Mike Blackwell with sons, Andrew and Matthew, and friend, Carolyn Naftel. Michael Blackwell was the recipient of the Philanthropist of the Year award from Juneau Community Foundation. (Courtesy Photo | Michael Penn via Juneau Community Foundation)

Mike Blackwell with sons, Andrew and Matthew, and friend, Carolyn Naftel. Michael Blackwell was the recipient of the Philanthropist of the Year award from Juneau Community Foundation. (Courtesy Photo | Michael Penn via Juneau Community Foundation)

Blackwell named Philanthropist of the Year

Juneau Community Foundation recognizes organizations, individuals at banquet

The Juneau Community Foundation held its annual Philanthropy recognition dinner last Thursday and presented awards to a philanthropist, a philanthropic organization and a nonprofit organization.

Mike Blackwell received the Philanthropist of the Year award, Sealaska Corp. accepted the Philanthropic Business award, and JAMHI Health & Wellness was recognized as Nonprofit Organization of the Year.

The event included a silent auction and stories shared by local donors and grantees highlighting the foundation’s positive role in the community. Guest speakers John Pugh, Alison Browne and Bob Rehfeld’s personal stories provided information on partnering with the foundation, donor perspectives on establishing a fund today and providing a legacy for tomorrow.

Longtime resident Mike Blackwell started one of the first donor-advised funds with the foundation and over the years has contributed to the community. Blackwell has given his time, expertise and money to the Friends of Zach Gordon Youth Center, Discovery Southeast, STEM youth activities, and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. He provided emergency support to the Glory Hall when building flooding called for additional repairs, and in times of expansion such as creating the rooftop garden.

He used the spotlight to commemorate a longtime Juneau champion, Marie Darlin, by introducing a new endowed fund to provide an award in arts and literature. The Marie Darlin Arts & Literature Prize will be awarded annually by the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. Per Blackwell’s wishes, the evening served as a fundraiser for the fund. A $25,000 challenge match was announced at the event and by the end of the festivities, almost $18,000 had been raised.

Sealaska Corp. has a long history of significant giving in Juneau and Southeast Alaska. It has provided over $2.3 million in scholarships for graduating seniors and is expanding its reach in support of young people. Sealaska is a leader in developing local entrepreneurship through its Spruce Roots program focused on sustainable economies. And, its support for Forget Me Not Manor, a Housing First residence, demonstrates Sealaska’s commitment to building healthy families and communities. Chief Executive Officer Anthony Mallott spoke on behalf of the corporation.

Juneau Alliance for Mental Health, Inc recently merged with the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence Juneau, increasing efficiency and service. In addition, it greatly expanded services by adding physical health to its offerings and opening the Midtown Clinic at the Housing First complex in Lemon Creek. This clinic and main facility in Salmon Creek are open to all.

The Juneau Community Foundation has awarded more than $13 million in grants and scholarships since 2000 and recognized honorees.

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