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Engaged Philanthropist Award

This award will recognize an individual who has distinguished himself or herself in the nonprofit community by engaging entrepreneurial skills and expertise to build or support a successful nonprofit endeavor. Examples may include: Utilizing a keen business sense to build a new nonprofit serving our community; providing the driving force for a unique and successful fundraising campaign to support an existing nonprofit organization’s initiative. A short essay on the nominee’s impact is necessary at time of nomination. Candidates may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. The top candidates that have achieved the most votes via an online poll during the voting period will be further researched by an impartial judging panel to decide the ultimate winner.

Read the essays for each nominee.

NOTE: The essays below have not been edited and are presented as originally shared by the author. They may contain grammatical or spelling errors.


The Kind Mouse Productions, Inc.

Gina Wilkins, CEO/Founder of THE KIND MOUSE PRODUCTIONS, INC., uses her entrepreneurial spirit and skills to fill the hungry tummies of food insecure and chronically hungry children in Pinellas County, Florida. In 2011, Gina started The Kind Mouse with $2000 and a mission “To assist families in transition and their chronically hungry children while developing the next generation of volunteers to carry on the mission of The Kind Mouse. No hardworking individual and their family should ever go hungry.” Today, her 501(c)3 KIND MOUSE organization serves food, kindness and hope to individuals and families who do not have the financial means to provide for the basic day-to-day needs of their children. Gina offers a weekend pack sack program, an emergency food program, and a 90-day family transition program serving families experiencing a recent job loss or career transition. Through her KIDS FEEDING KIDS initiative, she engages children as Mice in Training and Mice Interns youth outreach to help feed their less fortunate peers and raise awareness of child hunger. Over the past eight (8) years, her KIND MOUSE organization has filled over 300,000 hungry tummies. Gina accomplishes all of this with the help of volunteers, donors, partners and staff, all of whom are committed to the mission. On an annual basis, Gina inspires more than 150 volunteers that contribute more than 13,000 hours, distributes more than 75,000 pounds of food, and serves 900-1200 unduplicated persons annually. Gina’s community involvement addresses a critical community issue (HUNGER); engages a cross-section of volunteers to serve their community (DIVERSITY & INCLUSION); supports a common theme of philanthropy (SERVICE TO OTHERS); and provides opportunities for sustained service and ongoing community involvement (ENGAGING YOUTH AND RAISING COMMUNITY AWARENESS). Because of Gina’s entrepreneurial vision and passion, she is changing the world one child at a time.

American Lung Association

For better part of a decade, Jonathan has been an exceptional champion and fundraiser for our signature fundraising event, the Fight For Air Climb. The event raises crucial funds that stay local in the Tampa community in our fight for clean air and advancing research for lung cancer and overall lung health. In 2019, Jonathan lead over 900 participants by Chairing the event, a year-round commitment in addition to his full time job running multiple family businesses. While Jonathan suffers from asthma and truly believes in our cause to allow everyone to breathe easy, his greatest accomplishment was inspiring our many supporters and partners to join him in the fight. Jonathan raised over $5,000 individually for the event, and motivated his team members to raise $25,000, more than 10% of all of the funds raised for the event. Going well above and beyond, Jonathan took it upon himself to create a comprehensive best practices fundraising guide and a series of short clips that each detailed a new and innovative fundraising tool for our event participants. They were so motivating, professional, and helpful, that we ended up sharing the guide with our Nationwide development team. We constantly had participants tell us how motivated and connected to our mission they were after witnessing Jonathan’s passion for our cause. Jonathan truly walks the talk about his passion for philanthropy. He makes it very clear that one of his principle values, both from his spiritual beliefs and human nature, is that giving back makes you richer; he shares this with everyone he meets. His email signature states “In support of a Jewish custom that when two people meet, a third should benefit, we donate $20 to charity (even one of your choosing.) Jonathan feels good about supporting causes that are meaningful to him.

Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay

Julie Weintraub established Hands Across the Bay in 2010 as a means to assist hardworking families in need and advocate for survivors of Domestic Violence. She prides herself in keeping her promise that the donations from her supporters are going directly to assist families and other small organizations in the community. Gold & Diamond Source, the company Julie and her husband Steve own, donates the cost of their office space, most of their supplies and the majority of their staff’s salaries. Julie also personally guarantees that her time and efforts at Hands Across the Bay are 100% volunteered. Despite being a small organization, Julie and her team have worked miracles in the Tampa Bay Area.


Kristen and TRIBE do so much for our community and the children in it, by providing and safe place for kids to explore all of their different talents. They also give so much to our local school and bring the community together in volunteerism.

Academy Prep Center of Tampa

For over 30 years, Nancy has practiced marital and family law through her firm, Harris, Hunt & Derr, P.A. Nancy is involved with the Tampa Bay Academy of Collaborative Professionals, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Florida Bar Family Law Section, Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers. Nancy’s commitment to serving children and families expands beyond her profession. For the last 10 years, Nancy has supported Academy Prep Tampa’s (APT) students through her love of the outdoors. Nancy and her friends summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2010, completed the Tour of Mont Blanc in 2011, reached Everest’s Base Camp in 2014, traversed England in 2015, and trekked the GR20 trail in Corsica in 2016. In 2017, Nancy and her friends hiked the mountains of Bhutan. In 2019, Nancy climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan to raise awareness and funds for APT. Nancy treks across the globe, inspired by APT’s students. Her hikes are mentally and physically exhausting, requiring determination and preparation. Nancy’s motivation comes from knowing APT students face the same challenges every day in their academics. The students’ educational journeys are full of rigorous curriculum, accountability and long days; much like the daily challenges Nancy faces on her hikes. As an advocate for APT, Nancy inspires her friends to sponsor her trips to benefit APT students, who receive a private middle school education. Through her friends’ support, Nancy has raised more than $100,000 for APT’s student scholarships. As a celebration, Nancy hosts a party to thank her tremendous support circle. APT students are invited to attend and share the impact the school has on their lives. Nancy previously served on the board of trustees for APT. Nancy fully commits herself to serving Tampa Bay through her profession and dedication to APT’s students.

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