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National Philanthropy Day Luncheon - Nov. 8 2019 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Ashlyn Duy

Duy Will Be Honored at 34th Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon “The Stars of Texas”

Annual Luncheon Recognizes Dallas’ Most Extraordinary Philanthropists, Volunteers, and Fundraising Professionals

The Greater Dallas Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will honor Ashlyn Duy, 18, of Lakewood, as the 2019 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy at the 34th annual luncheon “The Stars of Texas.” This annual event is Dallas’ National Philanthropy Day celebration – bringing together area nonprofits, volunteers, funders, foundations, business and community members to honor this city’s finest who give selflessly in support of numerous worthy causes – on Friday, November 8, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Dallas.

Within months of undergoing lifesaving heart surgery at the age of 13, Ashlyn Duy, an avid tennis player and freshman in high school at Bishop Lynch, returned to the courts to raise funds for a cause close to his newly improved heart. The event was the Red Balloon Children Helping Children Tennis Tournament, benefiting pediatric cancer research and programs at Children’s Health, where months earlier Duy had received heart surgery for tachycardia, an abnormally high heartbeat that comes on without warning.  He had felt his heart race since he was 10, but his condition was not diagnosed until age 13. Since his surgery, his goal was to maximize his impact on children’s lives. 

“When I was first invited to participate in 2015, I honestly felt like it was meant to be - everything had come full circle,” said Duy. “A regular sense of nervousness of playing in a tournament was tempered by a newfound sense of purpose that I had fulfilled in the weeks leading up to it,” added Duy.  “It felt like I had accomplished something before even going onto the court!”

Throughout his high school years, Duy committed himself to the tournament, leveraging his peer-to-peer personal fundraising page to raise awareness, collect donations, and inspire others, and he quadrupled his fundraising results during his senior year. As a participant and fundraiser in the tournament, Duy raised a total of $31,170 for the cause. He was nominated by Children’s Health as the 2019 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy and will be honored on Friday, November 8 at the 34th Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency at Reunion. 

The tournament, which was started in 1991 by another grateful patient family, brings in 500 young tennis players per year to participate and support patients at Children’s Health. The event takes place in September and has raised more than $3.2 million since 1991 for pediatric cancer research and programs.

“My connection with Children’s reinforced within me the notion of not only working hard for the good of others, but also keeping in mind the connections that all people share with one another - as simple as being united by the benefits of medicine - and the importance of giving back.” 

Duy, now 18 and a freshman studying engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, was a National Merit Commended Scholar and valedictorian. He received multiple honors and served in leadership roles not only in high school but also in the community, where he mentored youth tennis players on the autism spectrum and provided them with opportunities for social interaction. Duy has been mentoring his younger sister Abigael to take over the fundraising and continue the Duy family’s legacy.

“Ashlyn’s enthusiasm and creativity have been evident from the start of his involvement with the tennis tournament,” said Brent Christopher, President, Children’s Medical Center Foundation. “He draws deeply from his own connection to Children’s Health and inspires everyone around him.  Ashlyn is the consummate fundraiser, accessing friends and family through personal letters, utilizing social media and personal fundraising pages, and visiting with neighbors. He embodies the generous spirit of our community, demonstrating that the desire to give back is infectious!”

“I am greatly honored to receive the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award,” said Duy.  “I am proud of my four years both playing and fundraising for Children’s, and I hope the award will draw even greater attention and attendance to the tournament to further the cause.”

Luncheon Chair Janet Sherlip announces the additional 2019 honorees:

Outstanding Philanthropist Donna Wilhelm, nominated by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, is a mission-driven philanthropist who has contributed more than $10 million to local, national, and international organizations, supporting direct capacity building and targeting strategic innovation.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Michal Powell, nominated by The Salvation Army North Texas Command, is a passionate fundraiser for faith-based, medical, and humanitarian causes.

Outstanding Foundation -- Harry S. Moss Trust, Bank of America N.A., Trustee, nominated by UT Southwestern Medical Center, supports the prevention and cure of heart disease in Texas, particularly in Dallas.

Outstanding Corporation Texas Capital Bank, nominated by Parkland Foundation, is dedicated to helping communities prosper by investing time, talent, and resources while making long-term strategic investments within three areas: education, health/wellness, and community revitalization.

Outstanding Fundraising Executive Cindy Scott, CFRE, nominated by Parkland Foundation, has over 30 years of fundraising experience, benefiting the people of Dallas and beyond.

The Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP was among the first to begin celebrating National Philanthropy Day in 1985.  Today, more than 500 attend the luncheon which includes AFP members and community leaders.  National Philanthropy Day celebrates the great contributions philanthropy, and those who work in the philanthropic process, make to our community. AFP Chapters involve more than 28,000 individuals in celebrating philanthropy each year. 

The AFP Dallas Chapter sponsor is Texas Capital Bank. Luncheon Sponsors to date are Philanthropy Sponsors ($5,000):  UT Southwestern Medical Center and Southwestern Medical Foundation, co-sponsors of the Outstanding Foundation Award; and Community Sponsors ($2,500): Children’s Health; KERA and World Affairs Council, co-sponsors.

The luncheon will be emceed by longtime partner Scott Murray of Murray Media, an in-kind sponsor of the luncheon. Murray Media produces the luncheon videos featuring the accomplishments of each award recipient. 

“National Philanthropy Day is a day to remember and recognize the impact philanthropy – charitable giving, volunteering and engagement – has made in our world,” said Luncheon Chair Janet Sherlip. “This day was first celebrated nationally in 1986 in the U.S. with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan.  We hope you will join us in paying tribute to those who make the city of Dallas such a vibrant philanthropic community.”

Luncheon tickets are $95, $950 for a table of 10, and $1,250 for a premium table of 10.  For tickets and sponsorships, visit afpdallas.org or contact Madeleine Crouch at 972-233-9107, ext. 204, afpchapteroffice@afpdallas.org.                                                                                                 

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), an individual member association, advances philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs.  AFP members and affiliates enable people and organizations to better serve diverse communities and society as a whole.  AFP represents 28,248 members in 172 chapters throughout the world.  Visit afpdallas.org, call 214-354-8742, or email afpchapteroffice@afpdallas.org.

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