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Two Cape residents among ENPY Award winners

By Staff | Oct 11, 2018

Ten of the area’s most giving individuals were recognized this week as part of the 2018 Excellence in Nonprofit Performance Yearly Awards, the ENPYs.

“It was extremely well received,” Cape Coral Community Foundation President and CEO Michael Chatman said. “It was very successful. It was a sold-out event.”

Two of the winners were from Cape Coral, Dennis Gingerich, the founding pastor at Cape Christian Fellowship, who won the Elmer Tabor Generosity Award, and Phil Deems who won the Paul Sanborn Service Above Self Award.

“We had 90 submissions,” Chatman said. “We narrowed those down to three finalists per category. There were 10 categories. (From there) we narrowed it down to one winner per category.”

The awards ceremony was held at the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower on Tuesday.

“It’s very much in keeping with our mission,” he said of why the ENPY awards was created last year. “We are the capacity builder for our Southwest Florida nonprofit community.”

The ENPYs is held because often times the nonprofit leaders are not recognized.

“Annually we are acknowledging the excellent work that the nonprofit leaders are doing in Cape Coral and beyond,” Chatman said.

They reach beyond the borders of Cape Coral because it is the largest city in Southwest Florida.

“We want to be a regional leader because we are the largest city,” Chatman said.

The 2018 ENPY Award recipients are:

* Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year (board member): J. Thomas Uhler, Southwest Florida Symphony

* Nonprofit Organization of the Year (established more than three years ago): Heights Foundation Heights Center

* Nonprofit Executive of the Year (CEO, president, executive director): Karen Watson, Our Mother’s Home

* Nonprofit Employee of the year (paid staff member): Aimee McLaughlin, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast

* Business Partner of the Year (business who supports nonprofits and the community: Jason’s Deli Diana Willis

* Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year (individual who serves the organization and/or community): Scott Carpenter, The Laboratory Theatre of Florida

* Nonprofit Rising Organization of the Year (established less than three years ago): Family Initiative, Inc.

* Paul Sanborn Service Above Self Award: Phil Deems

* Elmer Tabor Generosity Award: Dennis Gingerich, Founding Pastor at Cape Christian Fellowship

* Community Impact Award: Mark Blust, Watch D.O.G.S