • Noon, 2022 National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon.
  • 1:30 p.m., conference closes. 

AFP Quad Cities is a fundraising resource for professionals to learn, collaborate and grow together for a vibrant Quad Cities community. Nationally, AFP is an association of professionals throughout the world that advances philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice ethical and effective fundraising. 

For more information and to get tickets to this event, visit

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