Classy Winners Announced


Three years ago, a former Goldman Sachs employee was tired of seeing excess in too many lives so she decided to take a month of vacation to live with a Massai family in Tanzania.

"I promised these people I would build them a church," said Christine Lott of Boston, Mass. Two years later, a church opened on Easter Sunday. The church opened just six weeks after Lott had lost her job in the financial crisis.

"Anyone can take your job away from you but nobody can take an accomplishment like that away from you," she said.

Since then, she has promised to build them a school. A piece of land has been purchased and construction is slated to begin soon, Lott said.

Her story was just one of the many heard when San Diego-based Stay Classy presented its 2nd Annual Stay Classy Awards Sunday night at the San Diego Civic Theatre.

The ceremony recognized the top philanthropic achievements in eight cities across the country: Boston, Chicago , Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

Among those honored:

Charity of the Year:
Nourishing NYC
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Volunteer of the Year:
Chris Cares International of Boston.
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Most Philanthropic Business:
Boston-based Strong Women, Strong Girls
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Most Innovative Use of Social Media:
SF-based The Office of Letters and Light
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Most Influential College Student or Organization:
Boston-based The Dream Program, Inc.
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Most Successful Fundraiser by a Group or Individual:
C.U.R.E. Ride for LHON Research, Jeremy Poincenot of San Diego

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Most Effective Awareness Campaign:
San Diego-based Invisible Children
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Small Charity of the Year:
The Nomi Network of New York City
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Most Creative Fundraiser:
St. Baldrick's Foundation of Los Angeles
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More than $100,000 will be donated to support the charitable efforts of the ten national CLASSY Awards winners, according to the Stay Classy website.

Winners were selected through a three-month process. From August 1 until September 17, StayClassy and NBC stations in those cities accepted nominations for charities, businesses and individuals who should be recognized for their achievements. On Oct. 9, StayClassy announced the top five city finalists per category. Voting ended Friday, Nov. 5.

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