The honor is all ours: Gratitude Abounds as the AFP Celebrates Those Who Honor Our Community


In 1986, a small group of individuals in Northeast Florida came together to establish the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Florida First Coast Chapter, putting our community on the map as part of the Association of Fundraising Professionals international network. The mission of our local chapter is to advance ethical philanthropy through education, peer support and advocacy, thus enabling individuals and organizations to better serve the diverse communities and people of the First Coast.  Since then, the AFP Florida First Coast Chapter has grown to serve nearly 200 local fundraising professionals who are setting the standard for fundraising best practices and donor stewardship in our community.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Gary and Nancy Chartrand
Nominated by Guardian Catholic School, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, and Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation

Chartrand Family

Gary and Nancy Chartrand are passionate about philanthropy and how it changes lives and the community.  They have generously provided millions of dollars, as well as their time and passion, to more than 200 organizations. Driven by their gratitude and strong Catholic faith, their philanthropy is matched by their hands-on service to committees and boards throughout the community, including Guardian Catholic School, Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation, Knowledge is Power (KIPP), The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Cummer Gallery of Art and Gardens, Morningstar School, Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, the Catholic Foundation, FSCJ Foundation, Jacksonville Children’s Chorus and North Florida School of Special Education.

Most notably, Gary and Nancy have been advocates for public education. Their vision has provided for every public middle and high school in Duval County to have a dedicated mental health counselor on site. The Chartrands brought Teach for America, KIPP, and Idea Public Schools to Jacksonville, and led fundraising for the creation of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Quality Education for All Fund.

Their leadership has also shaped the legacy of healthcare in our community.  The Gary and Nancy Chartrand Heart and Vascular Center at Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital is home to the largest cardiovascular program between Atlanta and Orlando.  They have also provided generous support to the St. Vincent’s award-winning Mobile Health Outreach program, which serves the sick and poor with critically needed healthcare in North Florida.

Next Generation Award – Josh Nichols
Nominated by Nemours Children’s Health

Josh Nichols

In 2014, freshman Josh Nichols was experiencing unusual health symptoms and pain. After a visit to Nemours Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Josh was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a rare and deadly blood cancer. Through his oncologists’ treatment and Nichols’ own unrelenting determination, Josh overcame his battle with cancer and returned to a normal high school experience, going on to play four years of high school football, where he helped his team win multiple state championships. Josh showed his gratitude to his Nemours physicians by rallying his teammates and classmates to visit other sick children in Jacksonville. After graduation, Josh studied kinesiology and became a personal trainer at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, where he serendipitously took on a new client, president and CEO of Nemours Children’s Health, Dr. Larry Moss. They built a great friendship that still holds true to this day.

Seven years later, Josh and his family became philanthropically connected to Nemours, giving to a Day of Giving telethon, and then making a substantial gift toward the complete renovation of the Nemours Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Now, Josh serves on the Nemours fundraising committee to aid in the development of numerous initiatives.

Outstanding Champion of Diversity Award – Jim and Elaine Stallings
Nominated by Mayo Clinic

photo of room of people smiling and placing their hands horizontally

As engaged, active philanthropists and civic leaders, Jim and Elaine Stallings are elevating women, people of color and veterans in Jacksonville and throughout the country. Jim founded PS27 Ventures, a firm that invests in early-stage technology companies. Through PS27 Ventures, Jim recognized a lack of diversity in the venture capital industry, and launched the Rhea Fund, a $20 million venture capital fund allocating at least 50% of its capital to women-led companies, underrepresented minority founders and military veterans. Jim also serves as chair of The PS27 Foundation, which provides educational resources and support to early-stage companies and startups through its Female Founders Forum, Black Founders Forum and Leadership Week.

Jim and Elaine also continuously support several local nonprofit organizations through their service and philanthropy including the Museum of Science and History, Operation New Uniform, Baptist Health, Volunteers in Medicine Jacksonville, First Coast American Heart Association and Mayo Clinic. They organized the first Jacksonville Black Leadership Town Hall. Notably, the couple’s desire to help more people of color pursue careers in medicine resulted in their establishment of a scholarship for African American students through Mayo Clinic’s Alix School of Medicine. Elaine also serves on the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, the Jacksonville Library Guild, and is the founder of a 22-year-old book club called The Book Exchange.

Outstanding Corporation Award – Ring Power Corporation
Nominated by Community Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation

group photo of people

Ring Power Corporation has a long-standing history on Florida’s First Coast and is a true philanthropic leader in our community, supporting numerous nonprofits in our area through both monetary and in-kind giving of the use of their equipment, lights and power supplies. Specifically, Ring Power has been an avid partner of Community Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation since 1992. Contributing over $380,000 to Community Hospice and Palliative Care to date, Ring Power has supported the expansion of the Dr. Gaston J. Acosta-Rua Center for Caring on Jacksonville’s westside, and the Bailey Center for Caring on Flagler Hospital’s campus.

