A local couple that have discreetly donated money to a variety of area causes were in the spotlight Wednesday at the National Society of Fund Raising Executives ceremony.
John W. and Alice H. Lee were jointly named the year's outstanding philanthropist of the year during the Augusta chapter's National Philanthropy Day luncheon.
The Lees have made contributions to organizations such as Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, the Georgia-Carolina Council of Boy Scouts and the CSRA Parkinson's Support Group.
"They have been very quietly active in the community for years," said Lee Smith, president of CSRA Community Foundation.
Mr. Lee, former president of GIW Industries in Grovetown, accepted the award for the couple but did not give a speech.
National Philanthropy Day rewards individuals and businesses that donate to nonprofit organizations. Keynote speaker Mayor Bob Young mentioned recent corporate donations, including a $10,000 gift by Circle K to renovate the Oglethorpe Park playground and $20,000 from International Paper to reforest areas of Augusta.
"Being a citizen of Augusta is not a spectator sport," he said.
Other award recipients included:
Laurie L. Cook, development officer for Easter Seals of East Georgia, outstanding professional fund-raiser;
P.A. "Pete" Brodie III, human resources manager for PCS Nitrogen, outstanding volunteer fund-raiser;
Publix Supermarkets Inc., outstanding corporation or foundation.
"People don't have to give, but those who do want to make this a better place to live," Ms. Cook said.
Mr. Brodie was awarded for his help during the past two United Way campaigns, one of which raised $3.9 million. He said more than 1,000 others deserved a part of the award for their "labor of love and passion."
He said philanthropists set an example for others.
"And young people are thirsting for role models."
Reach Jennifer Bishop at (706) 823-3217.