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Outstanding Youth Honored with AFP International Philanthropy Award

(April 12, 2011) Andrew Fazackerley and Edward Goodfellow of Tichborne, Ontario, and the founders of the Minnesota Student Energy Project (MNSEP) in Rochester, Minnesota, are the recipients of the 2011 Changing Our World/Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, presented by AFP.

The award, named after AFP co-founder William R. Simms and sponsored by Changing Our World, recognizes service by an individual who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and leadership in philanthropy. Fazackerley, Goodfellow and the founders of MNSEP received the honors on March 21, 2011, at the Awards for Philanthropy Banquet during AFP's 48th International Conference on Fundraising in Chicago.

Inspiring a Community Doing Something They Love (Ages 18-23 honorees)

After seeing many members of their community affected by cancer, Fazackerley and Goodfellow developed a plan to raise awareness of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, located at Kingston General Hospital, by playing golf for 24 straight hours. Strokes Fore Hopes took place in 2008 at Rivendell Golf Course in Verona. Expecting to raise about $5,000, they ended up raising $17,000 and were inspired to hold a second and third event.

With a volunteer base of nearly 200, Fazackerley and Goodfellow sought to raise more funds than ever. The whole community began to rally around their project and many people walked the course with them during the 24 hour events. Children from local schools contributed spare change, and the Lions Club of Verona pledged financial support. After working with them on the event in 2009, one resident of Verona pledged to match funds raised up to $50,000.

The three events combined to raise more than $100,000. However, that money will actually generate over $1 million in construction funding, as charitable giving to redevelopment projects is matched nine to one.

"We were so thrilled to help make a difference at the Southeastern Ontario Cancer Clinic," said Edward Goodfellow. "It was such a personal and important cause for Andrew and I to support.  We wanted to be sure to keep the funding and awareness local to our great community.  Looking back on this journey, I would never have guessed we would be honoured with such a prestigious award.  It just shows that the best changes often start as a single, simple thought.  Think big and discover how to make your dreams real."

All of the money raised through the three Strokes for Hopes events will be directed to support the expansion and renovation of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario. The Cancer Centre redevelopment project includes adding two new radiation bunkers to increase treatment capacity, increasing the number of chemotherapy treatment chairs from 15 to 39, adding a specialized clinic area for pediatric patients and almost doubling the overall size.

"These young men have made a difference in the lives of many through their dedication and enthusiasm," said Chris Watson, vice chairman of Changing Our World. "I cannot wait to see what type of philanthropic projects they may turn to in the years to come."

Harnessing the Bright Light of Imagination (Ages 5-17 honorees)

The Minnesota Student Energy Project (MNSEP) was created by students in Rochester, Minnesota, to raise awareness of energy conservation and reduce energy consumption at their high school.

In 2008, three students from Mayo High School-Patrick Allen, Ian Cameron and Tom Currier-came together to discuss how to reduce electrical consumption and ultimately decided to raise money to install solar panels for their school. They started by asking for spare change in coffee cans and evolved to holding fundraisers, participating in arts programs and talking with community groups, including the board of directors for Rochester Public Utilities (RPU). RPU offered to support the young men and helped the project receive a $75,000 grant from the American Public Power Association.

The work of the students involved in the project resulted in a 5.88 kilowatt solar energy system installed in their school. With less energy needed from traditional power sources, more than 55,000 pounds of carbon have been saved to date, and the project has been praised by former Governor Tim Pawlenty.

To continue their work, the students formed a nonprofit corporation, the Minnesota Student Energy Project (MNSEP) and a succession plan that will ensure it will have a lasting impact. Numerous students are now involving in raising money and increasing awareness of energy consumption and alternative resources, with more than $136,000 having been raised so far towards a goal of $1 million.

"We are truly excited about this recognition and promise to continue to strive to be the next generation taking the first step," said Michael Allen, CEO of MNSEP and a senior at Mayo High School in Rochester, Minn. "We owe that to our future."

In addition, several other schools are now involved with MNSEP and raising money for the installation of solar panels at their own facilities. MNSEP is also actively engaged in developing cross-curriculum educational opportunities related to the production of energy from the sun as well as other topics associated with various forms of renewable energy.

"The commitment and dedication of these young men and women to both their school and the environment is extraordinary and is an example of the difference we can all make through the power of philanthropy," said Chris Watson, vice chairman of Changing Our World.

Learn more about these and other honorees of AFP's Awards for Philanthropy program on AFP TV, AFP's YouTube channel.

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