May 2, 2008
For Immediate Release

Contact: Deborah Lerner  Lerner                 Duane Communication, Inc.
Phone: 973-376-225


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Development Director Julia Bey Ahmet, recipient of the 2008 Robert J. Smythe Award for Outstanding Professional Fundraiser, presented by the NJ Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Toms River, NJ, May 2, 2008  … The Association of Fundraising Professionals-New Jersey Chapter (AFP-NJ) has announced its 2008 Excellence in Philanthropy Honorees.  Chapter President Robert Wahlers will present the awards at the Association’s Fifth Annual Awards Dinner on May 6 at the Crystal Plaza, Livingston.  

  • The Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ), Morristown, has been selected as the 2008 Outstanding Foundation, recognized for its many and varied contributions to New Jersey’s nonprofit communityIn 2007, CFNJ granted $26.2 million for work in cities and towns across the Garden State. Among its programs are Community Eye, which supports Newark’s fight against crime through an advanced camera and gunshot system; an anti-obesity program for children and families in Morris County and high school scholarships for Red Bank students who might otherwise not have considered a college education.

  • Jersey Cares, Newark, nominated by New Jersey SEEDS, Inc., Newark, for its successful work in matching volunteers with its meaningful programs, will be honored as AFP-NJ’s Outstanding Community Organization.

  • Schering-Plough Corporation is the 2008 Outstanding Corporation honoree, recognized for consistently demonstrating outstanding commitment through financial support, community involvement and leadership roles in philanthropy. Schering-Plough’s commitment to local nonprofits and community involvement includes unsurpassed corporate philanthropy, executives’ participation on nonprofit boards and community health education.  The global health care company, headquartered in Kenilworth, was nominated by the Overlook Hospital Foundation, Summit.

  • Millicent Anisfield, Saddle River, nominated by the Ramapo College Foundation, Mahwah, has been named Outstanding Philanthropist for 2008 in the category representing $1 million or less.  Ms. Anisfield was recognized for her dedication to many charitable endeavors, including positions on the boards of Valley Hospital, Ridgewood and Montclair State University.

  • Outstanding Philanthropist of 2008 in the category representing a budget of more than $1 million is John Meditz, Weehawken. Mr. Meditz, honored for “playing a key role in supporting several worthy organizations through his tireless volunteer efforts and generous donations, has been called a true visionary and leader who has put these intangibles to work in creating a brighter future for Palisades Medical Center and the local community.”  He  was nominated by the Palisades Medical Center Foundation, North Bergen.

  • The annual Robert J. Smythe Award for Outstanding Professional Fundraiser will be shared by Julia Bey Ahmet, Green Brook, and Theresa A. Shubeck, Linden.  Ahmet was nominated by Community Hope, Parsippany, for her professionalism, leadership, creativity and accomplishments “that set her apart from others as an extraordinary individual and fundraising professional.” Shubeck, nominated by Leslie C. Quick III, Chair of the capital campaign for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Bernardsville, was praised as “an extraordinary fundraising executive and consultant who truly brings honor, dedication and distinction to the profession.” The Smythe Award is named in memory of Robert J. Smythe, a longstanding member of AFP-NJ who exemplified dedication and service to the non-profit and fundraising community. The Award recognizes those individuals who bring honor, distinction and a distinguished record of excellence in philanthropy.

Sponsors of the 2008 Excellence in Philanthropy Program are The Community Foundation of New Jersey; MCJ Amelior Foundation; New Jersey SEEDS, Inc.; Palisades Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, Professionals for NonProfits and Ramapo College.

Dawn Knill, Director of Development of SAGE Eldercare, Summit, and 2008 Excellence in Philanthropy Awards Chair, said, “Each year, our Chapter is faced with difficult choices as we begin the Awards selection process.  The 2008 nominees were all outstanding, making our judges’ decisions a true challenge. We are very proud to present this year’s group of Award winners.”

AFP-NJ President Robert Wahlers, Senior Director of Major & Planned Gifts for the American Cancer Society, Eastern Division, Inc., Beachwood, said, “Each of this year’s honorees exhibits the qualities and characteristics vital to making a difference in the field of philanthropy.  We commend them for their commitment to the mission and goals of the organizations they serve, as well as for the passion and enthusiasm they consistently exhibit. They each epitomize philanthropy at its best.”

For information on the May 6 dinner, contact AFP-NJ Association Manager Lori Richmond, 732-279-4258 or at

The Association of Fundraising Professionals is the leading professional organization for executives of not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations. The New Jersey Chapter’s approximate 500 members work to promote the advancement, growth and ethics of philanthropy and volunteerism.