Member News — Sax LLP’s First Annual Founder’s Award Gifted $15,000 to the Nonprofit, Imagine: A Center for Coping with Loss, for Efforts Towards Sustainability
February 9th, 2018
Sax LLP, a leading accounting, tax and advisory firm held its first annual Founder’s Award, which celebrated the good work of local nonprofits and awarded one organization with a $15,000 unrestricted gift for best efforts towards sustainability.
Sax’s Not-for-Profit Practice initiated the application process and nearly 190 nonprofit organizations submitted essays and/or videos for their chance to win the award by explaining how their organization is perpetuating sustainability and/or measures they are putting in place to reach sustainability. Four (4) independent judges went through all submissions in a thorough and in-depth review process to determine the winner who was announced at the Founder’s Award ceremony on January 25, 2018 at The Chart House in Weehawken, NJ.
Close to 200 not-for-profit organizations attended the event which, in addition to the awards announcement, consisted of remarks from Sax LLP’s Managing Partner, Joseph A. Damiano; a dynamic keynote speaker, Gian Paul Gonzalez, who spoke to the passion and drive of not-for-profit organizations; and was hosted by Todd Polyniak, Head of Sax’s Not-for-Profit Practice. The event’s food and beverage sponsor was Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
The Founder’s Award event concluded with the award ceremony and announced Imagine: A Center for Coping with Loss as the judges’ selection for the 2017 Founder’s Award winner. Stuart Arnold, Imagine’s Board Chair and the organization’s representative at the event walked away with a $15,000 check to support Imagine’s mission to provide free year-round peer support groups for families and children who are dealing with loss due to death or a life-altering physical illness.
When receiving the check, Stuart Arnold stated, “We’ve come a very long way, and we serve hundreds of families now with our support services for children who are grieving and who need a place to feel comfortable, safe and warm … and a place where they can relate to people who are going through a similar situation. Thank you for helping us, because the work we are doing changes the trajectory of young people’s lives.”
“When I first saw the application for Sax’s Founder’s Award I was hopeful because sustainability is something we’ve been focused on since day one of our founding,” said Mary Robinson, Imagine Founder and Executive Director who wrote the winning essay. “However, when I heard there were over 180 applicants I knew it would be tough to stand out among so many other worthy not-for-profit organizations.” Mary continued, “When we heard the news from Stu that we were selected we were thrilled! It was so incredibly validating of our focus and philosophy, and we know in our hearts our mission is one worth sustaining”.
Todd Polyniak, Partner at Sax, conceptualized the Founder’s Award and ceremony as one that would honor the principles of Sax’s Founders – Sander Sax, Morris Macy and Egon Fromm – who inspired the vision of propelling organizations forward by supporting their success. He also made sure this event was a celebration of not-for-profit organizations who do so much for so many on so little.
“I would love to see all our competition imitate this event. If I can spur people into copying us, and donating money to not-for-profits, great – because this event was to help people. The for-profit world needs to support the not-for-profit world because their positive impact benefits us all,” said Polyniak.
In addition to the Founder’s Award winner, two (2) runner-up organizations were selected for their efforts towards sustainability. Second place was awarded to Partners for Women and Justice who focus on free legal assistance to victims and survivors of domestic violence. Sax LLP donated 40 volunteer hours towards their mission that employees of the firm will fulfill. Third place was awarded to Spectrum360 who focuses on providing the highest quality of educational and therapeutic programs for individuals with autism. Sax LLP donated 25 volunteer hours towards their mission that employees of the firm will fulfill.