Ring Power also supports many third-party events, like January’s Children are Rock Stars (C.A.R.S.) event, which raised over $560,000. Ring Power leadership was active in making this event possible: soliciting sponsorships, procuring silent and live auction items, and coordinating venue logistics. In 2022, Ring Power celebrated its 60th anniversary of being a CAT dealer by pledging to support over 60 charities along Florida’s First Coast. In addition, it encourages its employees to give back to the communities in which they work. Ring Power offers opportunities for employees to donate their time and talent to various nonprofit organizations, and matches employee contributions through an employee giving program, resulting in record-breaking contributions to communities where employees work, live and play.

Outstanding Foundation Award – Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation
Nominated by Community Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation

Jim and Tabitha Furyk with young smiling girl in wheelchair

The Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation was created in 2010 with the goal to bring awareness and funding to charities in the greater Jacksonville area. Founders Jim and Tabitha pour their hearts into the projects that their foundation supports with both monetary funding, and time and effort. Among the foundation’s supported organizations are: Community Hospice and Palliative Care, Operation Shower, Blessings in a Backpack, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Monique Burr Foundation, MaliVai Washington Foundation, First Tee North Florida, PGA Reach, Beaches Habitat for Humanity, Jacksonville Humane Society, K9s United and St Johns Riverkeeper. The foundation also hosts a concert in association with the Constellation Furyk and Friends Golf Tournament that benefits several nonprofits in Jacksonville.

The Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation is a lead organizer for “These Kids Can Play,” benefiting the Community PedsCare program at Community Hospice and Palliative Care. The program was created in 2008 to provide children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions a safe environment to experience THE PLAYERS Championship, and meet the PGA Tour players and wives. Since 2008, Jim and Tabitha have contributed over $360,000 to Community Hospice and Palliative Care, specifically toward the Community PedsCare program and two Child Life specialist positions. They host Hope for the Holidays, where they provide over 10,000 holidays meals for food-insecure families, and Tabitha has served on several local boards.

Outstanding Philanthropist – the Borowy Family
Nominated by Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Baptist Health

people inside in front of Wolfson Children's Hospital logo sign

Through tireless volunteer service, advocacy and generous financial support, the Borowy Family has created a legacy of impact for countless children and families in Northeast Florida. As a psychologist, Thom has always been concerned about the lack of access to mental health care. His efforts and expertise have resulted in Baptist Health becoming the largest mental health provider in Northeast Florida. Through the family’s foundation, they have supported the Susan and A. Hugh Greene Endowment for Behavioral Health, as well as the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center Medical Director’s Endowment. In 2021, the Borowy Family donated the largest single gift in Baptist Health’s history to help fund the new Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, as part of the seven-story, state-of-the-art Borowy Family Children’s Critical Care Tower at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

As educators, Thom and Pat felt compelled to establish a family scholarship at UNF in 2005, and have provided 11 scholarships to students majoring in psychology, sociology, nursing or education.  The family has volunteered with and financially invested in many other organizations including Pine Castle, the Cummer Museum, CORE Foundation, Sulzbacher, the LGBTQ Community Fund of Northeast Florida, JASMYN, the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center/See the Girl, and the LJD Jewish Family and Community Services.

Outstanding Small Business or Civic Organization – ThompsonBaker Agency
Nominated by Flagler College

two women with person in lion costume in front of Thompson Baker Agency indoor sign

Since 1925, ThompsonBaker Agency’s commitment to professional excellence is mirrored in their philanthropic efforts.  At Flagler College, the agency has provided more than $340,000 to support a variety of projects including the construction of the student center, athletic field renovations, and the establishment of an endowment fund to support students in the Youth Ministry Program. Most recently, they provided a $7,500 prize challenge during the Roar and Raise Campaign to support the college’s sports programs.

The culture of philanthropy and civic duty is strong at the ThompsonBaker Agency with all 16 employees encouraged to devote time to community service.  The firm’s associates are deeply involved as evidenced by their leadership roles on boards at Flagler Hospital, St. Johns Chamber of Commerce, St. Augustine Kiwanis Club, St. Augustine Historical Society, Rotary Club of St. Augustine, Veritas Classical School, Boy Scouts and more.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser – Debbie Buckland
Nominated by United Way of Northeast Florida

Debbie Buckland

Debbie Buckland is a true servant leader, skilled fundraiser and enthusiastic supporter of many local nonprofits, including United Way of Northeast Florida. She has been engaged with United Way for over 15 years, having served as a donor, fundraiser, council member and Tocqueville Society Chair. Her work with Tocqueville Society led donors to give more than $5 million dollars during the pandemic.  She was instrumental in growing the society’s membership and increasing dollars during this very challenging time. Debbie also played a pivotal leadership role in ensuring a seamless transition as United Way hired its new CEO, Melanie Patz.

Recently retired from Truist, Debbie continues to put her heart into the community and has served on the board of many organizations including JAX Chamber, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, First Coast YMCA, Downtown Vision, Jacksonville Women’s Board, Jacksonville Women’s Network and Women’s Giving Alliance.

She has received recognition for her service with awards such as Volunteers in Medicine Women of Heart Honoree, JAX Chamber’s Professional Women’s Council Legacy Award, Girl Scouts of Gateway Council Woman of Distinction and Jacksonville Business Journal Woman of Influence. Debbie is also a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2009.

Photography courtesy of Association of Fundraising Professionals Florida First Coast Chapter