Catholic Charities of East Tennessee supporters recognized as outstanding philanthropists


The Great Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) celebrated National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 16 with an awards luncheon honoring local volunteers and philanthropists.

The local AFP chapter presented four awards at the celebration, which was held at Cherokee Country Club. Two companies and two individual volunteers who are longtime supporters of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee were honored for their service to Catholic Charities’ service programs and other local philanthropic organizations. 

Covenant Health was named Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist for its corporate donations, encouraging its employees and leadership to volunteer at local charities and for providing $123 in uncompensated care each year. Covenant Health provides significant leadership, guidance and support for a variety of Catholic Charities’ programs, with a special emphasis on its housing for low-income adults with chronic and severe mental illness.

As John Geppi, CFO of Covenant Health, accepted the award, he thanked Catholic Charities and fellow honoree Bill Williams for his contributions to Covenant Health. “I want to thank Bill Williams for giving so much of his time and efforts to support our cancer awareness and prevention efforts through the Thompson Cancer Survival Center,” Geppi said.

Bill Williams, a two-time cancer survivor and former WBIR-TV anchor, was honored as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Thompson Cancer Survival Center for his donation of time and resources for fundraisers such as the Buddy’s Race for the Cure and Game On Against Cancer.

Robert and Julia Schriver were honored as Outstanding Philanthropists for their work with Catholic Charities and other community organizations. The Schrivers provided a leadership donation towards the construction of the Columbus Home Group Home in 1988 and helped build community support for the project. They have generously given of their time and resources to all of Catholic Charities’ 17 service programs through the years.

“I wish we could do more, but I want to thank you for recognizing us for doing something that makes us feel so good,” said Julia Schriver as she accepted her award.

Variety of Eastern Tennessee was named Outstanding Foundation for its support of programs for at-risk, physically challenged, abused and neglected children and youth in our area, including Columbus Home Children’s Services, a Catholic Charities program. Columbus Home serves more than 2,000 at-risk children each year through programs which include court-ordered supervised visitation service for children and their noncustodial parent; a children’s emergency shelter; a boys’ group home for teens in state-custody; and home-based case management to heal struggling families and prevent child abuse. Carol Fusco, executive director of Variety, accepted the award.

National Philanthropy Day celebrations take place each year in mid-November in more than 100 AFP chapters to honor those who volunteer their time and resources to impacting communities and bettering the lives of its residents.

About Catholic Charities of East Tennessee

For 40 years, Catholic Charities of East Tennessee has put into action its mission to assist the most vulnerable of our area, regardless of age, race, income or religious affiliation. With 17 programs throughout the region, the social service agency delivers a variety of services to approximately 27,000 clients each year. Catholic Charities of East Tennessee is a member of Catholic Charities USA, one of the nation’s top providers of social services. Fewer than 5 percent of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee’s clients are Catholic.

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