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Nancy Susan Reynolds awards to end

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Leslie Winner

Leslie Winner

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem will present three unsung North Carolina heroes with its Nancy Susan Reynolds Awards this November for the 25th and final time.

Created to honor the daughter of Katharine Smith and R.J. Reynolds, and to recognize individuals who make a difference but typically do it without acclaim, the awards are given in the areas of advocacy, personal service and race relations.

The awards are accompanied by a $25,000 prize, including $5,000 to the recipient and $20,000 that each winner designates for charitable organizations of his or her choice.

Leslie Winner, the foundation’s executive director, says the awards were created to honor a woman who was “a wonderful and inspirational philanthropic leader who deeply believed in personal service,” and to honor “the mostly unpaid, unsung heroes of the nonprofit world.”

Now, Winner says, the foundation has decided to end the annual awards because the nonprofit world has changed since they were launched.

“People who are nonprofit advocates are less likely to be unsung, and that’s a good thing,” she says.

The field also has become more professional, she says, although people working for nonprofits “are still doing it at personal sacrifice compared to what they might be earning in the for-profit world.”

June 1 is the deadline for submitting nominations for the award, which will be presented at a luncheon Nov. 20 in Raleigh. Past winners will be invited to the event.

Information about making a nomination is available on the foundation’s website.

“I encourage people to nominate people they think are deserving of this award,” Winner says.

The foundation’s board likely will find a way other than through an award to continue honoring Nancy Susan Reynolds, she says, but it has not yet decided how to do that.

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