John Olivari didn’t know he had been nominated for Philanthropist of the Year by Florida Hospital Memorial Foundation — not until he was given a yellow rose to wear in his lapel at the annual luncheon on Friday, Nov. 18. Neither did Tony Papandrea, chairman of Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation.
“You were the only one on the board who didn’t know,” John Subers, director of the Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation told Papandrea.
Fourteen agencies had nominated someone for the National Philanthropy Day celebration at Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach.
“The purpose of this day is to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy in our community, and those people active in the philanthropic community, to the enrichment of our world,” said Yoon Van Hout, director of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the emcee.
The Philanthropists of the Year were Mori and Forough Hosseini. The couple are benefactors to Daytona State College.
“They have worked effortlessly in the community, and with the legislature to assure funding for critical mission projects and initiatives,” Van Hout said. “They have also personally contributed funds to support student programs and expansion projects, including the Mori Hosseini Center.”
Most recently, Daytona State was allocated more than $32 million in the past four years for a new student services and workforce transition facility.
“DSC board chair Forough Hosseini has been a chief advocate for affordability. Under her leadership as board chair, the college has reduced tuition and fees by 4.6%,” Van Hout said. “We’re also very proud of the new joint initiative to launch a 10-step plan to eliminate homelessness and hunger among DSC studnets.”
Forough Hosseini accepted the award for the couple.
“We never think of this as philanthropy,” Hosseini said. “We think of this as giving back. It’s a responsibility, making sure everyone else’s life is better.”
The Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist was presented to Brighthouse.
Flagler Schools Superintendent Jacob Oliva and Lynette Shott, director of student and community engagement, and Deborah Williams, executive director of Flagler County Education Foundation, also attended the event.
“We have a lot of community partners that help to support out school district, both directly and indirectly, and when we can take that opportunity, to formally recognize an organization such as the United Way Women’s Initiative of Flagler, it brings merit and appreciation to another level,” Oliva said. “We know that we can’t move our initiative forward without their support, and we just want to say thank you.”
The Agency Champion nominees were Tim Curtis, Halifax Hospital Hospice; Jeff Blass, Easter Seals Volusia/Flagler; Andrew Gurtis, Stewart-Marchman Foundation; Sherry Graffagnino, Council on Aging; Brad Giles, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Nancy H. Maddox, WORC Inc.; Kathryn Laws, Duvall Homes; Mori & Fourough Hosseini, Daytona State College Foundation; John Olivari, Florida Hospital Memorial Foundation; Jim Kotas, Museum of Arts and Sciences; United Way Women’s Initiative Flagler, Flagler County Education Foundation; Stan Dembkoski, Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia and Flagler counties; Charlie Lydecker, Volusia/Flagler Family YMCA; Tony Papandrea, Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation.