Celebrating Our Community Champions

On Thursday, May 20, 2021, our community came together for our virtual Celebration of Community Champions: an hour of inspiration to celebrate our collective efforts and impact this past year. Together, we recognized the everyday heroes - including the donors, nonprofit partners, corporate supporters, and local government advisors - who stepped up to help our community navigate COVID-19.

“This evening, I am delighted to celebrate and give special thanks to you, our Community Champions. With your support and partnership, we were able to fund 300 local nonprofits to weather this crisis - over half of which are BIPOC-led.” –Tonia Wellons, President and CEO

“At The Community Foundation, our work is transformative. And it would not be possible without you, our Community Champions.” -Katharine Weymouth, Board Chair

Honoring Our Community Champions

We were proud to honor four incredible Civic Heroes and our Collaborative, Corporate, and Community Heroes - local individuals and companies that have shown up for Greater Washington in exceptional ways.

Civic Heroes

These inspiring individuals have demonstrated outstanding civic leadership and service dedicated to improving the lives of Prince George’s County residents:

  • Dr. Monica Goldson, CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools

  • Steve Proctor, President & CEO of G.S. Proctor & Associates, Inc.

  • Dr. Alvin Thornton, former Chair of Prince George’s County Board of Education

  • Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (in memoriam)

Collaborative Hero: Food for Montgomery

Community Hero: Feed the Fight

A public-private effort to combat food insecurity in Montgomery County.

A volunteer-driven effort to support local restaurants while feeding frontline workers

Corporate Hero: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield


For committing to distribute 1.6 million units of PPE at no-cost to nonprofit health centers and independent providers on the frontlines of the pandemic.


“I am incredibly grateful for all the work you’ve put into truly helping our community survive and thrive. Tonight is all about celebrating what we can accomplish together” -special guest Abby D. Phillip, Anchor & Senior Political Correspondent for CNN. 

Showcasing Local Talent

The Celebration also featured a cohort of renowned local artists, from four regional arts organizations supported by the Arts Forward Fund. These performers represent some of Greater Washington’s most impactful nonprofit arts organizations, including Arts on the Block, DC Jazz Festival, Joe’s Movement Emporium, and Synetic Theater. 

Arts on the Block: Young Artists from Youth Arts Movement

Students from AOB’s STEAM-centered visual arts program present and discuss their creative works.

DC Jazz Festival: Jazz Pianist Allyn Johnson & Friends

DC-born jazz pianist Allyn Johnson performs with longtime collaborators Herman Burney on bass Carroll V. Dashiell III on drums

Joe’s Movement Emporium: Sainey Ceesay, Youth Poet Laureate of Prince George’s County

Synetic Theater: ‘All the Word’s A Stage’

Sainey Ceesay performs her poem ‘Water,’ commenting today’s social and political climate. 

An excerpt of Synetic’s first film, featuring Scott Brown and Maryam Najafzada

Paying Tribute

The evening concluded with a heartfelt thank you from President and CEO Tonia Wellons to our Community Champions for joining the Celebration and for supporting our community throughout this truly unprecedented year. She offered a call to action for anyone who would like to continue partnering with The Community Foundation to support our community.


Want to catch the full evening? Watch the full event recording